Louisiana’s a haven for equestrian enthusiasts featuring miles of serene trails crisscrossing the state. Imagine riding through cypress swamps located just a short drive from New Orleans, or sauntering up a well-worn path deep in the pine forests of the northern part of the Bayou State. In Louisiana, you’re never more than a few hours’ drive from breathtaking views you can see from your saddle.
This State Park on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain has 14 miles of designated horse trails that wind through a variety of terrains, from the shoreline of the sandy Bogue Chitto River to the tupelo-cypress forests that surround it. Bring your horse and ride the trails, or stop by Rocky Bottom Tubing and Canoeing (located inside the park) to embark on a lazy afternoon of fun on the water.
Get birds-eye views of the landscape at Chemin-A-Haut State Park, a popular yet secluded north Louisiana park with hilltop trails surrounding Bayou Bartholomew. Bring your horse and explore eight miles of horse trails, and take time to hang out with the kids at one of the park’s playgrounds or swimming complex.
Hodges Gardens State Park is the perfect spot for those who want to spend long hours exploring horse trails without having to pack up at the end of the day. In addition to nearly 14 miles of designated equestrian paths, the park features a horse-friendly campground. The park itself is pretty spectacular, with a mix of formal gardens and natural, “untamed” landscapes, plus a picturesque waterfall and plenty of boating, fishing and hiking opportunities.
Lake Bistineau State Park is located just 30 miles from Shreveport, making it the ultimate day trip for horseback riders visiting northwest Louisiana. The park features a variety of landscapes, from hardwood forests to stands of cypress and tupelo trees, to the namesake lake itself. Six miles of equestrian trails wind through the park, and after a long day, visitors and their horses can bed down at specially designated horse-friendly campsites. Other highlights of Lake Bistineau State Park include an 11-mile-long canoe trail and a disc golf course.
Louisiana State Parks recommends calling each park for updates on the status of equestrian trails. Certification of a clean Coggins test is required for all horses entering parks.