Hiking the Kisatchie Hills
The Kisatchie is the only national forest in the state of Louisiana, and it offers numerous trails that can make for a great day of hiking. The trails range from easy to moderate, short to long distance, and some offer a hilly landscape that is unusual in the Bayou State.
The Longleaf Vista Recreation Area has been nicknamed “Louisiana’s Little Grand Canyon”. While it’s nothing like Arizona’s Grand Canyon, this area of the Bayou State offers an unusually rocky landscape and a 1.5 mile loop trail that takes you up a series of steps to a butte, then down through a lowland forest area and across a small stream.
for Louisiana, an elevation change of more than 200 feet offers some ups and downs that make for an enjoyable hiking experience. The trail begins at the Longleaf Vista Overlook, with a paved parking area, restrooms and shaded picnic area. You also get a great overlook of the tall pines of the Kisatchie, Louisiana’s only National Forest.
The Longleaf Vista Trail is located midway between cities of Alexandria and Natchitoches Louisiana, about 10 miles west of Interstate 49.
Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest is also home to some of the darkest skies in the state. In fact, on a moonless night, you can enjoy a star-filled sky and view the milky way from the Longleaf Vista Overlook.