Relaxing, peaceful and beautiful are a few words that come to mind at Lake Bistineau State Park. This northwest Louisiana gem, not far from Bossier city, has 27 square miles of calm water and shady cypress trees draped with moss.
The lake is popular with anglers, who dip their hooks near the shoreline in hopes of catching bream. Or they cast for bass near the cypress trees that fill portions of the lake. But if you’d rather hold a paddle than a fishing pole, Lake Bistineau State Park is perfect for enjoying a canoe or kayak. Both are available for rent by the hour or day at the park.
paddling at lake bistineau
I met Melissa Wilkerson of Shreveport who was taking an inflatable standup paddleboard for a late afternoon float. “It’s just gorgeous out here and it’s a great way to really relax and reenter myself in nature,” Wilkerson tells me. She adds, “I get goosebumps just talking about it.” Wilkerson is part of a conservation group, the Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society, that helped mark several miles of canoe trails at the park.
experience daybreak at lake bistineau state park
I found a small fishing pier near the campground that enabled me to get over the lake before sunrise. From this viewpoint, I listened to the crickets and frogs and the occasional alligator grunt as the sun rose. It took a while for the sun’s rays to finally pierce the heavy canopy of trees that shade the lake. I was immersed in nature.
the great raft and lake bistineau
Lake Bistineau was created by the Great Raft, a massive log jam on the Red River that stretched for more than 100 miles in northwestern Louisiana. As water backed up over decades, Lake Bistineau and several other lakes were formed.
In the 1930’s a dam was built across the western end of the lake to maintain the water level for recreation. However, the lake is drained during the fall and winter months to help control the invasive salvinia plant.
lake bistineau state park features
This northwestern Louisiana state park is a favorite spot for catching bass, bream, crappie and other freshwater species. The park features more than ten miles of hiking and canoe trails. The campground has more than 60 campsites with hookups. In addition, you can rent cabins or host large gatherings at the group campsite. There is also a boat launch adjacent to the day use area with picnic pavilions. The park also offers disc golf.
lake bistineau featured on tv
GETTING to lake bistineau state park
Lake Bistineau State Park is located 30 miles southeast of Bossier City Louisiana. Address: 103 State Park Road, Doyline, LA 71023. Phone: (318) 745-3503 or (888) 677-2478.