The park covers over 6,400 acres of rolling hills and water in South Central Louisiana. The cool, clear waters of Lake Chicot have yielded record freshwater catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and red-ear sunfish. Fishermen will enjoy the convenient boathouse, three boat launches and boat rental facilities. An extensive hiking/backpacking trail completely encircles Lake Chicot and includes several primitive campsites along the way. The hiking trail allows the visitor to experience and enjoy the park's natural landscape, its bottomland hardwood forest and the lake itself. For visitors who enjoy a quicker pace, much of the trail is geared toward mountain bikers, and all cyclists are welcome to ride the roadways throughout the park. The South Landing includes cabins, a group camp, a lodge, picnic areas and playgrounds, a swimming pool, a boat launch, a fishing pier and a dock with rental boats. A scenic road links the South Landing with the North Landing. The North Landing features campsites, a playground, a boat launch, a dock, a 400 ft. fishing pier and a primitive group-camping area. The Conservation Lodge is located in this area. The East Landing is accessible from LA 106. It is less developed than the other two areas. It includes a boat launch, a dock, a meeting room and a barbeque pavilion, which makes this area ideal for day visitors.
Three of us hiked from the east trailhead south to camp site #6 then back, about 8 miles. The trail was well marked and easy to hike. The system is labeled as "moderate" but for us this section was very easy. Not much for elevation changes, all I hiked was fairly level. It was winter for Louisiana and most of the foliage was gone, few bugs and few fellow hikers. We did see a sounder of very large wild boars and they weren't too happy to see us. The east section doesn't offer too much scenery but we hear the scenery on the west side is worth the trip. This was just a visit to decide if we liked it enough to hike/camp the whole loop, I think we'll be back.
I'll mention again the wild boars, many think boars = pigs, don't make that mistake because a boar can kill you and will try if it feels threatened enough.
Well marked trails with great scenery. This was our first day hike as a family with nine-year-old and 12-year-old boys. Even though it was a short 4 mile hike with a lunch break at campsite 2, we had a great time and the boys loved it. We're planning another trip in a couple of weeks to check out more of the trails, and we're looking forward to an overnighter soon.
Great trip. We did the loop backwards over thanksgiving. Nice and cold nights and cool days! Staying at campsite 6 the first night, then 5, and finally 2 to wrap up a 3 nighter.
The lake was drained while we were there but Water is available at the RV campgrounds and the southern trail head.
Bonus... The northern RV camp ground has great showers for a clean ride home.
This is a great trail for hiking and backpacking! My girlfriend and I got to the park and checked in at the office. The lady in the office was helpful and helped us choose the primitive site that would best suit our backpacking plan. We ended up choosing Campsite 4 and headed to the Walker Branch Trailhead. The trail was slick at some spots from it raining earlier that day but that was expected. It took around 45 minutes to hike to Campsite 4 with a few breaks. The trail was well marked and maintained with signs to each campsite. The campsite itself was clean with a fire pit and grill. The next day we hiked back to the car and drove to the office to rent a canoe for the day. A different lady this time gave us paddles and life jackets and told us how to get to the boat launch where we could get the canoe itself. We ended up canoeing all the way to our campsite along a well marked canoe path often close to the bank, through and under hundreds of beautiful cypress trees. When we arrived at the campsite we packed up, paddled back to the car, returned the canoe and we were on our way. Seeing all of the wildlife was perhaps the best part of the trip. We saw a rabbit, an alligator, a deer, a few turtles, tons of frogs, egrets, a hawk, two armadillos and even a hog. All in all this park was great and we will be returning!!!
Awesome Louisiana trail, you really get to see a lot of Louisiana's beauty on this trail; from the Cypress trees nestled in the marsh to the birds and wild life it's just great. The last time I went I saw an owl, three snakes (small non venomous), and plenty of squirrels. In pass I've seen deer, armadillos, and possums. Chico Lake is large and you can rent kayaks and canoes. The cabins are quite nice also.
This is a great trail for trying out new gear or first time backpacking. This was my first solo backpacking trip and I never felt live I was in over my head. I started at the north trail head, camped at site # 1 then finished the loop the next day. The trail was packed with people between the north trail head and the south but after that there weren't as many people. There are several emergency trail exits which surprised me. Most parts of the trail I could hear traffic from the road , but not at campsite #1. Be aware that if you book a primitive site you may not be the only person there. I had just set up my tent when a Boy Scout troop arrived . They were too big to fit the small campsite and decided to camp on a flat area nearby, but far enough that I couldn't see them. It being my first full night in the woods alone I was glad for their company! I wish I had brought trekking poles. I didn't think I would need them since the trail is not steep but it would have helped in the few " miserable mud miles" I trudged through in certain places. I did enjoy the hundreds of tiny cute frogs that were hopping all around me. I also saw a possum in a tree , some huge turtles, alligator, snakes and woodpeckers. The area by the levee is awesome if you love insects! Lots of dragonflies and bumbles bees and wildflowers. It was actually one of my favorite spots on the trail.
Did a two-day backpacking trip first full weekend of January. Started at North Landing Trailhead, hiked south, and camped at Campsite 6. Saw 3 people at North Trailhead, 3 people at South Trailhead, and no one else the entire time. It had rained all night the night before I got on the trail, so trail was very wet and lots of swollen stream crossings. I'd say it's impossible to hike this trail at any time and not get your feet wet but especially after a night of rain. However, it's nicely maintained, well marked, and a very scenic bayou trail. Saw a few dear, a barred owl, several woodpeckers, squirrels, and one very large rabbit. Based on my Fitbit tracker and time it took me to walk certain sections, I believe the stretch of trail between North Trailhead and Campsite 6 that is marked with mileage markers as being 12 miles is actually 14 miles. The mileage stretch between Campsite 6 and back to North Landinggoing counterclockwise seemed to be marked correctly at 8 miles, making for a 22-mile loop rather than the 19.5 designated in the description on this AllTrails Website. The sign in the Ranger's office where you register and get your car pass also says it's a 22-mile loop. At the time, I thought they were including the side trails to the campsites but now believe the loop itself is 22 miles so be sure to allow time to cover the distance. There is a water spigot at South Landing Trailhead. I didn't see any others convenient to the trail and though you are walking in water, there is no potable water at campsites or anywhere else along the way. I carried water treatment tablets but also carried enough bottled water to not need to use them. If you're looking for a moderately easy yet scenic bayou backpacking experience (the mud wading will slow you down), I highly recommend this trail.
We left from Lodge #1. We took the main trail (orange blaze) and broke off to see campsite 4, 3 and 2, which made the total hike 23 miles. The trail was very well marked and maintained. It had nice hills on the West side of the lake for South Louisiana. The east side was pretty flat. We saw a lot of hogs and squirrels. Overall, it was a great experience.
Spent two and half days on the trail and couldn't have asked for a better weekend. The first few miles (or last few if you hike counterclockwise like we did) are the steepest parts, but the rest of the trail is smooth sailing. Sites were secluded and the trail was well marked. Definitely recommended for first time backpackers.