Weighed down by your pack, soldering ahead seems like the only option, so another step passes. Getting to the end of a trail isn’t what it’s all about. Really, it’s the journey that matters. Here are 7 of the best hiking trips we’ve found around Louisiana.
1. Bogue Chitto State Park Run Trail
Spanning 5.7 miles, this heavily-trafficked loop has a lot to offer. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular hiking spots in the state. It traces the Bogue Chitto for part of its length, snaking between river banks and lakes. Afterward, you venture deep into the hills and see some of the state’s beautiful woodlands. Best of all, it’s dog-friendly, so bring your pets. Plus, even though you’ll travel 5.7 miles, there’s only a 239 ft gain in elevation.
2. Wild Azalea Trail
At 23.9 miles, it would take nearly 11 hours of continuous hiking to make it all the way to the end. The Wild Azalea Trail has a reputation for being a challenging yet worthwhile trek. It’s located inside the Kisatchie National Forest, a federally-protected park. Around halfway through, there’s a point where you’ll be near a lake. We’d suggest getting up camp around there if you’re planning a one-way journey. From there, it’s harder to find natural water sources.
3. Longleaf Vista Road to Backbone Trail
This is another gem situated in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest. However, it’s only 10.6 miles, about half as long as the last one. Still, this loop travels through scenic hills, natural meadows, and woody valleys. It’s hard to imagine Louisana packing this much diversity into such a small area, but it’s here. If you decide to bring along your dog, don’t forget their leash. Pets can join you as long as you’ve brought one.
4. Tammany Trace Trail
Camping in a Louisiana State Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. Next time you’re checking something off yours, try to visit Tammany Trace Trail. It’s inside Fontainebleau State Park, a real state treasure. Locals have given it the misnomer, “The Trace.” That’s because the trail travels along historic rail lines for its entire length. For many, they’ve stumbled upon the trail after enjoying themselves in New Orleans. You can access it from inside the city, actually.
5. Tunica Hills C Trail
The Tunica Hills State Wildlife Management Area has always been popular among hunters. But, it’s seen a sudden surge in popularity among hiking enthusiasts. This 3.6-mile trip isn’t too long if you’re on a strict time limit. At a decent pace, you can complete the entire journey in less than 2 hours.
6. Comite Park Trail
Most of this one traces the Comite River. Its inviting waters are wonderful when the heat feels overwhelming during the summer. If you’re partway finished with the 5.1-mile trip, just hop in. Anyone near Pride, LA, has heard about how fun dipping into the water is. The 78 ft elevation gain makes the trail a somewhat underwhelming physical challenge. So, if you’re hiking with newcomers, it could be a great place to take them.
7. Audubon Trail
Any time someone visits New Orleans, they must go to Audubon Park. It’s right there, smack-dab, in the middle of the city. The 1.9-mile trail may be the shortest one on our list, but it’s worth it. The tall pines look magnificent imposed on the city’s skyline. On the trail, it’s hard to believe you’ve never ventured more than a mile from civilization. Yet, the city has been right there with you for the entire trip. Next time you’re traveling through the area, bring your dog on the Audubon trail. They have a pet-friendly policy as long as they remain leashed the entire time they’re at the park.
How to Properly Prepare for Your Upcoming Hike
Hiking might not sound like it’s something exciting. But, that just means you’ve hardly seen what’s available outside cities. Once you step into nature and take it all in, inevitably, a deep-seated yearning is the outcome. Nature calls all of us, but we are the ones who must answer. The trails we’ve listed are definitely a great start, even though there’s more to discover.