Couple's Ride

Louisiana Equestrian Trails Guide

Experiencing Louisiana by horseback is amazing as you see beautiful bayous, cypress trees, majestic oaks with spanish moss, piney woods,  flowering dogwood trees and sandy knolls.  Each District has something unique to offer. LEC has Volunteer Trail Captains in each District who coordinate trail rides with District Team Members.  Email the Trails Committee Chair to become a Trail Captain.  Join the LEC Cajun Riders Group to learn about scheduled rides.  If you are a Louisiana resident and would like to see your favorite state equine trail added here, email Ginger Schouest to request a trails submission form.

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Image by Marcus Neto

District 1 - Northwest Louisiana

 LEC Trail Captain - Vacant

Monkey Trail at the Eddie D. Jones Park, is located near Shreveport, in Keithville, LA.  This 10 mile loop trail that features beautiful wildflowers is moderately trafficked but multi use.  It's accessible year round.  

Driving directions: Take I-20 to Industrial Loop and head south. Turn right onto Woolworth Road and continue until the intersection with LA-525 (Colquitt Road). Turn right and travel to LA-169. Turn left at LA-169 and travel 1.1 miles to LA-789. Turn left on LA-789 and travel 2 miles to Mike Clark Road. Turn right on Mike Clark Road (next to Macedonia Baptist Church) and follow the road to the visitor center located next to the silo.

District 2 - Northeast Louisiana

LEC Trail Captain - Vacant

 Chemin-A-Haute-State-Park is the oldest state park in Louisiana. The Civilian Conservation Corps build the park in the 1930’s. Well-marked trails follow along Bayou Bartholomew for eight miles. Horses do not need to be shod. The trails are dirt and maintained. This trail is suitable for any level rider.  Along the trail you will see one of only a handful of Louisiana Legacy Trees, known as “The Castle Tree”. The giant cypress has been growing here for 800 to 1,000 years. The base of the tree measures 20 feet in diameter and is hallow. You can park a kayak inside the tree. Camping is allowed. 

14656 State Park Rd, Bastrop, LA 71220 

(318) 283-0812

D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge   lies on the western edge of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. It was established in 1975 to protect bottomland hardwood forest and provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl.  The refuge is bisected by 13 miles of Bayou D'Arbonne and is crisscrossed by numerous creeks, sloughs, and oxbow lakes.  Trails are not marked. A map can be obtained at the office. GPS tracking is recommended. The trails are dirt and horses do not need to be shod.  Due to the nature of bottomland staying on the marked approved trail is mandatory. You must apply for a riding permit at the main office. The permit is free and lasts for one year. Riding is not permitted during deer season.  There is no camping allowed.  

11372 LA-143, Farmerville, LA 71241

(318) 726-4222

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Bussy Brake is located 5 miles northwest of Bastrop, LA off of Bonner Ferry Road (LA Hwy 593). Two parking areas (north and south) are located on the west side of the highway. The self-clearing permit station is located at the north parking area.

 An 8-mile trail which follows the top of the reservoir levee is available for hiking, biking (non-motorized bikes only), and horseback riding. 

 

You must have a valid Louisiana hunting or recreational fishing license or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to use a WMA. Anyone younger than 16 or older than 60 is exempt from this requirement.

Contact person: Ryan Daniel at rdaniel@wlf.la.gov or 318.343.4044.

Rustic Sky Horse Camp borders 151 square miles of the Kisatchie National Forest which includes 97,000 acres.  There are hundreds of miles of riding in upland pine, hardwood and rolling hills.  Horseshoes not required – ride on your own or with a group.  Amenities include: 51 Campsites, 6 Cabins, 16 Turnouts, 112 Stalls, 4 Round Pens, Pool, a Pavilion that seats 100 and an 1800’s style Saloon. 

30 Squyres Ln, Melder, LA 71433, 318-659-4414

Ahtus Melder is 4 miles west of Forest Hill jjust off of La. 112, in the Camp Claiborne area of Kisatchie National Forest. There are no hookups, bathrooms, or water troughs, but ample parking , and the trails vary from smooth and easy to very challenging.  Ride the forest and creeks with hard bottom white sand, 88 miles of designated trails or unlimited logging trails, fire lanes, forest roads and cross-country.  A few of the Historical Camp Claiborne sites include the Parade Grounds, Officers Club, Theater and Septic System. No horse shoes required.

Gum Springs Horse Camp & Trails - Experience 5.4 miles of open forest from the Gum Springs trailhead. The trails are wide enough to accommodate wagons and the trail loops around. Sections of both trails pass through Keiffer Prairie where native grasses and cedar trees are predominate. You will also enjoy piney woods and hardwood bottoms. Primative Camping is available.  Great for all skill levels. 

District 3 -Central Louisiana

LEC Trail Co-Captains Schuyler Wright & Karla Cooper
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 Kisatchie National Forest. is located in District 3.  There are miles and miles of beautiful trails ranging from beginner to experienced levels. LEC has two Trail Captains for District 3 because the trails are so vast and diverse. Generally, horse shoes are not required.  For a listing of campgrounds and trailheads inside the forest, click the link above. We've highlighted a few along with some nearby equestrian campsites. 

The Backbone is a 14.70 mile "out and back" trail near Cloutierville, Louisiana. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 6 h 38 min to complete. Great for all skill levels. Trail head begins and ends at Hwy. 830. Backbone II is off of Long Leaf Vista Road and is recommended for experienced Riders.  It's 5.63 miles, one way. 

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Karla Cooper

District 4 - Southwest Louisiana

LEC Trail Captain - Vacant

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Image by Håkon Grimstad

District 5 - South Central Louisiana

LEC Trail Captain - Vacant

 Indian Bayou  offers some of the most unique trail riding in the country.  Don't be surprised to see an alligator sleeping on a log in the bayou or a bald eagle flying over head.  Though it's highly unlikely to encounter one, the American Black Bear calls the basin it's home too along with deer and a multitude of bird species.  Horseback riders of all skill levels can experience the mystique of the Atchafalaya Basin and all it's beauty with moss draped cypress trees and it's varied wildlife on 35 miles of trails. There is a large and very nice parking area with bathrooms and picnic tables at the trail head.  On the Basin Bridge, take the Butte La Rose Exit and go north about 4 miles.  No over night camping is allowed but it makes a Great Day trip. Horse shoes are not required.  

District 6 - South Central East

LEC Trail Captain - Vacant

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Tammany Trace Trail System was a former ICG railroad line and was repurposed for walking/ biking/ and equine trails. The equine system is a grass trail just off the paved line. Horses leave the trail to come up onto the blacktop at all road crossings. It is required to have a copy of your coggins report with you on the trail. ----- just a side note. It is a courtesy to remove any "piles" from the blacktop. Be prepared to kick or scoop it off.   Where a trail may be blocked, it is OK for horses to ride the blacktop area.

District 7 - Southeast Louisiana

LEC Trail Captain Patsy Frazier
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Experience Rolling hills, pine land forests, rivers and smaller streams at Bogue Chitto State Park.   There is no camp ground yet but they do allow over night camping for special events at times.  Join the LEC Cajun Riders Group to learn about scheduled rides or to let Patsy know you want to be a part of the District 7 Trails Team!

Woodlands Conservancy Trail, locally known as Bottom Land Trail, is a 5.40 mile loop trail near Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 2 h 11 min to complete. The trail is open year-round.  Horse shoes are not required. You will be sure to see lots of Armadillo's and birds and plenty of other wild life too, including an occasional alligator.  Not recommended after heavy rains since it is bottom land, it can become very boggy.