Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

An easy hike except for some of the steeper parts, but those mostly have stairs. Can be very hot and is largely exposed to the sun, so best enjoyed in the cooler months. Really some of the best scenery in Louisiana and only a few minutes from the I-49.

hiking
12 days 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
12 days 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
20 days 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
26 days ago

Tried to find this trail yesterday. Used the app, since many of the trails in this area aren’t marked. We found the beginning, but following the cut trail actually lead us to the center of the map. When we tried to start from the beginning a second time and stayed as on line of the app trail as possible, there was never the option to curve as the app suggest. There was also many side trails, as a atv trail, intersects with this one. This trail isn’t even on the kisatchie trail maps.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

Good short trail with a great view you wouldn’t think exists in LA. Recommend for young kids or people with physical limits.

nice Trail just wish it was longer I'm didn't go on the road

Beautiful trail! Well marked and there’s a lot to see. The only down side is that I went after a day of rain and the trail was muddy/sandy in some areas. Overall a great trail that’s easy for anyone to hike and it shows the diversity that the Kisatchie Forest contains.

2 months ago

First more serious hike. The parts where the trail became uncertain, there was always a marker close by. Some of the hills were fairly difficult, but overall was a moderate hike. Beautiful, not entirely well maintained, however nothing was an issue with getting through the trail.

It’s a beautiful easy hike, it doesn’t take a whole lot of commitment of time or equipment, perfect day hike

Great day hike! I will be back!

Favorite place in Louisiana. I’ve been going here since I was a kid.

First time hiking this. Our dachshund came along with my husband and me and was easy enough even her. If you’re not in great shape, it’s definitely better to take the right hand side of the trail. You have steep steps, and a lot of them, going down. We lucked up taking that path, I would have died had I had to come up them at the end of the hike lol.

Great place for a short hike with some of the most rugged terrain in Louisiana and the only place you’ll see sandstone boulders in the state.

backpacking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Great for beginners!

backpacking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail! Easy to follow, with moderately challenging landscapes. Perfect for a one night stay back packing trail.

trail running
5 months ago

Nice Loop to run if camping at Lake Kincaid Campground

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty fun trail, I don't recommend hiking it in the summer.. alot of trashed campsites and possible hobos on the way so be aware.

trail running
6 months ago

This trail has awesome potential, just needs some love. I've been clearing for the last few weeks and have about 3.5 miles of it cleaned up. This trails gonna be awesome when it's done!

hiking
6 months ago

Neat trail 5.5 mile that wraps around one of the lakes. There’s another trail “Lost Lady” you’ll see at the end of the dam that’s about 2 miles. It’s difficult with hills. Both trails were nice.

Good trail. Did it with two kids and a friend. Not a lot of water right now so bring plenty.

backpacking
6 months ago

Hiked the Backbone trail again last week with my daughter. this was her first overnight backpacking trip. We only spent one night on trail but it was great fun. Didn't see much wildlife and temps were in the high 80's during the day but dropped quickly after the sun went down. Other than that it was the same os my first review below.

hiking
6 months ago

Easy stepping and easy effort. Some trail is a robust deer trail but most is nice, but obviously low traffic. Too much trash sadly. Trail is easy to follow but a few spots require you to look around a bit, we saw 2 deer and one couple on a Sunday afternoon.

backpacking
7 months ago

Pretty solid trail for what it is. The water is very limited for half of the loop so bring plenty of water. The trail tends to be muddy and overgrown so I'd recommend pants and change of socks.

Awesome little hiking trail and very nice outdoor rec area. Always a good time.

backpacking
7 months ago

Was a beautiful weekend for being out on the trail. I parked at Caroline Dormon Trail head and made the 2.5 mile road hike to the Backbone trail head. It wasn't too bad of a walk. I then hiked up to one of the vista campsites about 1/2 way through the trail. The better of the two campsites had a large dead tree near by and appeared to be infested with Wasp's so I retreated back to the smaller campsite with the not so great view. there was no water on the trail up to this point so be sure you bring plenty with you. I didn't find good water source until the second day on my hike out. The trail is well worn but not marked very well as compared to the Wild Azalea and Kincaid Lake trails. I had no problem staying on the trail. Many parts of the trail are very narrow and a little overgrown from the knee down so make sure to keep an eye for tics in the warmer months. Plenty of down trees crossing the trails as well. Overall this is one of the better trail around. If you get the chance you will enjoy it .

A lot of trail is over grown, definitely not 9 miles of defined trail; maybe 3 miles!

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