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 3 miles. 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
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.
Directions: 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
Maps: A trail map is available at the park's main entrance.
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|The Louisiana Hiking Club