As I sit here at my campsite, using the supplied wi-fi, waiting out the little nuances of using a laptop is just so much more fruitful when you are in one of arguably the most picturesque locations in the Louisiana State Parks System. Nestled in the rolling, heavily wooded hills of Union Parish, Louisiana is a gem of natural beauty, Lake D’Arbonne State Park. The 655 acre park snuggles part of the northwest shoreline of the 15,000 thousand acre lake and there are a myriad of reasons why visiting this park has been a more than pleasurable experience. In the effort of a short article, however, I will limit the top features of this park as they apply to those who follow a travel regimen that focuses on nature type related travel on a budget.
The first major reason to visit the park is coarse the lake itself. The clean fresh water of the lake features many outcroppings of wonderous bald cypress which can be found both on the shore line and in various sections of the middle lake. As a nature enthusiast, lakes that feature many stumps and obstacles for pleasure boating are blessings from heaven. No water skiing, no loud speed boats with hoards of beer clad warriors making a pilgrimage to the fossil gods in search of their primate infused machismo. Instead the park and lake features Birds calling in the daylight, frogs calling in the night. Some boats, yes, but those of respectful sportsmen, in search of the great fishing that this lake provides. Today the lake is pure calmness, reflective images of blue sky upon an aquifer rivaling the beauty of far more popular lakes.
The second reason to visit the park, is the trail system in the park. On many occasions I have found myself at a state park where it is picturesque and the campground is well equipped, but I find myself just walking around the campground or up and down an accompanying road. While this can be enjoyable and adventurous as well, it is so refreshing to find a park where a true focus and effort has been made into establishing and maintaining an excellent trail system. There are several trails available to hike, all are very easy in difficulty and are focused on a nature experience for the hiker. Look down as well as up when you hike, tiny frogs the size of a cricket! Subjects for another blog post to be sure. A wonderful diversity of tree and bird life to be sure. I am by no means an expert birder but it is easy to at least acknowledge there is a great diversity of birds at this park. So many calls from our aviary companions of the skies like a concert with a vast array of living, breathing, mystical instruments chanting melodic tunes in this enchanted place.
Okay, I know it is not a truly nature related aspect of the park but please forgive me this time. The third reason that visiting Lake D’Arbonne State Park has been a pleasurable experience is the wonderfully maintained campground. The campground features very large spacious, wooded sites with electricity and water hookups. Many of the sites also have accompanying tent pads which is something that appears to be getting very rare in today’s campgrounds that focus more on vehicle camping. The bathhouse of the campground truly is first rate and was absolutely spotless. The bathhouse also features a ‘washeteria’ with a laundry and a place for doing dishes. Granted, we were here during the week in early August, and the campground was nearly empty, but I have a feeling that even when near capacity, this campground is designed in such a way that it is not crowded.
The Stunning features of Lake D’ Arbonne, the trail system of Lake D’Arbonne State Park and the immaculately kept campground are the top reasons I have choose as why Lake D’Arbonne State Park is a very pleasurable place to visit for nature related travelers like ourselves. However, this is one of those places where words and pictures are just not enough. Sounds, smells, breezes in just the right proportions are impossible to describe or see. Truly the enchantment of this locale is real for me. This park is a gem to discover and perhaps a chance renew a love for nature as the focus of the journey.