Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Kisatchie National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

horseback riding
17 hours ago

Great trails. Clearly marked

The road for the trails was closed. We were able to see the historic area but we drove an hour for wildflowers and couldnt access the trails.

backpacking
1 month ago

Love this 24 mile National Recreational Trail located in the Kisatchie National Forest. Cold clear spring creeks for water sources. Has some challenging hilly sections. Know as a great shakedown trail before you go on other hikes, I think it’s great for enjoying the awesomeness of his Central Louisiana forest.

hiked part of the trail I loved every step of it I have hiked in chicot state park and the trail is a million times better than chicot state park I would recommend this trail to anyone wanting a good endurance hike I will be back to finish it and camp as well I found a lot of water sources so all you need is a filter get to hike and remember to hike your own hike!!!

trail running
1 month ago

Awesome trail, marathon training right now and just did 14 miles on this today. Whooped my butt! Sand hilly path through beautiful forest. From ft Polk get on hwy 117 towards natchitoches, turn off at right before the ranger station and go to the Lotus campground (you can google and go right to that campground) that campground has bathrooms available and the trail entrance is right there. Horses, dogs and atvs allowed. Have fun!

Easy trail, well marked with blue diamond shaped trail markers. Great view of Kincaid Lake

A group of us GOATS ran distances of 4-11 miles with a couple of them still running the last we saw them.

trail running
2 months ago

Challenging, well maintained trail is beautiful. Well traveled especially on the weekend.

backpacking
2 months ago

This trail was surprisingly diverse in scenery and quite a challenge. I hiked the whole trail with my friend to the Kisatchie Bayou Campground and hiked back out the next morning. The latter half of the trail is more hilly and rocky than the beginning. We hiked through pine flatlands, mixed hardwood forests, loess deposits and rocky creek beds. Seeing rocks and boulders in Louisiana is really neat. We saw two deer and two boars along the trail and no people. The trail is well blazed but overgrown with tall grass and in need of some maintenance. Beware of the loess deposits sticking to your boots! It’s like cement! This trail is a great hiking or backpacking option in Louisiana.

hiking
2 months ago

Very chill trail to unwind. I started at the Valentine Lake rec area and went to the 20 mile marker just past the intersection of Castor Plunge Rd and 212. Mile markers 6-9 have some sweet creeks and so do Mile markers 15-17. Well marked and well traveled so you can go miles without even using the yellow diamonds posted on the trees. Make sure to grab a spider web stick so you aren't getting a face full of Golden Orb Weavers haha. Not the prettiest or most exciting but very relaxing and worth the great workout once or twice. I've done 24 miles (markers 1-12 and back) one time and 20 miles (markers 11-20.5) another time. I've about had my fill of the trail but it would be better with friends of course! My 3L CamelBak lasted about 20 miles in the early August morning because the shade made it a bit cooler. A few good creeks to get water from with my LifeStraw too.
+Bugs didnt bother me too bad and it never got super muddy.
-Low lying veg gets scratchy, narrow in some areas to allow spider webs
I recommend listening to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry on Audible when you do this hike. It was relaxing and a bit enlightening.
Hiked in August 2018

Did this trail in June of 2016, beautiful scenery, but fair warning!!!! me and a friend started at lake valentine as the sun was coming up and finished at woodworth around 330pm. NOTICE: the trail is advertised at 23.9 miles, on the website it says 26.2 miles, we brought water for 27 miles and were going to run down (refill water in woodworth) and back for a total of 54 ish miles. We both had GPS trackers and needless to say we ran out of water at 27 miles.... the total length of trail is 36.4 miles!!!! NOT including the 5.4 miles loop around lake valentine. Luckily we’re both military and were able to push through. Just a warning, granted I know most people don’t try to run the whole length.

hiking
4 months ago

Went out for a shakedown hike. Started in Woodworth hiked in about 11 miles then turned and came back a couple of miles to a good campsite by water. Trail very well marked, a little overgrown with several trees across trail but nothing too bad. Looking forward to cooler weather. The hike was not bad but it was very hot and muggy at night. Did not see or hear anyone but it was during the week. Will definitely be sharing this trail with my family

hiking
4 months ago

Love that this trail is close to home. Started today but to hot to finish. Easy trail. Lots of beautiful woods and a wonderful view of the lake for part of it. The part I went on was clean and clearly marked.

The AllTrails map for this area is not actually the place where the old WWII camp is. The allTrails map indicates parking, camping, trails and ATV recreation area. The old camp is actually closer to the entrance on the left side of the road.
Get a map of trails from the parking area and go back to the entrance if you want to see any of the ramains of the old camp.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a question, not a review:

I plan to solo hike one way through with my dog, that being said my car will be at one end and I'll end up at the other. Is there anyone available to return hikers to their cars at the starting point?

nature trips
5 months ago

Went yesterday and had a blast on the trail . Got to see lots of wildlife and we had trail just about to ourselves! Do it again every chance I get ! The dog loved it too!

backpacking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail but no water on the southern side. We hiked for over 4.5 miles with no suitable water, only mud holes.

horseback riding
6 months ago

I didn’t ride a horse on this trail. The interactive map for KNF says that the trail is open to pack and saddle. I’m assuming this means horseback riding. Looking at the pictures and some of the comments it doesn’t appear that horses use this trail. Are there signs saying whether horses are either allowed or forbidden?

backpacking
6 months ago

Great trail. plenty of water when I hiked it. Very well marked.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun time trying out light backpack/hammock/water filtration. Had a huge storm blow over Friday night then the next day it never stopped raining. The temps dropped in the high 30s and wound up pulling myself off the trail at the end and walking forestry road back to the trail head. All in all it was 24 miles of wet walking. Trail angel showed up 1.5 miles from my car. Brice a corrections officer picked me up off of twin bridge road back to the trail head. When I sat in his car and he started driving to the left I finally saw what I had been looking for: a wild horse just hanging out. Would absolutely recommend this as a first hike/run up to a longer trail.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a pretty hike. Well marked. We did a day hike - 3 miles in and back. Some of it is beautiful - some not - when we got to the forest road area - there was what looks like logging - cleared areas of trees. - which caused standing trees to fall in the bad weather over the weekend. Lots of marshy areas - be sure to wear waterproof hiking boots

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful trail, well maintained. several paths to walk to the lake and get better views closer to the water

hiking
7 months ago

did the 30 miles in 3 days 2 nights sleeping in hammocks. amazing hike lost the trail a few times and was a bitter muddy. Awesome time though will plan another trip

hiking
7 months ago

Mid March. First timer from West Monroe. Blazes were marked well and often. I love that there’s mile markers every 1/2 mile. Parked at Valentine lake, paid 2 nights, set my tent up, then hitch hiked to Woodworth. Hiked 2 hours til dark and set up camp at mile marker 18. Heard wolves howling a couple times at night. Next morning, around mile 16, I saw a red wolf. Very pretty. Then hiked all the way to my basecamp at Valentine. Actual hiking time was about 7.5-8 hours. Took a wrong turn at the 488 parking area. Didn’t realize to cross the highway at first. Thanks to all who maintain the trail.

Well marked and beautiful. We were a group of 4 who started at FS 212 and hiked 20 miles. We had a car on the other end at the Lake Valentine Rec area. We did it in 2 nights, started by 5 Friday and were out around noon Sunday.
Such a fun, great weekend that got us out of the city but no long drive. Must do for any louisiana outdoor lover!!

hiking
8 months ago

Completed a small section of the trail with my 10 year old son and blue heeler over the weekend. We had a blast! The weather was absolutely perfect. We started on the south side of Castor Plunge at the entrance just NW of FS 212. Our plan was to hike in set up camp and hike back out the following morning. We hiked in to the bridge at the Long Branch creek bottom crossing (approximately 3.6 miles or so from the Jeep). It was gorgeous! We took our time hiking in, exploring and taking breaks to play in the creeks. Lots of water in this section to filter for cooking water. Parts of the trail were muddy but overall the trail was nice and very well marked. We definitely got a good workout with our packs. Would be much easier with a lighter load.
We loved the spot where we camped. Lots of good clear spots in this area to set up camp. Several rock fire rings already present. We wanted a little more privacy off the trail, so put up tent on the other side of the creek. Picked up a few ticks :/, but the mosquitoes were not too bad. The barred owls and spring peepers put on quiet a concert calling for us that night by the fire and all thru the night. My little boy really enjoyed playing in the creek and exploring for critters.
Hiked back out the next morning with less breaks, made it back much faster. The wild azaleas were blooming, still a little early for the dogwoods. Only saw a few blooming on the drive down Twin Bridges. Was hoping to hear some wild turkeys gobbling. Awesome trip and bonding time. Especially since we had no phone service where we set up camp. Nice to unplug! We did not hear a car the entire time and only ran into a few other folks. Not sure the app recorded my track coming back out correctly, service was in and out. It does not look right on my recording and some of the pictures are not in the location where I took them. But overall it was a huge help and enjoy being able to save pics and comments. We will definitely be back. Planning a longer hike to complete more of the trail.

This trail is a shit-hole. Poorly maintained, and poorly marked. Run Backbone if you want a real challenge.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice out and back trail with good opportunities for birdwatching, foraging, and camping. At points the road joins the trail causing a bit more trash to show up, but overall very accessible, peaceful, and well-maintained.

hiking
11 months ago

Mostly flat and crosses over a few park roads.

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