Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Stop-off At Louisiana's Tickfaw State Park

One of the stop-offs on our Texas trip was Tickfaw State Park about 32 miles east of Baton Rouge, LA on the Tickfaw River, near Springfield, LA. An excellent park with a lot to see and enjoy it has RV sites, tenting sites, 2-bedroom cabins, 52-person Group Camp, a playground with water park and pavilions and picnic tables.  One of the big attractions is the Nature Center with boardwalk trail. The staff are friendly and helpful folks. 

All 30 improved (RV) campsites are back-in, paved, level and either full or partial shade. Electric is 50/30/20. The sites have a wooden deck with picnic table, a concrete pad with fire pit, grill and lantern post. I didn't see a bad site there. Ours was #19 and had a lot of space between our neighbors.  The 20 tenting sites, unimproved, have water only, a 12'x12' sand tent pad plus the grill, fire pit and lantern post.  There is a canoe landing and canoe rentals.

Paved sites and loop with shade, good privacy and drainage for all sites, improved and unimproved.

Had to show the bath house and laundry. Awesome.

There are 14 nice looking 2-bedroom cabins, but we were unable to get to them as there was utility damage from recent rains and flooding. The road was blocked at this point, and the cabins closed for repair.

For us, the biggest attraction is the Nature Museum which includes a half mile or so boardwalk trail through wetlands (swamp).  Notice all the buildings in the park are on stilts. Good reason.

The Nature Center is very well done. Here is a small aquarium showing Tickfaw River and swamp area life.

Other displays of the inhabitants of the area forest. There are a lot of interactive things to do at each display.
A chart to identify plantlife and birds in the area. The ten flags represent the flags the state existed under during its history.  There is also a small gift/souvenir shop in the building.

One of the interactive displays in the foreground. Identify the footprint. Open up the disc to see the answer.

There is a small theater that displays the front porch of back in the day housing. A short video tells the tale of the park and history of the surrounding land. Ranger talks are also held from the porch.

Step out the back door and you enter the wetlands via a mile long trail mostly on a boardwalk. There is a short cut just around the bend which cuts the trail in half. But it is best to do the whole trail.

Along the trail. Walk quietly to hear the sounds and not scare off the wildlife.

My tree picture of the day.  Brilliant green algae covers this once proud tall tree.
In some spots the boardwalk is at ground level. Semi-dry soil. This was covered a few weeks ago when prolonged rain covered most of Louisiana. Had we been here 10 days ago we may not have been able to stay.
And for a short distance we actually got to walk on dry land. There are benches all along the trail to stop, rest, and listen and look for wildlife. And, feed the mosquitoes. Just kidding. It was surprisingly bug free on our walk.

Not what we were looking for, but we did see some wildlife. A Ground Skink on the boardwalk.

Malacosoma disstria Hübner (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) or....Forest Tent Caterpillar.  A small brownish moth as an adult. 

 Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

A Southeastern Five-lined Skink gets a meal.

More wet trail.

At the end there is an observation deck. It is equipped with a sound system and lights for scheduled nature talks. The center and boardwalk trail are a must see.


 Just off our campsite is a service road to a fair sized fishing hole with fishing pier on one side and a dock on the other.

  Heed the sign.


The resident gator.  He has learned to grab the fish off the hook the fishermen catch before they can reel them in. Fun to watch.

The unimproved trail circumventing the pond. There are several small pavilions with picnic tables along the trail.

In some places the trail widens.

View from the dock across the pond.

 Along the trail.


Yellow-tailed Ashy Skimmer Potamarcha congener juvenile male. Um, dragonfly.

Another boardwalk trail through the swamp further up the road. The Bottomland/Hardwood Trail. This leads to the River Tail and Oxbow Point Trail.


Again, through the swamp.


This fallen tree root system had to be 15+ feet in diameter.

At the end of the boardwalk trail is the entrance to the River Trail. A fairly easy trail, but subject to flooding thanks to heavy rain two weeks ago. Hardwood trees prevail.


The River trail. Not a loop.
Decided this was not a trail to take this trip. No proper gear today.

The bridge at the end of the boardwalk. It crosses the Tickfaw River to an open space on the shore. There is no trail on this side.


The river overlook.

The river and bridge from the overlook.

There are two other trails for hiking. One, the Gum/Cypress Swamp Trail, a boardwalk loop trail through the swamp (similar scenery to the Bottomland/Hardwood Trail) and the Pine/Hardwood Trail, a long unimproved land loop trail.  Each of the trails mentioned have very nice large pavilions with restrooms at the trail head. Some are for day use, first come first served and some can be rented for events.  A lot of hiking in this park.

For biking the park has a long wide paved road from the entrance to beyond the origin of the Tickfaw River. There are slight elevation changes, but they are not devastating. All the trailheads are along this road.

The entrance road crosses Gum Bayou. A couple of yellow belly turtles pose on a sunken tree trunk.

A large Cypress in the bayou.  Do you see a face, or is it just me?

By the bayou canoe launch is yet another loop trail. Unnamed and gets a little wet about half way. About a half mile long.

Empty nest. This box was once a place for information pamphlets about the bayou. It has been replaced with a larger kiosk board.  Apparently a bird family took up residence.  No one home today.

No comments:

Post a Comment