In south-central Louisiana, seven miles north of Ville Platte, lies the biggest and one of the oldest state parks in Louisiana, Chicot State Park, which houses one of the world's most breathtaking landscapes. With Chicot State Park encompassing 6,400 acres of land you can bet there are no shortage of recreational activities for RV campsites here. The exceptional beauty of Chicot State Park is a magnet for RV campers and adventurous souls. A small share of the park is dominated by the 200-acre man-made Lake Chicot. Surrounded by hills, Chicot State Park has ample space to commune with nature. From hiking and cycling to wildlife viewing, paddling, and fishing, everything about the park hits the spot.
No RV guest should miss the Louisiana State Arboretum, right after the park’s main entrance, where you will find 600 acres of land that is dedicated to preservation of Louisiana indigenous plants. With over 150 plant species ranging from magnolia and sycamores to oak and ferns plant and nature lovers will have a field day hiking miles of trails along the forest ecosystem.
RV Rentals in Chicot State Park
Transportation in Chicot State Park
Located just a few miles away from Ville Platte, it is easy to get to Chicot State Park. The road leading to Chicot State Park is accessible by car and RV. In some sections of the campground the roads are narrow, steep, and hilly, especially in South Landing this can be tricky for campers with large trailers. Some campsites may need leveling. Also low hanging branches may limit accessibility to some campsites. During heavy downfall some pavement may be impassable and some services may close.
Depending on where you are staying or your area of interest you will find many parking areas from the entrance all the way to the lake and the campsites. If you want to access the boat launch and boardwalk on Lake Chicot there is a parking lot centrally located. Of course, you can also park at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Chicot State Park
Campsites in Chicot State Park
Chicot State Park RV Camping
Chicot State Park has 198 pet-friendly campsites with water and electricity hookups. The two campgrounds of North Landing and South Landing are suitable for RVs, trailers, and tents. Both campsites feature amazing amenities such as hot showers, picnic tables, a boat launch, a dump station, fire grill, docks, fishing pier, and lodges. In addition, Northern Landing futures a laundry facility, plus group and back country camping sites. Though campers are free to camp in either camping area, Northern Landing is more RV-friendly as its sites are well-spaced, more level, and the paths are easier to navigate for larger trailers. The Southern Landing campsites are located adjacent to the main entrance, providing better views of the lake and are more geared towards tent camping. Sites vary in length, but some can accommodate vehicles up to 76 feet long.
Reservations are open up to 13 months in advance and the park recommends that guests should book at least a day in advance prior to camping with a minimum of two nights reservation. The maximum length of each stay is 15 days. Chicot State Park has plenty of huge mosquitoes after dusk so you should carry bug repellent with you. Also remember to keep your food items secure as the raccoons here have perfected their art of gaining access to food. There is no Wi-Fi and cell signal is very weak. Not far from the park you can drive to Ville Platte if you need replenish your groceries, access your emails, or go shopping.
If you would rather soak up the serenity and solitude of nature, there are six primitive camping sites along the Lake Chicot shorelines, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be able to hike to these sites. While they lack the many amenities of the campgrounds, these sites do offer spectacular views of the lake you might not find anywhere else.
Seasonal activities in Chicot State Park
Playing at the Water Playground
Chicot State Park offers a unique attraction the whole family can enjoy, a water playground. Open from April until October, the water playground is a perfect place for kids of all ages to splash around in the water. There is a paved area with fountains that sprout from the ground and cascade down with water so you can run around and cool off from the hot sun.
Fresh Water Fishing
Lake Chicot boasts of being a great fishing habitat with fish species ranging from bluegill and crappie to sunfish and largemouth bass, thus attracting many anglers to the facility. To ensure that you have a great fishing experience Chicot State Park has two huge and well-maintained docks on each camping ground to fish from. Fishing can also be done from the shore. Additionally, there are three boat launches and a boathouse available.
A visit to Chicot State Park is never complete without hiking. There are multiple mini trails through the woods spread across the vast park. They all branch from or join the main extensive 20-mile Chicot Loop Trail. Depending on your interest and hiking ability you may choose a trail those appeals to you. To easily navigate the major trail you need to be armed with a map, usually offered at the gate, plenty of water, and be physically fit since some sections are quite hilly. There are primitive camping sites located along the lake for avid backpackers. Also remember to pack bug spray, light hiking gear, and a long-sleeved shirt in your camper because Chicot State Park is heavily invested with ticks, flies and bugs. The plant and trees are well labeled for easier identification.
Chicot State Park plays to host to a variety of wildlife. From the commonly sighted animals such as raccoons, deer, armadillos, turtles to the occasionally sighted animals including coyotes, bobcat, and snakes, you are always assured of encountering wildlife during your RV trip here. Be on the lookout for black bears and some poisonous snakes which inhabit the park.
Being near a renowned migratory bird route you will find several birds species in Chicot State Park. You may either park your RV in the two available RV parking slots in the Arboretum or in Chicot State Park. If you are keen enough you will spot numerous animals and birds on the Chicot State Park Loop Trail and the Arboretum Loop including otters, ducks, hawks, songbirds, and owls. Another favorite birding spot is on the shores of Lake Chicot where wading birds and other birds prey on the fish. Early morning and evening stroll provides the best opportunity to spot them.
If you are a fan of canoeing you can have your canoe or kayak and life jacket packed in your RV. There is a designated and clearly marked eight-mile canoe trail in Lake Chicot. You can access the paddling trail from either of the campsite boat launches. The trail is divided into three segments which are well interconnected. The canoe experience gives epic views of the scenery and aquatic animals such as frogs and fish. Be careful when paddling as the trail might have some wasp nests. Canoes are also available for rent.