The entrance sign at Lake Claiborne State Park, with an image of a largemouth bass jumping from the water, says it all: this park is home to some of Louisiana’s finest freshwater fishing and it's one of eight stops on the Louisiana Bass Trail.
Lake Claiborne, a scenic 6,400-acre waterway situated halfway between Shreveport and Monroe, is stocked with largemouth and striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, sac-à-lait (crappie), pickerel and bream. Anglers will come home with plenty of fish tales after spending some time on this lake, whose amenities include covered boat docks, a boat launch, and flat bottomed boats and canoes for rent.
In addition to enjoying the diverse ecosystem of the park – easily on display while walking the trails – visitors can also enjoy a rousing game of disc golf. Two 18-hole basket courses have hosted numerous tournaments as well as an annual doubles championship.
Nights at Lake Claiborne State Park are downright enchanting, with star-filled sky views far from city lights. Stay at one of the park’s two-bedroom cabins, pull your RV into one of several paved parking spots or venture deeper into the wilderness to one of the primitive campsites near the water’s edge.
Beyond Lake Claiborne State Park’s borders are many more opportunities to see north Louisiana nature at its finest. Chemin-A-Haut, Lake Bistineau, Jimmie Davis and Lake D’Arbonne state parks are within a half-day’s drive. The nearby historical town of Homer is full of antebellum homes and public buildings, built more than a century ago in the Victorian and Greek Revival styles. Homer is home to one of only four antebellum courthouses still in use.
Entrance fee: $3 per person; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.