Poverty Point Reservoir is a 2,700-acre man-made lake set against a backdrop of the wide, flat Mississippi Delta bottomlands. It’s a haven for anglers, birdwatchers, families, weekend adventurers and I-20 travelers looking to explore rural north Louisiana.
There’s much in store for those groups and more. Largemouth bass, sac-à-lait (crappie), catfish and bluegill are plentiful in these waters, and on weekends, you’ll find boaters casting lines from dawn ’til dusk.
Birders also flock to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. Because this section of Louisiana is part of the Mississippi Flyway (one of the main migratory routes through the continental U.S.), both native and exotic bird species can be spotted within the park. One of the best vantage points for birdwatchers is on the half-mile-long trail bordering Bayou Macon. On the trail, you may be fortunate enough to spot one of the park’s shyest friends: the Louisiana black bear, which in early 2016 was removed from the federal endangered species list. Tread lightly, and be sure to safely store all food and refuse. Bear-proof containers are available for park visitors.
Overnight visitors are in for a treat, thanks to the man-made peninsulas stretching into Poverty Point Reservoir that contain waterfront cabins. Choose from one of eight deluxe cabins or four lodges. At the park’s south end, more than 50 RV campsites are available.
Attractions outside the park tend to focus on outdoor activities. Black Bear Golf Course is part of Louisiana’s celebrated Audubon Golf Trail, and is right next door to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. Chemin-A-Haut, Lake D’Arbonne and Jimmie Davis state parks are also nearby, as is the archaeologically rich UNESCO World Heritage Site, Poverty Point World Heritage Site.
Entrance fee: $3 per person; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.