Say “Bogue Chitto” to those in the know, and you’re likely to hear recommendations of where to go tubing. The slow moving river is perfect for a day of floating with the family, coursing through unexpected canyons past pebble-strewn natural beaches. Many children and adults from nearby Folsom and Franklinton grew up spending summers on the river. Today, you can get a taste of the country life as well, with plenty of outdoor adventures to find at Bogue Chitto State Park.
Highlights include horseback riding through the cypress and tupelo swamps (dedicated horse trails exist throughout the park). Freshwater fishing is just one way to have fun on the water; a water playground and –during the summer – kayak, tube and canoe rentals are available.
Overnight visitors are in for a treat. Because of Bogue Chitto State Park’s remote location on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, stargazing is spectacular. Fully appointed deluxe cabins (sleeping up to eight people) deluxe lodges (sleeping up to 14) and group camps (sleeping up to 52) make this park well-suited for family reunions and group getaways. Intrepid travelers will find dozens of campsites, and RV campers have their pick of parking spots. Water and electrical hookups are available.
Nearby attractions include Covington and Mandeville, two Northshore towns packed with historical Creole architecture and dining options that can match any in larger cities. Global Wildlife Center in Folsom is a haven for more than 3,000 animals you’re unlikely to find outside of zoos in the U.S. Giraffes, zebras, camels and llamas are among the four-legged friends you’ll encounter on a safari at the park.
Entrance fee: $3 per person; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.