Chicot State Park

Chicot State Park includes more than 6,400 acres in South Central Lousiana. It encompasses many different topographical features including large rolling hills and the beautiful clear waters of Lake Chicot. Fishermen flock to this place due to the record number of fresh water fish that are caught each year. The most common species are bluegil, large mouth bass and crappie, although the area is teeming with many different varieties. The park has three convenient boat launches, a boathouse, and rental facilities for those parties who don’t have their own watercraft.

The park is easily accessible from either the North or South via I-49. It is located at 3469 Chicot Park Road in Ville Platte, Louisiana. For those persons equipped with a GPS unit in their cars, the coordinates are: N 30 48.0168; W 92 16.7832. Prospective visitors can obtain more information on activities and programs being offered at the park by calling 337 363 2403 or toll free at 888 677 2442. The reservation line is 1 877 CAMP N LA or 877 226 7652. They can also be reached via email at chicot@crt.state.la.us

Camping is probably the main attraction here, and visitors come from all over the state to share accommodations here. There are five different types of covered lodging units available at Chicot State Park, and they include Standard Cabins (5 available at $70 per night), Deluxe Cabins (15 available at $90 per night), Conservation Lodge ($125 per night), Group Camp ($400 per night) and a Meeting Room ($150 per night). These all can be reserved in advanced by calling the roll free number listed above.

For those persons interested in a more adventurous vacation, there are also 400 campsites with electrical and water hookups for only $16 per night. And for the most rustic experience at this place, a primitive camping area is being offered at only $1 per person each night. This has a maximum capacity of only 20 people so space goes quickly. Special discounts are given to visitors who have a Golden Age or Golden Access Passport, which entitles the bearer to 50% off the camping fees at any of the Louisiana State Parks.

Another popular pastime for folks who come to Chicot State Park are the hiking trails that traverse the property here. There is a 20 mile long hiking trail for individuals who want a good workout or simply want to get in touch with the great outdoors. This extensive hiking/backpacking path goes completely around Lake Chicot and has many different primitive campsites along its route. It is here that visitors can real enjoy the undisturbed landscape including the hardwood timbers and the beauty of the lake. There are also sections set aside for mountain bikers, and cyclists are also free to ride any of the roads throughout this great facility. A 5.7 mile equestrian trail is devoted to horseback riding and an 8 mile canoe trails exists for water sport enthusiasts.

There are many attractions nearby that visitors will enjoy seeing as well. Some of these include:

• The Louisiana State Arboretum has beautiful beech forests, an outdoor classroom and natural travels woven among the stands of trees.
• The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center – Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve has exhibits and artifacts of the unique cultural heritage of the Prairie Acadians.
• Ville Platte is a great Acadian town which has roots in the strong French and Cajun traditions as exhibited by it food, music and French language that is still spoken here.
• Opelousas was the Confederate capital of the state during the Civil War and also lays claims to be the early home of Jim Bowie.
• Washington was once upon a time the largest steamboat port on the Southern Mississippi river. Many of the architectural features have been preserved in the downtime shops and visitors can peruse the antique mall and small stores that are open there.
• The Thistelewaite Wildlife Management Area is an 11,000 acre tract of land which has been set aside for wildlife. Visitors can hunt (in season), view the wildlife there or simply bird watch.

Chicot State Park is open from 6 am to 9 pm on Sunday through Thursday. The other days of the week it remains open until 10 pm and on days that come before holidays. At an affordable entrance fee of only $1 for adults, and free for seniors over 62, and children under the age of 4, this is an excellent place to get away for a weekend.