CHICOT STATE PARK
Fishing, swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking programs--Chicot has all this and much more.
The park covers over 6,400 acres of rolling hills and water in South Central Louisiana. The cool, clear waters of Lake Chicot have yielded record catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and red-ear sunfish. Fishermen will enjoy the convenient boathouse, three boat launches and boat rental facilities.
Hiking trails allow the visitor to experience and enjoy the park's natural landscape.
Chicot also boasts a unique combination of natural resources on land. Mature hardwood uplands and extensive beech-magnolia forest areas add to the beauty of the cypress-tupelo lake environment. Large numbers of deer, raccoon and other wildlife live in the surrounding woods. A birding guide to Chicot State Park is also available for bird watchers. The 300-acre Louisiana State Arboretum, an area devoted to a living, natural exhibition of over 150 species of plant life native to Louisiana, is located adjacent to the main entrance.
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Swimming is a pleasure at the Olympic-sized pool on the shore of the lake. Open between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the pool is supervised by certified lifeguards.
Chicot State Park is located near Ville Platte
Picnickers will find a wide choice of beautiful spots to dine. Most of them feature tables, grills and pavilions, and many of the areas overlook the huge lake. Playgrounds will delight the kids after a day at the pool or on the lake.
An extensive hiking/backpacking trail completely encircles Lake Chicot and includes several primitive campsites along the way. The hiking trail allows the visitor to experience and enjoy the park's natural landscape, its bottomland hardwood forest and the lake itself. For visitors who enjoy a quicker pace, much of the trail is geared toward mountain bikers, and all cyclists are welcome to ride the roadways throughout the park.
Louisiana State Arboretum-- (LA Hwy. 3042, one-and-a-half miles from entrance of Chicot State Park)--The Arboretum is the home of a magnificent mature beech-magnolia forest and features an outdoor classroom and several miles of nature trails with labeled plant life native to Louisiana.
Prairie Acadian Cultural Center-Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve--(250 W. Park Ave., Eunice)--The Center depicts the heritage of the Prairie Acadians. Artifacts, exhibits and live demonstrations portray aspects of the unique culture.
Acadian Town of Ville Platte -- (on US 167 and LA 10 north of US 190)--Ville Platte means "flat town" in French. Its strong agrarian and Cajun traditions and cultural influences can still be found in the spoken French, music, and food of the area.
Historic Town of Opelousas -- The Confederate capital of Louisiana during the Civil War, it was also the boyhood home of the legendary Jim Bowie.
Historic Town of Washington --Once the largest steamboat port between New Orleans and St. Louis, the town preserves its 19th-century architecture and offers an antique mall and shops.
Zydeco Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway --Traces the historic towns, musical traditions and culture of the Prairie Acadians.
Liberty Theatre/City of Eunice--(200 W. Park Ave., Eunice)--"Rendez-vous des Cajuns" is a live radio show held every Saturday night featuring Cajun & Zydeco music in the style of the Grand Ole Opry.
Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area--(Off I-49 north of Opelousas and southeast of Chicot State Park)--In this 11,000-acre area of bottomland hardwoods managed for wildlife, visitors may hunt (in season), day-hike, bird-watch and view wildlife.
Located in northern Evangeline Parish, six miles north of Ville Platte. Coming from the north on I-49, exit on LA 106 south. Turn left off LA 106 onto LA 3042 south, and continue to the main entrance. From the south, exit I-49 on US 167 and drive toward Ville Platte.