Situated on bluffs overlooking enormous Toledo Bend Reservoir, South Toledo Bend State Park certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the nation’s top spots for recreational fishing. In 2015, Toledo Bend Reservoir was named the nation’s No. 1 bass fishing lake by Bassmaster magazine.
Boaters and pier fishermen alike have many options for casting a line. Largemouth bass, sac-à-lait (crappie), catfish and bream crowd the lake’s waters, and all are easily reachable via the park’s boat ramp or one of the piers or bridges found within the park. Thanks to South Toledo Bend State Park’s topography, numerous inlets give anglers calm waters and spectacular views, which make fishing here all the more memorable.
Hiking, mountain biking and birding are other popular activities at the park. South Toledo Bend State Park is home to bald eagle nesting grounds, so listen up and look up for a chance to spot one. The park is also the only one in the state parks system that allows the use of off-road vehicles. Twelve miles of rocky, hilly country await riders in need of an adrenaline fix, and are located in a designated area away from the park’s main facilities.
Overnight visitors can choose from a deluxe cabin (which sleeps up to eight guests), RV campsites or tent campsites.
Attractions outside of South Toledo Bend State Park include Hodges Gardens and North Toledo Bend state parks, Los Adaes, Fort Jesup and Rebel state historic sites, the Museum of West Louisiana (which highlights stories of west Louisianans throughout history) and, a little further down the road, the shops, historical homes and restaurants of Natchitoches.
Entrance fee: $2 per person; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.