Louisiana State Arboretum


Length: 0.2 mile loop | 0.3 miles | 0.6 miles | 1.0 mile loop | 1.1 miles | 1.1 miles

Type: Packed Dirt | Boardwalk | Paved Asphalt | Handicapped Accessible

Difficulty: Easy

Usages: Walking

Location: 1300 Sudie Lawton Lane, Ville Platte, LA 70586

Map: Trail Map


Agency: Louisiana Office of State Parks

Contact: website | 337-363-6289


Animals: Prohibited

Water: Water Fountain

Bathroom: Restrooms

Entrance Fee: $3 per person

Camping: None

Special Notes: Trails can be accessed via Highway 3042 for free

Louisiana State Arboretum

The Louisiana State Arboretum was established in 1961 as the first state-supported arboretum in the United States. Today, it encompasses over 600 acres and has 6 main trails for visitors to enjoy:

  • Bald Cypress Trail (0.2 mile loop) – This short loop starts at the Nature Center and goes down to the swamp-like shores of Lake Chicot. It is wheelchair accessible for the first half, which leads up to a viewing platform.
  • Walker Terrace (0.3 miles) – This paved path is wheelchair accessible and features numerous plaques labeled trees native to Louisiana. Be sure to check out the Dormon Lodge!
  • Wetland Trail (0.6 miles) – The section connects the Walker Terrace, Backbone Ridge and Walker Branch Trails. Unique to this trail is the Vernal Pool, a low-ground of the area that features fern groves, a large boardwalk, and some recreational structures.
  • Pawpaw Loop (1.0 mile loop) – This loop has a bit of hilly terrain but is nonetheless quite easy to navigate.
  • Walker Branch Trail (1.1 miles) – This trail connects the two entrances of Louisiana State Arboretum and features a lengthy boardwalk in the middle section. It is relatively flat and easy to navigate.
  • Backbone Ridge Trail (1.1 miles) – This trail is a personal favorite, as it is a nice mix of hilly terrain and beautiful forests. Be careful for spiderwebs, which cross over the trail quite often. But they are a good indicator that you are the first person that day, and therefore, have the best chance of seeing some cool wildlife.