Longleaf Vista Road to Backbone Trail

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Kisatchie National Forest

Longleaf Vista Road to Backbone Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mora, Louisiana that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length10.6 miElevation gain646 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsBird watchingrunningForestViewsWildlifeBlowdownMuddyRocky
Description
Waypoints (3)

Many may be surprised by the beautiful piece of the Kisatchie Forest that features rocky hills and scenic overlooks. The trail is in good shape and Fall colors give you plenty of scenery along the way. Be prepared for walking on rocky terrain, fairly steep ascents and descents, and creek crossings. Perfect for an overnighter or a long weekend. Also note that the blazes change colors but they are all the same trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (184)
Photos (374)
Recordings (135)
Completed (289)
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Chad Moreno
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Hiking

Decided this trip to do a day hike and complete the whole loop, then grab our packs and hike back in to camp. While we were walking thru we noted the various campsites that were available. It was a very busy weekend on the trails and the most hikers I have seen on the trails and at the parking locations. Trail was wet and muddy in some areas, but easily manageable, downed trees throughout (trail maintenance continues I am sure) and few areas of the trails were tight and almost overgrown with little shrub type trees. After walking the look thru the loop we had the 2+ mile walk on the road back to the trailhead to grab our gear. Luckily some nice person in a pickup gave us a lift on the tailgate the last mile or so. The campsite we decided on was about 3/4 of a mile in on the trail, but based on the number of hikers we saw during the walk thru we were worried it might have been claimed already. Walking in we were lucky and the site was not occupied, this camp area was nice, had room for our 3 tents and provided a great view for the evening. This campsite would work for probably 4 tents total, however firewood was scarce and everything was still wet. If you want a good hike and camp trip then do what we did and day hike the whole loop with a light pack, then grab your gear and hike back in and camp.

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Heidi Berenjfoorosh
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Hiking

not many mushrooms or birds but cool small river with a few technical but fun crossings.

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Leah Moran
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BackpackingMuddy
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Teresa Gilbert
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Hiking

This was actually 11.4 miles. I think the road may be a tad longer. I recommend parking at Backbone trail and walking the road first. When you are already tired the road is torture especially in trail runners. I do have to say, I forgot I was in Louisiana! This place was beautiful with lots of climbing and descents! We had to take our shoes and socks off twice to cross creeks and our pants had to come off at least one time. lol The water came up to my upper thigh and it was cold!! Glad no one was out today! If you live in Louisiana, this trail is a must do!

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Amanda Lukasik
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Hiking

Great day trail or split up for an overnighter. Crews worked hard to clean up after hurricane.

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Tracy McGinnis
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HikingMuddy

Hiked the trail last weekend. Kudos to whoever cut the trees that blocked the trail. Must have been a lot of work. Such a great trail for Louisiana! Most locals have no idea there are views like this here but, it is earned. Not a super hard hike, but not for the weak. I am 50, I feel 30. This trail reminds me of my age.

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Moe Solet
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Hiking
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Phillip Purpera
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Trail was in great shape. Thanks to the people that put in the hard work to clear the trail of hurricane damage.

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Dall Kammer
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Hiking

Great hike. Trail clear from hurricane-downed trees. Be careful if windy because lots of leaners. Surprising topography for Louisiana. Many rock outcroppings. About as close to a blue ridge hike as you can get in this state. Half of trail is very hilly and second half is along ridge with vistas on either side. The 2.5 mile road portion is no big deal. You’re still in a beautiful national park after all.

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Kevin Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 22, 2020
Hiking

A amazing. So grateful for the crew that removed Hurricane Laura debris. Day hiked it in about 4 hours. Beautiful fall day.

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Michelle Livaudais
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Hiking

Very nice trail, but there was not much shade so be aware of how hot it is if you take your dog.

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Cristy Garcie
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Hiking

Challenging

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Phillip Purpera
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HikingBlowdownOff trailOver grownScramble

Downed trees all over the place and difficult to stay on route at the moment. Normally this trail is one of my favorites but probably best to avoid this one until it’s cleaned up.

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Sheila Melancon
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HikingBlowdown

I had called the rangers office to confirm that it was open like their website said. I do not recommend it. At the low section, going counterclockwise, it is very difficult to find the trail. AllTrails GPS was the only reason I was able to get through. Even then, I decided to turn around.

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April W
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Backpacking

It was an ok walk in the woods for mid-August. We did the loop as a single overnight backpacking trip. Recent burns have reduced the tree cover so it’s a bit sunnier than I’m accustomed to hiking thus a hat is a good recommendation. As this is wilderness designated, the trail was in great shape. If you think a wilderness trail is “overgrown”, maybe stick to city park. ;) Very sandy, gaiters will help a lot with keeping the forest out of your boot. The first stream crossing was dry but still with a few deeper pools that could be filtered. There was flowing water by the bridge crossing and then again shortly thereafter. At that point, we decided to filter our liter bottles full and then also carry along a full Vecto to filter later just in case. It’s a good thing we did as there was NO WATER access for the rest of the loop. Lastly, in order to complete the loop you have a long road walk, probably about two miles back to the parking area (which has an accessible privy for those wondering). All and all not a bad trip, but not my favorite.

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mike cozad
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Hiking

Great trail, beginning to get a little overgrown in some areas, I have a few scratches from the bushes because of wearing shorts. Also quite a few down logs over the trail so practice good snake etiquette.

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Patrick Moore
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Hiking

Moderate trail with some of the coolest views for Louisiana. Super over grown right now. Felt like i was hiking a game trail. Definitely a fall or spring hike. Pay attention to the map the trail is not marked very well.

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Elle Latricia
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HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grown

Great trail! I did an extra mile because I got turned around after exploring a bit off the trail in a pretty area. It rained on me about half the time, so it was muddy and slippery. Only one water crossing was over my shoes. I’m glad to see it’s rated as ‘moderate’ because it certainly wasn’t ‘easy’ It was not a stroll in the park, it was a hike through the woods. Very narrow in places, with foliage brushing against me. I enjoyed it and will go back, hopefully on a dry day.

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Ariane Adams
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HikingMuddyRocky

Overall the trail was great! The first half is probably the most impressive! There is a creek crossing at some point with no bridge so prepare to get your feet wet! We took our shoes off and dried our feet with a towel. There are also some parts where the trail is kind of unclear so just be sure to keep your gps on you. Finally, the last couple miles is just the road and it’s extremely boring lol but overall we had a great time! The elevation altogether makes for about 75 flights of stairs so get ready for a thigh workout!

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Mark Belanger
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WalkingMuddy
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Chad Moreno
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HikingMuddy

I think we technically went backwards, which is what we intended. Parked at the trailhead and did the 2.5 mile road walk. We dropped our gear and 1 person at the trailhead so the road walk back was without packs. The next day hiking out had the all the water crossings and some climbs, and we exited right at the parking are. Great trail and scenery.

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