Louisiana and Mississippi have many different options close by to enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of rolling hills, swamp walks, and wooded forests, rivers, lakes, swamps, and more. You can check out a few of the local hot-spots and options below.
- First on the list is the Bogue Chitto State Park that was mentioned under campground destinations. There are many trails that feature rolling hills and sandy beaches.
- Clark Creek features about 50 waterfalls, ranging in size from 10 feet to 50 feet. Check out the primitive trail at https://www.mdwfp.com/parks-destinations/state-parks/clark-creek
- Comite River park is a little smaller at 100 acres, however, it features a 5.5 mile trail that runs along the banks of the Comite River and Cypress Bayou. http://www.brec.org/index.cfm/park/comite
- Fontainebleau State Park also features a couple nice trails. https://www.crt.state.la.us/louisiana-state-parks/parks/fontainebleau-state-park/
Kayaking and Canoeing Launch Sites
- Cane Bayou is a local favorite. It’s a great trip through hardwoods and march that ends at Lake Pontchartrain. You’ll find it where Hwy 190 crosses Cane Bayou.
- The Bayou Bonfouca launch site is located at the Heritage Park Boat launch in Slidell, LA
- The Tchefuncte River has several options. There is the end of Lake Rd in Madisonville that places you near Lake Pontchartrain, The Hwy 22 Bridge in the town of Madisonville, Three Rivers Rd a little further up-river, and the 4th Street boat launch that gives you the option of heading further up-river to get away from the boat traffic and access to the Bogue Falaya and Abita Rivers.
- Lake Road or Big Branch Wildlife Refuge are great places to launch in Lacombe, LA. Check out https://www.bayouadventure.com/ for tours or rental options.
Several of the campgrounds listed HERE also have great options for fishing with the ponds, rivers and lakes on site. Here are some other spots that don’t require a boat to fish.
- The Parish of St. Tammany built a pier a couple years ago in Slidell, LA that extends out into Lake Pontchartrain. At times, people catch Redfish, Speckled Trout, Sheepshead and a few others. http://www.sttammanyfishingpier.com/
- Mandeville’s Sunset Point also has a fishing pier just east of the causeway on Lake Pontchartrain. http://www.cityofmandeville.com/public-parks
- Lake Rd in Lacombe is popular for crabing and fishing on the road side.
Louisiana is home to some beautiful birds and other wildlife. Here are some of the popular trails and viewing areas.
- Big Branch marsh is a federal refuge that includes many areas to explore in its 15,000 acres.
- The Pearl River Wildlife Management area has a dedicated block that isn’t open to hunting, giving you access to birdwatch year round. http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789
- In the Abita Flatwoods Preserve, you can walk along an informative boardwalk that runs through portions of the preserve and view pine-dominated wetland communities, including longleaf pine savanna, longleaf flatwoods, bayhead swamp, and slash pine-pond cypress woodland. https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/abita-creek-flatwoods-preserve/
- Also be sure to stop by the Northlake Nature Center that is located across from Fontainebleau State Park on Bayou Castine, just east of Mandeville, LA https://northlakenature.org/