Where to Go Hiking With Kids Locally

By Jennifer Ercoli - Publisher Macaroni Kid Lafayette May 21, 2020

Getting out in nature is good for the mind, body, and soul. Lucky for us there are quite a few places within a very short distance that offer family friendly hiking trails to enjoy. I recently spoke with an avid local hiker, Scott Daniels, who was excited to share with us his recommendations to encourage more families to get moving outdoors. If you have any recommendations you would love to share with local families please email us at 

1 - Lake Fausse Point Trail: 

  • 5400 Levee Road St. Martinville, LA 70582 
  • Open from 6 am to 9 pm Sunday - Thursday and 6 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday 
  • Entry Fee - $3 per person. Free for seniors and children under 3

Trails at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park

  • Trail A -- 3/4-mile nature trail
  • Trail B -- 1.6-mile nature trail
  • Trail C -- 3.3-mile nature trail
  • 7-mile canoe trail

2 - Palmetto Island State Park 

  • 19501 Pleasant Road Abbeville, LA 70510
  • Open from  7 am to 9 pm Sunday - Thursday and 7 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Entry Fee - $3 per person. Free for seniors and children under 3

Trails at Palmetto Island State Park

  • Cypress Trail -- 0.7-mile nature trail

3 - Acadiana Nature Station

  • 1205 East Alexander Street Lafayette, LA 70501
  • Open 8 am to 5 pm Monday - Friday and 11 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday
  • *Trails are free and open everyday from dawn until dusk. Please note that visiting the Nature Station is also Free of Charge.*

Hiking Trails

We have approximately 6 miles of hiking trails at the Acadiana Park Nature Station.  On our main property, there are about 2½ miles of hiking trails that are surrounded by the Dan Deballion Canal and Francois Coulee.  Here you will find a boardwalk that will keep you off of the ground and is wheelchair accessible. You will also find many dirt trails that run through our forest and along the Dan Deballion Canal. Across the canal, we have our North Property hiking trails that are about 3½ miles.  Because we do not yet have a bridge that crosses the canal, we recommend that you drive to the parking area located on Shadow Bluff, which is next to the Dan Deballion Canal bridge.  These trails are dirt trails in a bottomland hardwood forest, please be aware there may be standing water after heavy rainfall.

Trail Rules:

  • These trails are for foot traffic only.
  • Bicycles or other wheeled vehicles are not allowed on any of our trails. We do however welcome wheelchairs and strollers on our boardwalk.
  • Dogs are welcome, as long as they are leashed.
  • All wildlife is protected, please don’t harass, disturb, or harm ANY wildlife. Please don’t remove plants, animals or dead wood.
  • Please pack out what you have packed in. Please do not litter.
  • Camping is not allowed in this preserve. However there is a campground at Acadiana Park. For more information call 337-291-8388. Leave a message, someone will return your call.

4 - Arboretum Trail at Chicot State Park

  • 3469 Chicot Park Road Ville Platte, LA 70586
  • Open from 6 am to 9 pm Sunday - Thursday and 6 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Entry Fee - $3 per person. Free for seniors and children under 3

Hiking at Chicot State Park

  • An extensive hiking/backpacking trail completely encircles Lake Chicot and includes several primitive campsites along the way. The hiking trails allow visitors to experience and enjoy the park's natural landscape, its bottom-land 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.
  • The South Landing includes cabins, a group camp, picnic areas and playground, a water playground, a boat launch, a fishing pier and a dock with rental boats. A scenic road links the South Landing with the North Landing.
  • The North Landing features campsites, a boat launch, a dock, a 400 ft. fishing pier and a primitive group-camping area. Lodges also are located in this area.
  • The East Landing is accessible from LA 106. It is less developed than the other two areas. It includes a boat launch, a dock, a meeting room and a barbecue pavilion, which makes this area ideal for day visitors.
  • The Louisiana State Arboretum, now located within Chicot State Park, is home to a magnificent mature beech-magnolia forest and features an outdoor classroom and several miles of nature trails with labeled plant life native to Louisiana.

5 - Wild Azalea Trail in Woodworth

  • The Wild Azalea Trail is located in the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District, west southwest of Alexandria, Louisiana. End points are located at the Valentine Lake Recreation Area and at the town of Woodworth's Town Hall parking area.
  • Woodworth's Town Hall Address: 9363 Highway 165 S. Woodworth, LA 71485
  • The trail is designated for foot or mountain biking traffic only. It is bisected about midway by Louisiana Highway 488 and is accessible by road at several other points. This makes it possible to travel on short sections, a convenience for those who haven't the time or the inclination to hike the entire length of the trail in one outing. The trail route is conspicuously marked with bright yellow paint blazes, and is sign at road crossings.

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