Chicot State Park Louisiana is a 6,000-acre wonderland of rolling hills, lush forests, and and crystal clear lakes. In all four seasons, people flock to Chicot to enjoy the great outdoors, go camping, have some fun, and step away from the hustle and bustle of the every day.
The park is located in Ville Platte, south of Alexandria. Whether you want to go boating, watch wildlife, go hiking, or spend time away from the television, you'll find things to do at Chicot State Park that you'll enjoy. The park is open seven days a week year-round; seniors and children under the age of three can visit for free. Everyone else is charged a nominal fee to enter the park. Like the Kisatchie National Forest, this outdoor wonderland is interesting in every season.
Lake Chicot is a favorite place to visit at the state park. Anglers know the lake as a fine place to catch freshwater fish, including crappies, bluegill, and red-ear sunfish. Some catches of large-mouth bass have broken records. The lake at Chicot State Park Louisiana is well equipped with conveniences for fun on the water with boat rentals, a boathouse, and plenty of launch sites.
When the weather is warm, which is quite often in southern Louisiana, Lake Chicot provides a setting for watersports. It's also a popular spot for canoeing and swimming during those hot and humid days on the bayou. A vendor onsite offers rentals for canoes and boats. Both of the packages come with paddles and life jackets.
When you're looking for things to do at Chicot State Park, you could make a visit to the Louisiana State Arboretum. Over the years, the beech trees and magnolia forest have grown into a magnificent outdoor wonderland. Before you start strolling along the nature trails, you can stop into the visitor center. The Caroline Dormon Lodge—named for the naturalist and author who led the charge to create America's first state-owned arboretum—is filled with interesting interpretive exhibits. You'll also have the chance to see a cowcumber, a type of magnolia only found in a few parts of Louisiana.
Wildlife watching, a favorite pastime at the arboretum, is also one of the popular things to do at Chicot State park. White-tailed deer are best spotted early in the morning and at sunset. Possums, racoons, and squirrels are in plentiful supply on the rolling hills of Ville Platte. Birdwatchers are also in their element here. On tours, birdwatchers will have the chance to see wild turkey and migrating birds in season. The park is home to a twenty-mile-long hiking trail, along with a six-mile equestrian trail.
You also can consider Chicot State Park Louisiana for camping vacations, whether you want to pitch a tent or spend the night in one of the comfortable cabins at Chicot State Park. A primitive came site can accommodate up to twenty people, while 208 sites offer water and electrical hookups. Camping fees, which are low to begin with, are cut in half at all Louisiana state parks for those who hold Golden Age & Golden Access Passports from the National Park Service.
The expansive park is also an option for vacation rentals. The cabins at Chicot State Park can sleep up to six people. Five standard cabins are scattered throughout the park, while fifteen newer deluxe cabins add to the amenities with well-stocked kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows, and more space.
Other options for cabins at Chicot State Park include a rustic lodge that accommodates up to twelve people per night. A group camp, complete with five cabins, a larger dormitory, and a dining hall can also be reserved. Whichever accommodations you choose, you'll enjoy comfortable surroundings and fantastic scenery.
Image: Louisiana Dept of Tourism