BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
KISATCHIE NATIONAL FOREST600,000 acres. Kisatchie National Forest consists of eight separate tracts of land in north-central and northern Louisiana. Scenery here includes some steep 400-foot hills, low mesas, and rocky outcrops with nice views.
There are many lakes and streams, and the 19-mile Saline Bayou National Wild and Scenic River is here as well, along with the Kisatchie Bayou, which has rough rapids and sandy beaches.
Kisatchie has one designated wilderness area, the 8,700-acre Kisatchie Hills Wilderness. Forests throughout the region consist of mixed hardwoods and pine. Among the wildlife are deer and fox.
Activities: There are a number of trails for backpacking and hiking. Included are the 31-mile Wild Azalea Trail (see entry page 182), the 11-mile Whiskey Chitto Trail, the 10-mile Lakeshore Trail, and the 10-mile Big Branch Trail.
Horseback riding is available on the new 12.8-mile Caroline Dormon Hiking and Horse Trail, plus a couple of other trails, as well as on old roads. Biking is another option outside of the designated wilderness area.
Canoeing is possible on numerous lakes, and feasible at times on the Saline Bayou River and the Kisatchie Bayou. Fishing is available, and hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed almost anywhere, except near day use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are required.
Two Wildlife Management Preserves are located inside the National Forest, and camping within these areas is restricted to designated sites during hunting season (October 1- April 30).
Since summers are usually hot and humid here, and the winters mild, the best period to camp in this National Forest is from fall through spring.
For Further Information: Kisatchie National Forest, P.O. Box 5500, 2500 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360; (318) 473-7160.