Chicot State Park
On a secluded backroad of Evangeline Parish you’ll find the peaceful Chicot State Park. The park covers over 6400 acres of rolling hills and water and is one of our favorite camping getaways in Louisiana.
For the fisherman and water enthusiast, the park has three boat launches and boat rental facilities. Lake Chicot has yielded record catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and red-ear sunfish.
The park has two camping areas – the North Landing and South Landing – with nearly 400 camping spots for campers and tents. We like to pick our own spot so when we arrive, we always go through the camping area to see what’s available. My own preference is the South Landing because some of the campsites are more secluded for tenting. Some sites also have 25×16-foot decks which are very nice for putting up a canopy. All sites have water, electrical hookups, and a picnic table.
The South Landing has an Olympic-sized pool opened between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends which is supervised by certified lifeguards. It also has a large playground and picnicking areas.
Chicot State Park Deer
You’ll spot deer in the park in the early mornings and evenings. We learned on our last trip that park rangers feed the deer in the picnic area across from the South Landing Camping Area about 7:15 in the morning. Get there around 7 and you’ll see deer stepping out of the woods from all directions. You can park on the side of the road and the deer will be no more than a few yards away. Our last day’s count was 22!
The park also is home to bandits – of the raccoon variety. Make sure you have all your food supplies secured because these bear-sized critters (okay, I exaggerate . . . a little) come out at night and raid unsuspecting campsites. FYI: Coons can open ice chests . . . and they like eggs.
Chicot State Park Deluxe Cabin
The South Landing includes cabins, a group camp and lodge. We stayed at one of the new deluxe cabins this October and it was simply beautiful. Each morning we were greeted to the picturesque lake through the huge picture windows in the living room and kitchen. The cabins have fireplaces, a furnished kitchen, and two bedrooms which sleep 8 (including the sleeper sofa). A large screened porch houses a picnic table. The barbeque grill sits on a landing outside the porch and you can walk down to the wharf. Bring your own boat and you’re literally on the water in seconds.
Chicot State Park has an extensive hiking/backpacking trail which completely encircles Lake Chicot. It offers several primitive campsites along the way.
Louisiana State Arboretum
Walking the trails in Louisiana State Arboretum
The Louisiana State Arboretum is located next to Chicot State Park and now has its main entrance located inside the park. The Caroline Dormon Lodge is still located on Highway 3042 and you can also hike the trails from that location. The arboretum has 600 acres and 6 miles of hiking trails. Trails vary from .3 to 1.5 miles. Trails are hilly with trees and plants marked along the paths. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and take water! Bring spray for ticks and mosquitoes, too!
What Cajun Daughters Love about Ville Platte: For a peaceful, quiet getaway, Chicot State Park and Ville Platte fit the bill. Another thing we like: seems like every little convenience store has a butcher stocked with the freshest, local meat.