Where to See Fall Foliage in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the best time for fall foliage is around the end of October
In Louisiana, the best time for fall foliage is around the end of October | © Roberto Michel / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mike Title
8 October 2020

As leaf colors change across the nation, ushering in another fall, keen nature lovers follow the fall foliage to see it in all its glory. In Louisiana, the peak time is usually around the end of October and the beginning of November. The further south you travel, the longer it takes for the fall colors to peak, because of the lingering heat. These are our favorite places to admire the many changing colors of Louisiana.

Chemin-A-Haut State Park in Bastrop

Map View

Chemin-A-Haut State Park is one of the most magical places in the north of Louisiana, where the magical cypress trees along the water get their chance to shine when fall eventually ushers its way in and the foliage starts to change. There are two trails that wind either way around the park – the Bobcat and the Boy Scout Trail – and both are easy and well marked. You can also rent a boat to get the experience of seeing the colors from the waterways.

Kisatchie National Forest

Natural Feature
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Longleaf Vista view, Longleaf Trail National Scenic Byway, Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana
© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

Only 1.5 hours’ drive north out of Lafayette lies the enormous Kisatchie National Forest, which is popular with hikers for its miles and miles of dirt tracks and hills. If your idea of fall is a time to reflect and get a little lost in nature, this is the perfect place to do just that. Those who set up their tents and stay overnight here will also get to enjoy a canopy of stars. There are also horse riding trails through the forest – an exhilarating way to see the trees change color as you gallop beneath them.

Jimmie Davis State Park

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From Shreveport in northern Louisiana it is an easy drive to Jimmie Davis State Park, a wonderful place to witness the joys of fall as nature shifts and switches from vibrant greens to glorious yellows, oranges and reds. This display can be enjoyed by following a primitive trail around the park, littered with deep-red fallen leaves. The sunsets over Caney Creek Lake are spectacular at this time of year.

North Toledo Bend State Park

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North Toledo Bend State Park on the shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir in eastern Louisiana is a lovely spot to explore during fall. As you stare out across the flat waters – whether from the shore or from a boat – you will get wonderful views of the trees turning in every direction. The peak is usually around November, when the oaks, hickories and pine trees magically become a deep red. If you wish to stay, there are quaint cabins that you can rent for a weekend.

Lake Bistineau State Park

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Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) in lake filled with giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), Lake Bistineau State Park, Doyline, Louisiana.
© Dianne Leeth / Alamy Stock Photo

Lake Bistineau State Park is only around a half an hour’s drive from Shreveport in northern Louisiana, and offers some of the best sunsets in the region. As the sun turns the sky as orange and red as the leaves on the trees, it’s hard not to feel a sense of utter gratitude. There are five nature trails through the park that lead you through the woods, and they are not demanding. The wildlife will keep you engaged and the submerged trees poking out of the lake are well worth seeing.

Lake Claiborne State Park

Park, Natural Feature
Map View

Many people travel to Lake Claiborne in Homer, northern Louisiana, to hike, especially in fall when the weather is milder and the air is crisp. As you walk around the water’s edge and watch the sun go down from the jetty, there is a sense of peace here. The leaves crunch underfoot and the waters seem to become very still at the golden hour. Lake Claiborne manages to be popular without being overpopulated and is a great place to enjoy the vivid colors of fall.

These recommendations were updated on October 8, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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