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Explore Gardens, Rivers & Reservoirs

Louisiana’s central region features some of the best recreation the Bayou State has to offer.

Alexander State Forest

Encompassing approximately 8,000 acres in central Louisiana, Alexander State Forest is an outdoors person's paradise. Specifically, the 2,250-acre Indian Creek Lake & Recreation Area is a boater's haven and its three beaches provide summer-time fun.

Visitors can also drop a line in the lake or trek along the Indian Creek hiking trail through the forest. The park is located in the town of Woodworth – just south of Alexandria and east of the Kisatchie National Forest.

Chicot State Park

Set just north of Ville Platte in Evangeline Parish, Chicot State Park covers over 6,400 acres – plus the 2,000-acre lake.

Anglers are welcome to Lake Chicot’s many bass, bluegill, and crappie, while land lovers enjoy hiking, cycling, and picnicking.

Hodges Gardens State Park

West-central Louisiana is home to a scenic cluster of state parks. Set just north of Leesville, Hodges Gardens State Park is found along U.S. Highway 171 and encompasses more than 700 acres.

An incredible historic spot, the park features gardens, mild hiking trails, horseback riding, an arboretum, and the Azalea Overlook.

Active visitors may trek down the one-mile Longleaf Pine Stump Hiking Trail or .5-mile Spring Cove Hiking Trail, while equestrian enthusiasts may try the seven-mile Wagon Wheel Equestrian/Hiking Trail or six-mile East Fence Loop Equestrian/Hiking Trail.

Louisiana’s largest horticultural recreation area, Hodges Gardens State Park also offers a large lake – great for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing – plus cycling, picnicking, baseball, and wildlife viewing.

North Toledo Bend State Park

Set in Sabine Parish, North Toledo Bend State Park is located in west-central Louisiana near the city of Leesville.

Operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks, the park was established in 1987, and covers 900 acres.

North Toledo Bend State Park features fishing and boating on the Toledo Bend Reservoir, plus hiking trails, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a visitor center.

Be sure to trek down the 1.5-mile Trail A, or four-mile Trail B.

South Toledo Bend State Park

Established in 2004, South Toledo Bend State Park is located in west-central Louisiana in Vernon Parish. Set near Leesville on the Toledo Bend Reservoir, the park is operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks.

Encompassing about 1,000 acres, South Toledo Bend State Park features hiking and biking, an onsite museum, and birding and wildlife viewing. Trek the 1.5-mile Hippie Point Hiking Trail, or boating and fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and white perch on the reservoir.