TICKFAW STATE PARK
Strolling through four ecosystems on over a mile of boardwalks through Tickfaw State Park, visitors can experience the sights and sounds of a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.
Periodically the park site serves the region by detaining floodwaters when winter and spring rains overflow the steep banks of the Tickfaw River. These periods of occasional flooding offer a unique opportunity to educate visitors on the importance of periodic flooding in the cycle of life that makes wetlands an invaluable habitat and breeding ground for wildlife and fisheries.
Check posted program schedules for guided hikes on the boardwalks, or you may prefer the more relaxed approach offered during a nature program presentation at one of the three education pavilions and an outdoor amphitheater at the nature center. You can also join a nighttime program, go night hiking or listen to the swamp nightlife from the porch of your vacation cabin.
Bicycle, stroll, or skate the interconnecting park roadways. Rent a canoe and take a fun-filled trip on this unique section of the Tickfaw River. Visitors can bring their own canoes or rent ones supplied by an available canoe vendor. The Water Playground offers refreshing fun for those not quite adventurous enough to explore the swamps and sloughs.
A gift shop in the Nature Center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) offers souvenirs with a local flavor.
Hours of Operation: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. All park sites close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.
Deluxe Cabins 14 available, 2 are ADA compliant, sleeps up to 8 people with 1 double beds, 2 bunk beds and 1 sofa sleeper.
Group Camp Includes dining hall/kitchen and 2 dormitory-style wings, sleeping up to 52 people.
30 Improved Campsites (water and electrical hookup).
20 Unimproved Campsites (water hookup only).
The park offers a variety of boating options. Visitors can explore the diverse waterways with canoe and kayak rentals available from the main office, or bring their own boats for use on these waters. The four distinct ecosystems within this location - swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, mixed pine/hardwood forest and upland longleaf pine areas - provide unique opportunities to see wildlife while out on the water. There are also boat launches that allow visitors easy access into rivers such as Tickfaw River.
Canoes that can be rented that includes paddles, life jackets.
Anglers can enjoy freshwater fishing in the park's rivers and streams. Species include bass, catfish, bluegill and crappie.
Tickfaw State Park is located near Denham Springs, Gonzales and Greenwell Springs
Tickfaw State Park offers numerous picnic tables and pavilions, perfect for outdoor meals. Barbecue grills are also available.
Gum Cypress Trail -- 1/2 mile (ADA accessible)
Pine Hardwood Trail -- 1/2 mile
River Overlook/Bottomland Hardwood Trail -- 3/4 mile
River Trail -- 3 miles
Biking enthusiasts can explore four well-marked trails, each offering unique views of diverse ecosystems. Helmets are strongly recommended.
The park's terrain varies from flat to slightly hilly, making it suitable for all skill levels. Exercise caution when biking on wet days as the paths may become slippery and muddy.
While cycling is permitted during daylight hours only, be mindful that wildlife sightings are common so stay alert at all times.
Remember to respect nature by staying on designated bike routes and not venturing off into protected areas or walking trails.
For those without their own equipment, bicycle rentals are available onsite but availability might vary depending upon demand and seasonality.
Lastly, always carry water with you while riding in order to prevent dehydration due to Louisiana's humid climate.
Birdwatchers can enjoy four distinct ecosystems with a variety of species, including waterfowl and migratory birds. There are boardwalks for easy access to birding areas. Bird identification guides are available at the nature center.
Kliebert's Turtle and Alligator Tours (41607 West Yellow Road, Hammond, LA 70401) - Tours include the turtle and alligator farms as well as a bird sanctuary with egrets and herons nesting over the alligators.
Ponchatoula - "America's Antique City" (7 miles south of Hammond on I-55) - Historic District renovated in 1920-30 period featuring over 60 antique stores representing 200 dealers.
Fairview-Riverside State Park (12 miles east of Madisonville on LA Hwy. 22) - Nestled among magnificent live oaks on the edge of the cool clear waters of the Tchefuncte River, this park features 81 improved campsites, excellent fishing, canoeing, and picnicking. A nearby boat ramp offers access to the park and Lake Pontchartrain.
Joyce Wildlife Management Area (2 miles south of Ponchatoula off I-55) - This area is primarily a cypress-tupelo swamp with a small tract of fresh marsh. A boardwalk offers birding and opportunities to view wildlife. Hunting allowed in season.
Global Wildlife Park (26389 Hwy. 40, Folsom, La 70437) - Get eye to eye with giraffes and many other species! 900 acres, more than 200 free-ranging animals, 90-minute guided-covered-wagon tours.
BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center (10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway, Baton Rouge, LA 70810) - Take a unique walk into the Bluebonnet Swamp in the heart of the city. Educational exhibits and a gift shop.
Directions: Take I-12 to the Albany/Springfield exit. Travel 2 miles south on LA 43, merge with LA 42 and continues one mile to the center of Springfield. Turn west on LA 1037 and travel six miles to Patterson Road (across from Woodland Baptist Church), then south 1.2 miles to the park entrance