U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Kisatchie National Forest


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Forest Information

The Kisatchie National Forest, divided into eight sections, is located in central and northern Louisiana. It is 602,308 acres. There are about twenty-seven developed campgrounds, seven of which met the selection criteria.

It is hard today to see the ravages of earlier logging practiced and heavy agricultural use on the land in the Kisatchie National Forest. Today, reforested and recovering, the Forest is composed of six separate districts. Each district shares a common history and offers a healthy and vibrant forest, variety of recreational opportunities and delightful camping locations.

The south end of Kisatchie National Forest has had a long association with the Army. Where once the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) efforts had impact on the area, today Fort Polk influences the Forest. This area is crisscrossed with numerous trails for hiking, mountain bikes, horses, and ORVs. Most of the trails wind over, on, and through hills and dales are considered challenging.

In this area the car and tent-friendly camping location of Kisatchie Bayou campground. The only walk-in campground in the Forest, all sites are along the Kisatchie Bayou. The heavy vegetation and "easy" flowing water provide campers with a sense of wilderness camping but without the inconvenience having to backpack in. Hiking, fishing, and canoeing are just some of the activities found at this campground. (Check with Forest Service for water level information.)

Not far away in miles, but providing a completely different camping experience are Kincaid and Valentine Lake campgrounds. Nestled in mixed hardwood-pine forest and rugged terrain are Kincaid Lake and Valentine Lake. Both are outstanding locations for family camping vacation but only Kincaid, on the shores of Kincaid Lake, has electric and water hook-ups, flush toilets, hot showers, dump station, numerous hiking & mountain bike trails, and lots of water based activities. Valentine Lake campground doesn't have the hook-ups nor does it have the crowds. Both campgrounds are on water, offer a variety of trails, good fishing, various water-base activities, and can accommodate car, tent, recreational vehicles (RV) and motorhome camping enthusiasts.

In contrast, topographical speaking, is the northern portion of the Forest. Once this area dominated by cotton and sugar cane, Caney's flatter terrain has only one hiking/mountain bike trail which is better-suited to a more leisurely pace that allows an up-close-and-personal study of the Forest. In this area are are two other great family-oriented camping locations: Beaver Dam and Turtle Slide. Located side-by-side, Turtle Slide campground, with its thicker vegetation, is a more car and tent-friendly camping locations. On the other hand, the RV and motorhome-friendly Beaver Dam campground has a more spacious feel and water and electric hook-ups. Both campgrounds flush toilets, hot showers, and easy access to various water activities in Upper Caney Lake.

Hanging in most of the Ranger District Offices is a photograph of a stern faced woman. She is sitting on the ground, leaning against the trunk of a large pine, and looking directly into the camera. She has the stern look of a school teacher. She was that and so much more. The photograph is of Caroline Dorman, the "Mother of the Kisatchie National Forest."

As a turn of the century schoolteacher in rural Louisiana, Ms. Dorman past through majestic virgin woods going to work before they were devastated by "cut and get out" logging practices of the day. The presence of a National Forest in Louisiana can be attributed to Ms. Dorman's single-handed and tireless efforts to recover the woodlands of her youth. Ms. Dorman's legacy, the Kisatchie National Forest, awaits to welcome you with its diverse recreational opportunities and beauty.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 2500 Shreveport Highway P.O.B. 5500 Pineville, Louisiana 71360 318-473-7160 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Calcasieu 9912 Hwy. 28 West Boyce, Louisiana 71409 318-793-9427 Caney 3288 Hwy 79 Homer, Louisiana 71040-0479 318-927-2061 Catahoula 5325 LA Hwy. 8 Bentley, Louisiana 71407-9726 318-765-3554 Kisatchie 229 Dogwood Park Rd. Provencal, Louisiana 71468 318-472-1840 Winn 9671 US Hwy. 84 West Winnfield, Louisiana 71483-9501 318-628-4664

Fred and Suzi Dow