A mountain bike trail where you least expect it – in the gentle hills of southern Louisiana. Off-road bicycling enthusiasts have spent the last few years helping to design and build several trails that go from beginner to extreme in Bogue Chitto State Park.
It’s been a perfect match. A group of off-road bicyclers teamed up with Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, Louisiana to create a system of mountain bike trails that will get your heart pumping. “It’s quite hilly for South Louisiana,” explains park manager Tony Frickey. And with an elevation change of about 200 feet, Frickey says, “we were able to use some of these rises and falls in the bike trail system.”
mountain bike trails for all skill levels
The state park now features 12 miles of mountain bike trails. And they are designed for all skill levels. Members of the Northshore Off-Road Bicycling Association (NORBA) and other volunteers provided thousands of hours of labor. In addition, they secured grants and payed contractors to do the heavy construction work. “I always joke this trail system is for somebody that’s 2 years old, all the way up to 80 years old,” says NORBA’s Toby Cortez. “So it’s actually for the experts, the black diamond riders, and it’s for the beginners.”
massive drops on the mountain bike trails
If you watched the video, you saw a few hair-raising jumps and drops. These are for skilled riders only on the park’s black diamond trail. “It looks like you’re going off of a diving board,” explains Cortez. He adds, “You are actually going over bikers going through the trail”. And to get that experience, you can work out in a progressive jump park. Side-by-side trails feature jump effects that go from beginner to intermediate and advanced.
bogue chitto a destination for outdoor adventure
With the opening of the new mountain bike trails in April, 2021, Bogue Chitto State Park is packed with outdoor activities. The Bogue Chitto River has long been a destination for tubing and paddling. And hikers can spend a couple of hours on the Gorge Run Trail. The trail loops from the park’s higher elevations down to the river and back. A boardwalk takes you down a series of wooden steps to the bottom of the gorge known as Fricke’s Cave where the nature trail continues for another two-thirds of a mile. The state park also has horeseback riding and rentals, disc golf, picnic areas, camping and cabins. The bike trails and other day-use activities are available for a $3 entrance fee.