You probably don’t expect to find a challenging mountain bike trail in Louisiana, a state known for its flat land and swamps. But biking “The Beast” in St. Francisville will change your mind.
This sports complex just north of St. Francisville is known for its baseball diamonds and soccer fields. But there is a secluded trail buried in the woods and deep river ravines behind the ballpark that is popular with hikers and those who want to bike “The Beast”.
the challenge of biking the beast
“The Beast” is a challenge for bikers because of its steep drop offs as the trail twists and turns its way through the heavy woods. The trail starts on a plateau and falls steeply toward a creek bed. The trail requires strength and balance for those biking it. One feature called “The Escalator” takes bikers down a steep wooden ramp to a narrow earthen ridge followed by a sharp turn. There is little room for error here.
The ups and downs of the trail continue for nearly six miles for those biking The Beast. The trail is usable year-round for mountain biking and for hikers who want to experience the frequent elevation changes. However, rains can sometimes create slick or muddy spots along the trail.
More area attractions
In addition to mountain biking and hiking, the city of St. Francisville, located 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge, is a popular stop for tourists. The area is steeped in history with some homes that date to the early 1800s. This area once staged a revolt and declared its independence from Spain in 1810. The revolutionaries formed the short-lived Republic of West Florida. St. Francisville is also located near the Civil War battle site at Port Hudson.
getting to “the beast” biking trail
The West Feliciana Sports Park is located at 10226 W. Felicians Pkwy, St. Francisville, LA.