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Kisatchie National Forest

Kisatchie National Forest for Scenic Hiking and Boating

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As Louisiana’s only national forest, Kisatchie National Forest covers more than 600,000 acres and crosses into seven Louisiana parishes. Five Ranger Districts manage the more than 40 developed recreation sites and several wild, roadless areas which protect the state’s essential native habitats. These sites facilitate a number of activities and act as resources for nature education. 

The Kisatchie landscape ranges from hilly, rocky and steep, pine-covered terrain to flat woodlands and wetlands. The various districts, spread throughout Central and Northeast Louisiana, also include multiple natural and scenic rivers, totaling 130 miles of protected boating opportunities.

Some of the best hiking trails in Louisiana navigate the forest, including the Backbone Trail, the Caroline Dormon Trail and the Wild Azalea Trail. The Chief of the U.S. Forest Service designated the more than 20 miles of scenic, hilly terrain on the Wild Azalea Trail as a National Recreation Trail. While backpackers might tackle its entire length, multiple roadways bisect the trail for shorter outings. 

Any one of the trails and waterways provides opportunities for fishing, photography or wildlife viewing, with several of the hiking trails also available for mountain biking and horseback riding.