Kisatchie National Forest, located in central Louisiana, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts and horseback riders. With its diverse landscapes, rolling hills, and miles of trails, it offers plenty of opportunities to explore the beauty of nature on horseback. If you love horses and enjoy leisurely rides through scenic trails, then Kisatchie National Forest is the perfect destination for you. Here are some of the best horse trails the forest has to offer.
1. Sandstone Multi-Use Trail: This 15-mile trail loop is one of the most popular horseback riding trails in Kisatchie National Forest. It showcases the stunning views of the Sandstone Hills, hardwood forests, and peaceful creek crossings. The trail is well-maintained and marked, making it suitable for riders of all levels. Don't forget to bring your camera, as you might encounter various wildlife species along the way.
2. Kincaid Lake Recreation Area: This equestrian-friendly area within Kisatchie National Forest offers a network of interconnected horse trails. With over 50 miles of trails to explore, riders can immerse themselves in the beauty of the forest while enjoying the peacefulness of Kincaid Lake. The trails range from easy to moderate, and there are several primitive campsites where riders can rest and spend the night with their horses.
3. Backbone Multi-Use Trail: For riders seeking a more challenging experience, the Backbone Multi-Use Trail is a must-try. This trail spans approximately 6.5 miles and traverses the rough terrain of the Calcasieu District. It takes you through steep hills, forested areas, and even crosses a few shallow creek beds. Riders should have some experience and be comfortable with uneven terrain before attempting this trail.
4. Caroline Dormon Trail: Named after the famous American naturalist and teacher Caroline Dormon, this trail offers a unique opportunity to ride through the northernmost example of longleaf pine forests. Stretching over 14 miles, this trail winds through rolling hills and diverse ecosystems, offering riders a chance to observe a wide range of plant and animal species. The trail features varied terrain, from soft forest floors to sandy stretches, providing an enjoyable ride for experienced equestrians.
5. Fullerton Lake Recreation Area: Known for its picturesque beauty, Fullerton Lake Recreation Area is an excellent choice for a leisurely horseback ride. It provides access to several connected trails that wind around the serene Fullerton Lake. Offering both primitive and modern campsites, riders can extend their visit to enjoy a relaxing overnight stay with their horses.
When planning a horseback riding trip to Kisatchie National Forest, it's essential to ensure you have the proper equipment, including a well-fitted saddle, comfortable riding boots, and a helmet for safety. Additionally, obtain a current trail map and familiarize yourself with the trails, as well as any specific regulations or permits required. Always practice Leave No Trace principles, respecting the environment and other trail users.
Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, the horse trails at Kisatchie National Forest cater to all skill levels. With its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and well-designed trails, this national forest provides an unforgettable horseback riding experience. So, saddle up, explore the enchanting wilderness, and create lasting memories with your equine companion at Kisatchie National Forest.