Recreation and Nature in Perfect Balance
Situated on the western shore of Lake Bistineau, this park offers a satisfying blend of beautiful vistas and outstanding recreational facilities. Memorable for its upland mixed hardwood forest, its open waters, and its enchanting stands of cypress and tupelo trees, the park offers two boat launches, hiking trails, playgrounds, two swimming pools, a lakefront beach, a baseball field, camping, cabins, lodges, and excellent fishing!
Nature Got It Started
Lake Bistineau dates back almost 200 years. It began in 1800 when several thousand acres of land were flooded due to a gigantic log jam in the Red River. Gradually, however, as the area was dredged, the lake began to drain.
Then in 1935, a permanent dam was built across Loggy Bayou,creating the present-day Lake Bistineau. The dam has since been enlarged, giving the reservoir a surface area of 26.9 square miles, with an average depth of seven feet and maximum depth of 25 feet.
Lake Bistineau State Park was born on July 6, 1938, the day legislation was signed authorizing the creation of the park. Ten years later, the entire tract of land was acquired, plans were drawn, and construction began.
A Fisherman's Paradise
Local people tell many stories of the successes enjoyed by fishermen on Lake Bistineau.
Beginning in January with the "yo- yo" season and lasting through the spring, summer, and early fall, the dedicated fisherman can draw such catches as black crappie, largemouth bass, yellow bass, bullheads, bluegill, and red-ear sunfish from the lake's clear waters.
Something for Everyone
Lake Bistineau State Park has a lot to offer the angler, but fishing is certainly not the end of the recreation story. This beautiful spot in northwest Louisiana offers many recreation opportunities in both sections of the park--Area 1 and Area 2.
Area 1, or the main section of the park, is accessed from LA 163. Picnicking along the lake is tremendously popular at numerous sites equipped with tables, grills, and nearby restrooms. Several picnic pavilions are also available for larger groups. A park naturalist is on hand to take you along one of the park's nature trails or offer a variety of programs which are guaranteed to bring the natural beauty and wildlife of the park to life.
A play area, a boat ramp and launch, or a quiet spot for swimming in the lake among the cypress and tupelo trees may suit your wishes. Take advantage of the rental boats that are also available.
For the Overnight Visitor
Area 1 also has provisions for those who want to spend the night. Fourteen vacation cabins, complete with bedrooms, bathrooms, and fully equipped kitchens, are extremely popular attractions. A charming lodge that sleeps 12 is great for large families or a group. The cabins and the lodge (click here for cabin and lodge layout) have central air conditioning and heat, making them comfortable year-round. Playgrounds will delight young guests of the park.
For the camper, there are 67 improved campsites with water and electricity, nearby restrooms, showers, and a dump station. The park includes a rally campground for groups.
Groups may also enjoy the group camp in Area 1 (click here for Group Camp 1 layout) which provides sleeping quarters for up to 160 people in 20 cabins, a fully equipped kitchen, and a swimming pool. This is a favorite for family reunions and church gatherings.
Around the Corner
While Area 1 is memorable for its natural tranquility, Area 2 is notable for its lively recreation facilities.
Although Area 2 is connected to the main part of the park by the lake, to reach Area 2 by car you will return to the highway by going east off LA 163, along Webster Parish Road 178, to the entrance.
Area 2 includes a group camp (which can accommodate 48 people -- click here for Group Camp 2 layout), playgrounds, a large picnic area with several pavilions, a swimming pool, a baseball field, and a boat launch.
If natural beauty and outstanding facilities are what you're seeking, you'll find exactly what you're looking for at Lake Bistineau State Park.
Lake Claiborne State Park-- (7 miles southeast of Homer on LA 146)--Located on the banks of a 6,400-acre lake. With steep ravines and rolling hills, the park features excellent picnicking, pavilions, 10 vacation cabins, 87 improved campsites, a swimming beach, boat launch, fishing pier, and nature trails.
Lake D'Arbonne State Park-- (5 miles west of Farmerville on LA 2)--A fisherman's paradise, this 655-acre state park on the shores of Lake D'Arbonne features 65 improved campsites, 50 picnic tables and grills, 3 fishing piers, a boat ramp, and a fish cleaning station.
Jimmie Davis State Park at Caney Lake-- (Off LA 4 southwest of Chatham, on Lakeshore Drive and State Road 1209). Situated on an outstanding bass-fishing lake, the park offers camping, picnicking, 2 boat ramps, a fishing pier, swimming beach and is an ideal spot to launch biking expeditions.
Historic Town of Minden-- (East of Shreveport on I-20)--Visitors may travel old brick streets still leading down Main Street and explore 2 historic residential districts including both antebellum and Victorian homes.
Kisatchie National Forest-Caney Lakes Recreation Area-- (North of I-20 on LA 159)--This area offers picnick- ing, swimming, fishing, waterskiing, hiking/biking trails, boat launches, group picnic shelters, and 27 improved and 21 unimproved campsites. The 7.6-mile Sugar Cane National Recreation Trail circles upper Caney Lake and offers a forest ecosystem, views of the lake, and the visible remains of an old sugar cane mill.
Trails End Public Golf Course-- (I-20 at Arcadia)--This 18-hole golf course is one of the most challenging courses in the area.
Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area-- (On LA 154 south of Haughton)--The 4,211 acres of alluvial flood plain or bottomland hardwoods offer hunting, fishing, birding, day hiking, a boat launch, and designated camping areas.
Ambrose Mountain-- (Hwy. 154 south of Sailes and I-20)--A granite column marks the spot where notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers and a posse in 1934.
Driskoll Mountain-- (Off LA 507 between Parish Roads 797, 164 and 163, south of Arcadia and I-20)--This "mountain" is the highest point in Louisiana, rising 535 feet above sea level.
Mt. Lebanon-- (South of I-20 on LA 154)--This pioneer community was established in 1836. Its historic structures include Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, built in 1837, and seven private homes, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The old wood-frame church still has divided pews for men and women.
Bodcau Wildlife Management Area-- (On LA 157, north of the I-20 Haughton exit)--This 32,471-acre area features hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, a boat launch, and camping along Bodcau Bayou.