Central Louisiana's protected outdoor land ranges from rocky and hilly to rolling plains and woodlands to tupelo swamps. In addition to more than 600,000 acres found in Kisatchie National Forest, Central Louisiana maintains nearly 470,000 acres, including 17 wildlife management areas and four national wildlife refuges.
Each area offers recreation and education. National wildlife refuges, in particular, focus on conserving the area’s habitat and wildlife. Covering approximately 60,000 acres, these protected areas allow low-impact activities to preserve the natural environment. Activities include hiking, boating, photography, wildlife viewing, restricted fishing and restricted hunting.
State parks and wildlife management areas provide boat rentals and overnight cabins and allow camping and water sports. While visitors explore the land, they can also benefit from on-site interpretive centers. State parks and historic sites frequently include visitor centers with additional information and maintain facilities offering exhibits, books, videos and other educational resources.
Maintaining four of the five ranger districts in Central Louisiana, Kisatchie National Forest incorporates multi-use trails winding from half a mile in length to nearly 30 miles. Visitors use these trails for everything from hiking and camping to horseback riding and mountain biking. Southwest of Alexandria, the Kincaid Lakes in the Calcasieu Ranger District offer popular water skiing and swimming spots.