Trails & Good Times Fawn V. Hernandez The name Kisatchie was selected due to a local tribe of Kichai Indians of the Caddoan Confederacy, who called themselves Kitsatchie. The interesting history of Kisatchie started with its transition from private to public land and is steeped in the lumber industry in the 1800’s and 1900’s. Due to a failing economy and the approach of the Great Depression, many sawmills abandoned the area prompting the Forest Services department to slowly purchase the land at deep discounts. This land became the five ranger districts of Kisatchie: Calcasieu, Caney, Catahoula, Kisatchie and Winn. These five districts are spread across seven parishes in central and north Louisiana and encompass 604,000 acres. That’s a lot of space to enjoy!
Kisatchie offers many spectacular trails for running, hiking, riding ATVs and biking. There are many trails that horse riding is allowed on as well. Local Acadiana resident, Colby Albarado, has this to say about the area, “Kisatchie National Forest is my favorite place to get out into nature… it’s well maintained and close to Lafayette. I really enjoy the trail systems they have built there; I use it mainly for running and mountain biking. It’s a massive area, and you really can’t get bored with the place. There are many lakes and
recreation areas that are great places to spend the weekend outdoors. I’ve also participated in the triathlon that they have each year at Indian Creek, which is a blast. Several of my friends have tackled the Wild Azalea Trail Challenge and really enjoy it. Spending half a day on the trails is really relaxing whether you’re riding, running or hiking. I always leave there feeling mentally recharged.”
A Few Popular Trails are: Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail (1.5 mile loop) Wild Azalea Trail (26 mile loop) Sandstone Trail (31 mile loop, open to ATVs) Kincaid Lake Trail (9 mile loop) Backbone Trail (9.9 mile loop) Caroline Dormon Trail (10.4 mile point to point)
…And so much more!
While some of us are perfectly content playing on trails all day some of our friends or family may occasionally want to experience Kisatchie in other ways. There is a surprisingly diverse range of activities available in Louisiana’s only national forest.
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