If your four legged friend is begging for some time in the great outdoors, then it’s time for a trek down the Wild Azalea Trail. Located in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest, it is the state’s longest hiking trail. Between the northern trailhead in Valentine Lake Recreation Area and the southern trailhead in Woodworth, your doggo will enjoy miles and miles of pristine wilderness.
The trail meanders through a gorgeous combination of scenery. As your pup trucks along, they’ll pass through rolling hills, upland forests, open space, and a bog or two. There are some strenuous climbs, but it’s nothing your pal can’t handle. Streams weave throughout the area and there are a couple places you’ll have to cross without the help of a bridge. If you happen to be on the trail in early spring, you’ll see a puptastic display of the wild azaleas that give the trail its name.
If you and your pooch are super fit and full of energy, the entire trail could be hiked in one day, but most folks take a couple days to complete the trail. Hikers need to arrange for pick up and drop off, or leave a shuttle car at the opposite trailhead from where they begin. Since Louisiana doesn’t experience harsh winters, the Wild Azalea Trail can be hiked any time of year, but the best time to go is between October and May when the weather is cooler.
This well marked trail intersects with State Highway 488
about midway through, and also has other access points. If your pooch doesn’t
want to hike the entire trail, there are furrific day hikes available. Restrooms
can be found at both of the major trailheads, and at a primitive camp about a third
of the way through the hike. Pack as much water as you can and also bring a
filter. A trip down the Wild Azalea Trail will be one adventure your pup won’t