Kisatchie National Forest

Kisatchie National Forest

Kisatchie National Forest spreads over 604,000 acres in five Ranger Districts. Louisiana’s only national forest is divided into six separate sections.

Kisatchie were members of a Native American tribe

The Kisatchie name comes from a Native Americans tribe called Kichai. Members of this tribe called themselves “Kitsatchie.”

Bald cypress trees have knees

Bald cypress trees thrive in this forest. One fun thing about bald cypresses is that these trees have “knees” that are a special kind of root. Needle-like leaves turn tan or orange in the autumn and fall early in the season. These giant trees grow to 120 feet tall and live up to 600 years.

Pine trees scent the air. Groves of bald cypress trees, bayous, prairies, and gently rolling hills invite guests to this Louisiana location.

bayou-439881_960_720Bayous in Kisatchie

Bayous are slow-moving bodies of water that often have crawfish, shrimp, and alligators.

Hiking and water trails

Visitors to the forest enjoy over 100 miles of hiking trails. Trails may be less than a mile or over twenty-five miles long. Bring plenty of water on those longer hikes!

Float down a thirteen-mile water trail in a canoe or boat. Lake and pond fishing is another popular attraction.

Swim or waterski at Kisatchie

Two Ranger Districts allow waterskiing. Swim on those hot summer afternoons.

If your family likes to ride bikes, find one of the mountain biking trails.

horse-419738_960_720Wild horses at Kisatchie

Keep a watch out for wildlife in the forest. You might see coyotes, foxes, wild boars, otters, snakes, Louisiana black bears, or bobcats. You may even spot a herd of wild horses.

Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day exploring the beautiful forest. Families who want longer stays can camp at the campgrounds.

 

-Sandra Merville Hart

 

Sources:

 

“Bald Cypress,” National Wildlife Federation, 2016/01/06 https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Plants/Bald-Cypress.aspx.

 

“Kisactchie National Forest: Welcome.” United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 2016/01/06 http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/kisatchie/recreation.

 

McHugh, Erin. National Parks: A Kid’s Guide to America’s Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2012.

 

 

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