Chicot State Park
The southern route from the South Landing Trailhead to the long
boardwalk is a great wintertime day hike. One-way distance is about
This part of the trail traverses a section of the park that abounds with
beautiful magnolia trees, a flowing stream and heavy stands of beech
trees. The contrast between the green magnolia leaves and the golden
colored beech leaves is a beautiful sight during the winter months. An
additional treat is the high probability of seeing hundreds of ducks that
seek refuge along the lake’s edge during hunting season. The trail at
this juncture is near the lake’s edge and the sight of the ducks taking
flight is fascinating. This is especially appealing if the hiker takes one
of the side trails that lead to one of the many lake inlets. The ducks fly
only a short distance as the hiker approaches, stop and take off again
as the hiker gets near.
Some of the inlet side routes are great lunch or break spots. After
reaching the long boardwalk, the hiker has the option of returning to
the trailhead (total round trip of 6 miles) or completing the hike if
having previously spotted a car at the bridge off Hwy 3042. This
bridge is south of the main park entrance along Hwy 3042. Park your
vehicle off the roadway on the south side of the bridge. The route
through the woods from the trail to the highway is unmarked but by
heading due west, the hiker will find the highway. In fact, the bridge
over the highway is visible from the boardwalk. Tip: Keep the lake in
sight (on your right) as you proceed west toward the highway.
The park entrance fee is $2 and follow posted speed limits.
The best route to Chicot State Park is from I-49. Take exit 46 and
proceed west along Hwy 106 through the town of St Landry. Turn
left onto Hwy 3042 and proceed south to the park’s main entrance.
You will pass the entrance of the arboretum, which is another location
for a good day hike.
A trail map is available at the park’s main entrance.
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|The Louisiana Hiking Club