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

7 days 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.

I walked the full loop today. Came out to 5.2 miles. The path is easy to read with virtually no elevation changes. Plenty to look at, no problem for any age. Half is a walk in the woods other half is on a dirt road. Would definitely use bug juice in warmer months.

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!!

Love this singletrack trail!! Even after several visits, it still doesn't disappoint. Be sure to pack a tent and stay the weekend. The trails consist of the primary trail and a beginner trail. The primary trail is approx. 10 miles and has a little bit over everything such as, switchbacks, fast downhills, jumps, straight hill-climbs, etc... The beginner is a great place to start if you're just looking for an easy off-road ride or new to MTB'ing. There are also hikers/trail runners on the trail at times so everyone watch out for each other :)

18 days ago

We entered the loop at the Walker Branch landing and headed north around the lake. camped overnight at site number 6 which offered a lakeside view in a marshy section. We filtered water from the lake despite the murky color. There was only one moving stream for filtering the entire trail. There were fireflies and coyotes around our campsite, but we had an uneventful rest. We found plenty of down branches for a campfire in the provided fire ring. On our hike out we encountered a group of wild hogs and an armadillo. The bugs are pretty thick so treat your equipment and bring an effective repellant. We encountered some hilly sections that provided a decent challenge. Overall we had a good hike with only a few muddy sections.

19 days 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.

Very easy hike/walk. Great for children or those not experienced on trails. Nice pavilions for picnicking and a gazebo on pond for enjoyment. A very quiet trail and it is well marked. The restrooms do stay locked, so be prepared to hold it or go in the woods.

I enjoy loop trails and lake views. This trail offers both. We saw a deer, found the trail to be well-maintained and marked. It had rained just previously and we were able to walk the trail with no difficulty.

Considering it’s in the heart of Baton Rouge, it’s a great trail. My son, who is 6, was a trooper and walked the entire trail no problem. The boardwalk is a great change of scenery and had some pretty views. We saw some frogs, egrets, and a water moccasin. Pretty good outing for a February.

Great workout!

Easy but hot!

Easy hike with kids. Wish I could bring the dog!

Wonderful, easy trail with tons of history, flora and fauna. We saw a few gators off the trail too...so beware.

Well maintained trail. The trail floods during heavy rains cutting off most of the trail. Very easy hike.

Wish we could have seen it. It’s completely shut down and we couldn’t find a way to even park and walk to the trail unfortunately.

Had a great time. One of our favorite place for a nice easy hike. Hardly anyone else one the trails today. Saw quite a few deer

40 degrees and sunny. Saw lots of birds, squirrel. Very good concrete walking and biking trail, which allows to have dogs on leashes. I walked 2 Miles at 40 minutes with my dogs pace, can spend all day here just roaming around the grounds

Walk this at least twice a week with my boxer. Great atmosphere. You can chose concrete or dirt trail by walking next to concrete as is been worn down by folks. You will see the occasional horses on the horse trail. Lost of birds and photoesque type opportunities.

2 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.

We were the only people on this trail on 1/5/18. Weather was 29-37 degrees w/partly sunny skies. The trail was well marked with red blazes though it does cross the road a few times, we had no problem picking up the trail. One water crossing that was deeper than ankle deep but there was a fallen tree to go over. Trail was well maintained and no roots invisible under leaves covering the ground.

6.2 loop. Bathroom at the 3 mile point and water available.

Variety of trails at this refuge. We combined the trails to make a long loop around the lake and along the river. Not a difficult hike, well marked. Several benches along the trail for anyone who may need to take a break, also found a cutoff where there was a nice outlook on the river. We took the dogs, and they had a wonderful time! Good little hidden hiking spot in the Shreveport area!

2 months ago

was my first hike ever. and was a solo adventure. trails are well marked and easy to navigate.

New Years Day. Very cold today but good for bird viewing and trails were clear of all water. Wonderful opportunity for family ramble.

Great loop trail, with some technical trail running. Well marked, and a bathroom along the way. Saw deer a few times too!

mountain biking
2 months ago

Beautiful! Rode through the woods and saw 3 Bald Eagles flying around just overhead, then rode out on the boardwalk in/on the big marsh...nice view over the water. Then we rode over to the pier at the day use area where there’s a spectacular view of Lake Ponchatrain and the 24-mile road bridge running across it. I would love to come back again when we have more time to hang around.

Nice easy hike. Came on the off season so it was extremely quiet! Definitely coming back for more.

3 months ago

This little network of trails in City Park is one of my favorite places where I can go to escape “the city.” The end of Fall is an ideal time to go as there are few bugs and people on the trails, but plenty of birds in the trees. On this last trip, I spotted some Wilson’s Warblers, yellow-rumped warblers, anhingas, mallards, and a Brown pelican on the water. The hill in the middle of the forest is a nice climb for being in New Orleans. One you reach the top, there is a large concrete map of the city. Huge sycamore leaves can be found on the ground this time of year. I don’t come here enough and I hope to change that.

I am definitely going back here, probably to stay overnight. I loved the trail. perfect for a 1 day trip from nola.

scenic driving
3 months ago

Great drive through the gardens with lots of wildlife. Love the Chinese garden with the 900+ year old Buddha statue inside the temple. Don’t forget about the Tabasco Factory tours right next door to the gardens.

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