Chicot State Park is home to the Louisiana State Arboretum with miles of nature trails for viewing seasonal wildflowers. The arboretum’s hiking trails take you over forested ridges and down to a cypress bottomland swamp.
Even a cloudy spring day does not disappoint the casual hiker exploring the arboretum’s more than 5.5 miles of nature trails. The State Arboretum contains most of the habitats commonly found in Louisiana, from upland forests to the swampy lowlands around Lake Chicot. The trails are easy to follow and well-marked with signs that identify dozens of native trees and plants. And the blooming wildflowers change with the seasons.
variety of scenery at chicot state park
The Arboretum’s trails wind their way through thick forests. Hikers experience the ups and downs of climbing ridges and then dropping to creek crossings. The more than 200 feet of elevation change provides a comfortable level of exercise for the casual hiker. Because of the hilly terrain, the trails usually drain well after a rain and boardwalks keep you above the water-filled swamp bottomland.
see what it’s like to hike the trails
Chicot state Park’s changing seasons
On my visit in early Spring, the new leaves on the trees are a brilliant green color. And you can see flowers blooming on bushes, hanging vines, as well as tiny flowers peaking through the brown leafy ground cover. It’s good to pause occasionally and look closely at the small flowers. They can be spectacular.
protecting nature at the arboretum
A walk along the nature trails at the Arboretum at Chicot State Park is a perfect family outing. But please leave the pets at home and it’s best to stay on the trail. Removing or damaging any plants or animals is strictly prohibited. There are plenty of rest stops with benches along the trails but picnicking is also prohibited and should be done in one of the many picnic areas in the state park.
More to see at the visitors center
Begin your journey at the Louisiana State Arboretum’s visitor’s center inside Chicot State Park. Here, you can see examples of the native animals that live in this 600-acre site. You can also learn more about the plants and geology of this unique location.
getting to chicot state park
The Louisiana State Arboretum and nature trails are located inside Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, LA.