Updated: Jan 1
That's right, we do have a sandy white beach that you can ride your horse on in Louisiana! That's me, Ginger Schouest, on my horse Valentino at Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, LA on THAT beach! I was attending a Christmas Trail Ride sponsored by the Louisiana Equine Council and coordinated by Friends of Bogue Chitto. They did an amazing job. Everything was perfectly planned out from the Cast Iron Cookers who cooked in the Pavilion that day for lunch down to the DJ and evening band, the PoBoys. (Shout out to Patsy Frazier, Dona Nugent and Lisa Bell) The entrance to the park is very nicely done and the ranger on duty was super friendly, helpful, and courteous. We skipped the main trail ride that day and did our own private exploration. This was my first time at Bogue Chitto National Park and I was on a mission to find that sandy beach I had heard about. The equestrian trails in the park in general are extremely well marked, however on this particular jaunt in search of the beach, it was a bit obscure and off the beaten path. We had to cross a long wooden bridge, about 250 feet long, which was a fun and challenging obstacle for my horse and once across, we rode about 1000 more yards on open grassland to discover the hidden cove nestled among the trees. My horse's surprise matched mine as he studied the rather largish, meandering body of water which is the Bogue Chitto River. Rumor has it that eventually the equine trail to the beach will be more transparent with the beach itself receiving an upgrade of some sort to better accommodate equestrians. To me, that pristine beach and the Zen feeling that surrounded it is horsey perfect as is. The park itself consists of about 14 miles of horse trails, 1800 acres, and is a blend of high and low ridges and quite a few crystal clear, sandy bottomed streams. They range in depth from very shallow up to about 3 or 4 feet, reaching up to your horses knees in some places, making it ideal for basic water obstacle challenges with your horse. The general horse trails were well manicured but maintained that natural habitat feel to them. The Equestrian park has been open for about twelve years now and has a nice pavilion and equine wash station. It is currently a day ride park and is only open for over night camping at special events however, that is changing. A comfort station was recently constructed with bathrooms, showers and laundromat areas. The Park has recently broken ground on ten nicely sized trailer slots which will include water and electricity and picnic tables and there is a dump station on park grounds so over night camping is on the very near horizon with even more camping spots in future plans. Keep up the good work Bogue Chitto! Louisiana Equestrians appreciate your efforts and the Louisiana Equine Council salutes you!