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In the heart of the Bayou State, located just half an hour northwest of Washington and an hour north of Lafayette, is the small town of Ville Platte, home to one of the largest and oldest state parks in Louisiana: Chicot State Park.
With help from the CCC and National Parks Service, Chicot State Park was adopted into the Louisiana State Parks system in 1939 as part of the New Deal. It remains both highly visited and well-preserved.
Renting an RV is one of the best ways to visit Chicot State Park. Explore the hiking and biking trails, do a bit of kayaking around Lake Chicot, or just take in the wildlife that surrounds you in the bayou. Book an RV in Evangeline Parish and get your trip on the move.
Chicot State Park is the largest state park in Louisiana with over 20 miles of hiking trails, one of which wraps around the lake. This path gives you a great view of the lake and the wildlife that surrounds it, and it's also perfect for mountain biking. One of the trails takes you to the Louisiana State Arboretum, which has an outdoor classroom and rests in the heart of the serene beech and magnolia forest.
RV campers at Chicot State Park who love the water could be excited to hear that Lake Chicot is 1,642 acres of swimming, boating, and fishing fun! Put on your swimwear and take that relaxing dip in the water that you deserve. Maybe cast your line out there and see what you can pull ashore. Red-ear sunfish and bluegill have been known to bite, and, if you’re lucky, you might even reel in a whopping largemouth bass. Take your catch back to your RV camper and feed the whole family.
Interested in checking off a few of those special birds from your birding checklist? Grab your binoculars and look to the sky. South Central, Louisiana is a great place for birding. You just might find a tri-colored heron, roseate spoonbill, greater white-fronted goose, or a black-necked stilt. These are just a few of the species that you might spot in the Chicot State Park area.
If you’re camping in an RV rental at Chicot State Park, you can choose from around 200 RV campsites that provide water and 30-amp electrical hookups. Pull-through sites are also available to accommodate rigs up to 70 feet long. There are no sewer hookups, but you'll find public bathrooms, showers, dump stations, and laundry facilities on-site. Boat launches can be found on the North and South Landings.
You can enjoy the great outdoors with the whole family, because pets are welcome at all RV camping sites at Chicot State Park. Dogs are not allowed in the cabins or in public buildings; however, if they're on a leash and well-behaved, they can hang out at the RV camping area with you or even hike the trails.
Maybe you fancy an afternoon observing fine art? A mere one-hour drive south will land you at the Zigler Art Museum in the town of Jennings. This museum offers a wide variety of new, fine art to peruse and admire. Zigler Art Museum is always alive with events, demonstrations, and exhibits that are suitable for people of all ages. Find their calendar online to see what's new there while you're in the area.
If the bayou has got you excited about new and interesting animals, just take a short, one-hour drive north of Chicot State Park to the Alexandria Zoo in Alexandria, LA. There, you can see a whole world of animals that you might not see anywhere else. Watch the majestic green anaconda wrapped through the branches of a tree or find out what the heck a Patagonian cavy is. Check the zoo's website for details on upcoming community events.
The city of Lafayette is nearby as well and loaded with fun things to do. Brave the Southern waters with Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tours. Rent a kayak and take your crew on a trip through the swamp to see the amazing wildlife up close and personal with a professional tour guide.
While there are no gas stations in the park itself, you'll find a few nearby to fill up your motorhome camper before you hit the road. The city of Ville Platte is considered the Smoked Meat Capital of the World, so if barbecue makes your stomach rumble, there will be plenty of places for you to chow down before you hit the highway.