Kisatchie is the only National Forest in Louisiana. It includes 5 Ranger Districts distributed over 7 parishes in the central and northwestern part of the state, encompassing more than 600,000 acres. It was established in 1930 and is administered by the US Forest Service.
Kisatchie has bayous, prairies, old-growth upland pine forests, lakes, and bald cypress groves. It is mostly flat, with the highest elevations topping out at around 400 feet. Numerous recreation activities are possible, including: fishing, hunting, hiking, bird-watching, and camping. It’s a native habitat to rare plant species such as the insect-eating pitcher plant and the barbed rattlesnake root, and home to many types of wildlife, from black bear and bobcats to otters and alligators.
RaggedyCrow and I overnighted at the Beaver Dam Campground at Upper Caney Lake on the Caney Ranger District in early April 2017. The Turtle Slide CG, which had been my first choice, is currently closed, with no projected re-opening date at this time.
Fees on the Kisatchie vary according to activity and area – check with the appropriate Ranger District for the most current information. When we stayed at Beaver Dam CG, the fee was $15 per night, discounted to $9.50 with the America the Beautiful Access Pass, and the fee for the nearby day usage area was $3, or $1.50 with the Pass.
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