Hiking Driskill Mountain, Louisiana’s Highest Elevation
At 535 feet, Driskill Mountain located in Bienville Parish is a great light adventure hike.
Calling Driskill Mountain a “mountain” — while technically true — might need a little clarification.
While considered a high point in Louisiana, elsewhere in the world, this little mountain would just be a hill. Consider its elevation: 535 feet above sea level. To put that in perspective, there are two buildings in downtown New Orleans that are taller than Driskill’s summit. And compared to the largest mountains in the world, Mount Everest and Denali, you’d have to stack 55 and 38 Driskill mountains respectively to reach their summits.
However small this little mountain might be, there is plenty of adventure and beautiful scenery to make this a fun and memorable hike.
Destination: Bienville Parish
One thing Driskill Mountain shares in common with many other states’ highest peaks is its remoteness. It’s located in the forests of Bienville Parish, between north Louisiana’s largest city (Shreveport) and the college towns of Grambling and Ruston. To get there, you’ll drive down little-traveled highways south of I-20, heading through the parish seat of Arcadia (population: 2,700) to tiny Mount Zion Presbyterian Church.
Behind the church, a two-track red-dirt road leads hikers past the church’s cemetery and stands of tall pines and hardwood trees; a trail sign lets you know you’re on the right path.
Now, Driskill Mountain is technically on private land. The owners, in the spirit of Louisiana hospitality, welcome visitors — they ask only that hikers respect the land and leave no traces of their visit.
There is over a mile of marked trails to guide hikers up and down the summit. Don’t be intimidated by the fence at the trail entrance — it’s just to keep motorized traffic out. There are two basic trails to the summit, the more difficult of the two marked with blue signs.
“Difficult” is relative, as the elevation gain isn’t that steep. For most visitors, climbing gear required for this trek is nothing more than a pair of tennis shoes and a bottle of water. Regardless of which trail you take, you’ll arrive at the summit shortly.
The trails end at a clearing, surrounded by hardwoods, with a summit marker and a guestbook that let you know you’ve reached your destination. In the guestbook are names of travelers from throughout the U.S., many of whom are called “Highpointers” — hikers who climb (or in this case, walk up) the highest peaks of all 50 states.
More Outdoor Adventure in Store
If your outdoor recreation adventures take you to north Louisiana, Driskill is a relatively easy hike and a chance to experience beautiful Louisiana topography that contrasts nicely with its scenic swamps, marshes and southern prairie land. Learn more about Louisiana's outdoor activities like hiking, biking, birding and more.