Resting in the heart of Louisiana, not far from New Orleans, and encompassing Tickfaw River and the surrounding area is Tickfaw State Park. The park draws nature lovers from all over the country due to its beautiful wide open setting and dozens of species of wildlife. It's the perfect spot to see big and small creatures, just be sure not to disturb any of the wildlife. This fairly new park was only established in 1999, but has quickly become one of Louisiana's most popular state parks and is a must-see stop for RVers travelling through Louisiana.
50 spacious and RV friendly campsites are available for your choosing, but the real tourist magnet in Tickfaw State Park is all the recreation it offers. Visitors at Tickfaw State Park can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, relaxing lakeside, and several amenities designed to make your stay more comfortable. Additionally, the park is open year round, making it a great vacation spot for the winter months when the weather isn't so hot and muggy. Whenever you decide to visit, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen in your RV because the sun seems to shine even hotter in the Louisiana swamps.
RV Rentals in Tickfaw State Park
Transportation in Tickfaw State Park
Tickfaw State Park is several miles off of the nearest major highway, but can be found from I-12 by taking a few exits, turning west on La Highway 1037, and travelling six miles to Patterson road. From there, driving one mile south will get you to the park entrance. The park roads are great for biking, but not as good for big rigs, so use extra caution when navigating them. Some of the roads are narrow, but are paved so experienced drivers shouldn't have too much of a problem.
Still, many visitors choose to explore the park on bike and bring an extra car to go in and out of the park. Since the park is several miles from any major towns, an extra car is recommended if you plan on staying for several consecutive nights and want an easy way to get out of the park for a supply run. Campsites can accommodate up to two vehicles, so towing an extra vehicle shouldn't pose any problems. The park also allows visitors to use golf carts, although there is a small daily usage fee and you have to have proof of insurance. There are several parking lots all over the park so finding parking, even for RVs, shouldn't be an issue.
Campgrounds and parking in Tickfaw State Park
Campsites in Tickfaw State Park
Baton Rouge KOA
The multiple award-winning Baton Rouge KOA campground is minutes from the Mississippi River and features paved roads and concrete site pads. Sites also include full hookups with up to 100 amps, Wi-Fi, and over 100 channels of cable. Baton Rouge KOA offers restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a pool with a waterfall, a wading pool, a hot tub, a pavilion, a playground, an indoor game room, and a dog park. Snacks and candy, ice cream, and cold drinks are available at the office.
Tickfaw State Park Campground
This campground is comprised of 30 improved campsites, each with water and electrical hookups, although no sewage hookups. All campsites are back-in and feature a paved parking spur for an RV or trailer. The sites are also spacious enough to have a reasonable amount of privacy from your camping neighbors. The campground is right beside a playground and only a short walk from the visitors center, fishing pier, and canoe launch. comfort station, but quite a ways away from the boardwalk. All of the sites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 73 feet in length, but most of them can accommodate rigs even larger, so make sure whatever site you reserve can fit your equipment. 20 unimproved campsites with only water hookups are also available just down the road, but the sites are smaller and can only accommodate RVs and trailers between 25 and 31 feet. Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance. 14 cabins are also available to reserve for a more luxurious camping experience or for larger families.
Tickfaw State Park Campground
Neither the improved or unimproved sites are available exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are required, but they can be made on the day of arrival if there are any spots available. The best way to make sure you get a site, and one that can accommodate your equipment, is to book in advance, especially if you plan on going during the weekends or holidays.
Seasonal activities in Tickfaw State Park
Enjoying the Water Playground
In the hot and humid summer months, the water playground at Tickfaw State Park serves as a much needed reprieve. It's a great spot for the whole family to kick back and enjoy an afternoon. It's also a great spot for the kids to play while you explore the trails if they aren't quite ready for the swampy terrains. This mini waterpark is located right beside the regular playground and is only open from April through October, so make sure to plan your visit during those months if you want to check it out. This is a great way to beat the heat during your Louisiana RV road summer road trip.
Tickfaw State Park features a catch and release fishing pond that is a few acres in size, located in close proximity to the campground. There is a long fishing pier on the pond, so it's usually not extremely crowded. Common catches from the pond include bass, brim, and catfish. You'll likely see alligators of varying sizes hanging out in the pond as well, but you probably shouldn't try to catch them. There are also several spots along the river you may be able to fish depending on what time of year you go and what condition the river is in, just check with the staff to make sure you aren't breaking any rules. So don't forget to pack your fishing gear in your camper so you can cast your line in these beautiful Louisiana waters.
Canoeing or kayaking along the Tickfaw River is a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon, as long as you have plenty of bug spray. Be sure to bring your own canoe or kayak or rent one before getting to the park because rentals are not available on-site. It's important to stay within the area allotted because alligators are known to be in the waters. Aside from the relaxing ride down the river, the best part of boating in Tickfaw State Park is the diverse ecosystems you can see, you might be surprised to learn it's not all swamps.
Louisiana is rich in wildlife, especially birds, making it a perfect spot for nature watching, whether you're exploring the trails or relaxing at your campsite. Because of the diverse ecosystems at the park there is a seemingly endless supply of plants and critters, from small crickets and spiders, to larger animals like squirrels, deer, and forest and water birds. A fun game can be counting how many different animals you can find in a given amount of time, whoever finds the most wins.
Exploring the Visitors Center
The visitors center is worth visiting year round, but you may find more time to spare during the winter to spend here. The center shows a short educational video about the history of Louisiana's state parks and gets you ready to explore the park, making it the perfect first stop when you arrive in the park. The center also features a mesmerizing 800-gallon aquarium that is definitely worth checking out and several displays about the wildlife you may encounter in the area.
Exploring the Trails
Tickfaw State Park offers both hiking and boardwalk trails that will take you throughout the park's four distinct ecosystems - a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottom land hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest, and the Tickfaw River. Although they are popular in the summer, some visitors prefer to explore them during the winter months when the mosquitoes are gone and it isn't as hot outside. The winter months also usually dump a good amount of snow in the park, giving you unparalleled views of a snow-capped Louisiana forest.