Chicot Nature Trail

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Trail Distance: 10.2 miles
Time Estimate: 4 hr+
Elevation Gain: 1 foot
Leash Rule: On & Off Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

Louisiana has an abundance of nature trails, forests, and other habitats that make up thousands of acres. One of the more famous places to visit is the Chicot State Park, which is best explored by the Chicot Nature Trail. The nature trail is a family and dog-friendly trail that is easy for all hiker types, made up of boardwalks, packed soil, and asphalt. 

The trail explores over 6,400 acres of land, with lakefront views, wetlands, hardwood forests, creeks, and open fields. To get to the trail, you have to follow the main road to a visitor center near the west side of Chicot Lake. Once there, you'll be met with lots of parking, a small museum, restrooms, water fountains, picnic areas, and trash bins. 

The path is well marked and starts off as asphalt, making it easy for hikers to spot and start on. It follows right into thick woods, where there are over 150 species of plants, trees, and wildflowers including cypress, tupelo, beech, and magnolias. You'll be able to see most of these as soon as you enter, and keep watching for new species along the route. Wildlife lives here too like deer, raccoons, fish, and birds.

The trail is out and back, and you'll have to turn around when you want to get back to your car. If you want an extended hike, the Chicot Nature Trail eventually connects to other trails that loop around the lake and lead back to the same visitor center. Along the way, there are also 6 primitive camping sites in case you want to stay overnight.

Whether you decide to stay or not, you'll both want to come back and explore the area thanks to its extensive nature observation areas, and dog-friendliness.

Trail Features
Wetland, Diverse Landscape, Lake, Forest, Beach, Muddy
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
The Chicot Nature Trail is long and connects to multiple other trails, so watch out for the correct markings to stay on the right path. The weather in Louisiana is hot and humid, so bring plenty of water and the right hiking clothes to stay cool and dry.
Address
Chicot State Park, 3469 Chicot Park Road
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Hours
Mon 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thu 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sat 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sun 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Address
Chicot State Park, 3469 Chicot Park Road
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Hours
Mon 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thu 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sat 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sun 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM