Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Lafayette
If you want to go beyond the neighborhood or local park to get some exercise with your dog, you’ll find that Lafayette has some amazing hiking and walking trails. Whether you want a quick stroll in a scenic area or a full afternoon of adventure, there’s something for everyone.
Right inside the city limits, you’ll discover an area that will challenge you and keep you interested with interesting sights. Acadiana Park includes two tracts with six miles of trails for hiking. Some of the trails take you through the woods, but don’t forget to stop at the Acadiana Park Nature Station where you can check out exhibits. Bathrooms are located on the southern tract while the northern tract offers more complex trails.
Chicot State Park
Make plans ahead of time for a long hike or even an overnight adventure at Chicot State Park, which is just an hour’s drive from the city. This state park features a 2000-acre lake with a 19-mile hiking trail. Primitive campsites provide a place for an overnight stay. Permits are required with a trip plan and expected times to start and finish the visit. While here, you’ll want to spend some time at the Louisiana State Arboretum with 600 acres of forest land. Four miles of trails include markers that detail the plant species found in this area.
Cypress Island Preserve
Drive just 20 minutes from the city to see an amazing outdoor attraction with almost 10,000 acres of swamp and forest. Lake Martin is located within the preserve with numerous wading birds. Travel the Lake Martin Levee Trail, which is 2.5 miles long. You can see birds and alligators along the way or enjoy a magnificent view of the water from the peninsula. Additional trails branch off from the main one while an elevated boardwalk takes you above the swamp.
Kisatchie National Forest
For a fun and adventurous walk with your dog, you’ll want to check out the national forest. This forest contains more than 600,000 acres with five districts. Trails vary from easy for beginners to challenging for those more experienced. This national forest is home to two hiking spots near Lafayette.
First is the Calcasieu Ranger District which is just an hour and a half from the city. It includes the longest trail in Louisiana, known as the Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail. Take the Kincaid Loop Trail for a day-long hike at 9 miles.
The second hiking spot is Kisatchie Ranger District, which is around two hours away with a 7.5-mile hike and an extra 2.5 miles along the road. If you’re looking for a quick hike in the area, the Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail is perfect at just 1.5 miles. While it’s not a long trail, it comes with a few scenic overlooks that are sure to captivate.
With all of these parks and walking trails, you and your dog will be sure to get plenty of exercise with fun adventures along the way.