In addition to our 12 Trails of Christmas this holiday season, we are giving you bonus blog posts to accompany videos from our Ambassadors and Staff. Today Ambassador Heather shows us hiking at Chicot State Park and Lake Chicot in Louisiana.
Since, I got back into hiking, I have been trying to visit as many of the state parks in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana as I can. I live in North Louisiana on the border of Texas. I am also very close to Arkansas. Even though I have lived in Louisiana for all my adult life and a lot of my childhood, I have not hiked or visited but a few of the state parks. I had talked to my husband (who is also my frequent hiking buddy) about what I wanted to do.
He of course was very supportive. I came home one day after a really hard day at work. He had some surprising news. He had planned a getaway for us over the weekend. He told me to get our gear together. We took our RV and headed South to Ville Platte, Louisiana to the Chicot State Park.
Now for you who are not familiar with Louisiana weather, it is hot, humid, and did I say hot and humid yet?!?!?
When we got there, we checked in, got our spot, and maps. The lady after giving us our map and tags also gave us a piece of paper with a warning on it. She pointed to a huge sign and told us beware of the ticks. This part of Louisiana had seen a rise in ticks. They blamed it on Louisiana not having a very cold winter the past few years.
They suggested using Permethrin along with a spray with Deet. I did not let this deter me! I was determined to still go hiking. I did use precaution with the ticks. With that said, we set up our camper and got our gear together to go hike.
There are several smaller trails that make up one big loop trail around Chicot State Park. We only got to do two of the trails there. One of the trails we did was the Walker Trail. It is one of those smaller trails that make up the big loop trail. It was a little over a mile, and a neat little trail. The next one we did was the Lake Chicot Arboretum Loop. This trail was so cool. You could do one of the smaller trails or loop in to do the big loop around the Arboretum. It was amazing to see the different types wildlife and vegetation all in one place.
They had signs to tell about the different tress, plants, and animals. There were swamp areas that had bridges to walk across. A few hills and difficult spots too. We saw two types of snakes, one venomous, one not.
We saw several squirrels, birds, and heard and saw a mama hog and her babies. Even though it warned on some of the signs about the black bear we did not get to see one on this trip. All in all, the trail was 3.6 miles. It took us an hour and a half to finish. We were drenched with sweat by the end. Remember, what I said about that famous Louisiana weather.
I am excited to say I have been to that State Park and can check that one off my list. I have several more to go before I can say I have visited all the State Parks in my state. But, I am proud to have one more down. Now, to get busy and get the rest of them done. If you are ever in Louisiana, I hope you will visit the Chicot State Park and The Arboretum beside it. Till next time, Happy Wandering my friends.