Happy New Year! What a crazy Christmas break it was. I was sick for the week of Christmas. Redd came home, but only for 3 days over Christmas, then back to Ohio. I went back to school for our faculty retreat and then we had two weather days due to low water pressure in town because of the extensive cold weather and frozen pipes.
Redd arrived home on Wednesday night. We decided to take advantage of the two weather days and get some traveling in. We couldn’t go too far away since I had to be back to school on Monday. We decided to just do a hike in LA and go and visit my husband’s sisters on Saturday. Two road trips in two days…okay!
Bogue Chitto State Park is in Franklinton, LA. This is about 3 hours away from Lafayette. We left very early in the morning. We brought coffee from home and I had packed us a lunch. I figured we’d get breakfast somewhere before we went into the park. I was not counting on Franklinton being so small townish w/out any type of restaurants. Well, there was a coffee shop, but it was PACKED. Like, I think the entire population of the town was having coffee. I had a Cliff bar and some trail mix in my truck console. We ate that before we headed out on the trail.
This trail is rated as easy to moderate by Alltrails.com. In comparison to other trails in LA I’ve hiked, I’d say this was on the easier side as it was not a rock foot bed, but rather leaf litter and dirt. The weather had been dry, which was fortunate. There is one water crossing.
When we got out of the truck, the temperature was 29 degrees. It was only expected to warm up to 50 or so. It was partly cloudy and when the sun did come out, there was no warmth to it. I guess due to the fact that it was cold and it was a work/school day, we saw only 1 other couple on the entire 6.2 mile trail. We did see a man putting a boat in the lake by the 1/2 way point rest area, but he was fishing, not hiking.
We had brought along Baylor but not Chico. I knew that it was too cold and the length was too long for his little fat self. Even Baylor was tuckered out by mile #4.
Since we were so hungry, we stopped at the children’s splash pad/play area to have a snack of apples and peanutbutter. Of course, Baylor was begging and always wanting a bite.
There was one water crossing, which in warm weather would not have been a problem to take off my shoes and cross over. But it was 30 degrees. There were a few downed trees I could have crossed over. Let’s face it, my balance sucks. I am supposed to be doing yoga to increase my balance, but I shun yoga and focus on crossfit instead. You’d think that would help, but it hasn’t yet.
My sweet husband went and found me some large enough tree branches that I could use like trekking poles to cross that tree and I finally made it across. Of course, Baylor is having a ball the whole time I was trying to go across, playing in the water. I was a bit worried about him being cold and wet, but it did not seem to affect him at all.
At the 3.5 mile point, there is a rest area with a picnic table, a bathroom, and water. We sat down and had our lunch in the sun. I had brought some extra food for Baylor in addition to the food I had fed him for breakfast. He expended so much energy running back and forth. When we passed by the Bogue Chitto river, he went down the bank and was swimming around, dunking his head completely under.
The last two miles were pretty uneventful, but rather hilly. Baylor was noticeably slowing down, as was I.
The whole trail took us about 3.5 hours to complete and that was with the stalling I did at the water crossing and the lunch break. For peach and quiet, this is the trail. I’m sure it’s much busier in the spring and summer as the state park rents kayaks and canoes plus there is a splash pad for kids and a sandy beach access to the river. I’d like to go back and camp. I would recommend this state park and hiking trail.
We’re going to attempt to visit the majority of the Louisiana state parks this year, but not every state park has hiking. Many of them focus on water activities. We don’t have a boat…so, I don’t know. I’d love to hike all of the trails in the parks that have one. We’re also going to try to hike the trails in the National Forest in LA. I read about a challenge called #52hikechallenge. You hike once a week for the whole year. I know for a fact I won’t make 52 weeks as I live in Louisiana and that’s just not going to happen in the summer. But in good weather, I will try to get out and hike.