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.

like the trail. over grow. good hike

My daughter and I walked the trail today and had a great time. It was a little muddy and over grown in places but not a problem. With a bad knee, I wish that the stairs had hand rails. Most of the trail is paved. Some beautiful views and overlooks plus a small waterfall. As a bonus, there are an excellent picnic area and facilities at the trail head.

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

hiking
19 days 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.

Great trail. We took our family and had a great time exploring. Lots of stairs and rocks to climb! Paved most of the way.

hiking
2 months ago

park at the caroline dorman trail and begin the trail there. End the trail at the other side and walk down the hiway downhill.

Gorgeous hike! Will definitely visit again during later fall and winter. I saw 2 black widows during our hike which made me a little wigged out because we are stoping with our dog to have water and they were not happy with us being in their territory. Always stay alert especially if you’re hiking this one in the hot, humid months.

Really enjoyed the scenery on the trail. The 1.5 mile hike was perfect for my 10 year old daughter. Great location for a family outing.

We were surprised to find terrain like this here in Louisiana! The short 1.5 mile distance made it a perfect hike to take our 10 year old daughter on.There was a rocky stream bed with lots of shade to rest under about half way down the trail. The sandstone outcrops were fun to climb on. Very beautiful, was definitely worth coming out!

We were surprised to see terrain like this here in Louisiana! The short 1.5 mile distance made it a perfect hike to take our 10 year old daughter on. There is a rocky stream bed with lots of shade to rest about halfway down the trail. The exposed sandstone outcrops were fun to climb. Definitely worth it!

hiking
2 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
2 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.

hiking
3 months ago

I did this trail as a day and it was more intense than I expected but still not bad. there are some areas where it seems a bit over grown and a few areas where its hard to tell what direction to go. 4G coverage and LTE every once in a while on the trail. I would recommend doing this trail in the cooler months of the year. mosquitos weren't a problem but I still brought insect repellant and sunscreen. walking sticks help a lot on this trail. I don't know to recommend doing the road walk before or after. I started from the northern trail head and ended at the southern trail head. the second half of the trail had a lot of steep ups. while the first had a lot of gradual downward inclines. I recommend starting from the southern trail head so you have steep downs instead of steep up. that just seems like it would be easier. its hard to go on these hikes and pay attention to everything thats around you because you spend most of the time looking don to watch where you step. try to look up every once in a while and find a trail marker. they don't stand out to well but they're, there.if you think your getting lost do not keep going forward turn around and carefully retract your steps until you find the trail then asses the situation. bring a backpack with plenty of water. at least 3 liters per person, walking sticks, bug spray sunglasses, and do this in cooler temps. not 93 degrees and humid.

hiking
3 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
4 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!

Such a nice little starter hike! There are beautiful views from sandstone outcroppings, a meandering stretch through pine forest and a damp hike through lowland with a couple small creek crossings. And all of that within a two-mile stretch. Definitely check it out!

backpacking
4 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.

hiking
4 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the state! It's great for a simple day hike, or for a weekend backpacking trip when you hike it with the Carloine Dormon. as other's have said, the water situation is scarce, but you can easily carry enough for the day.

horseback riding
4 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
5 months ago

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

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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 months 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
6 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
6 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.

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

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