Louisiana Trails present a spectacular path through majestic hardwood and pine forests towering overhead as you pass through part of the Kisatchie National Forest. The multi-use corridor is popular with families, equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers, joggers, and birdwatchers. You may even see a mule-drawn wagon along the way. Dozens of old railroad trestles convey trail users over the many streams and lakes, as well as a few swamps and beaver ponds. Wildflowers and flowering trees lend splashes of color during spring, summer and fall. Winters temperatures are generally mild, making this a year-round destination.
The trail, when fully developed, will be 60 plus miles long, stretching from Sibley to Winnfield. It will cross parts of Webster, Bienville, Natchitoches, and Winn parishes. Currently only about 40 miles of the trail, between Jamestown and Winnfield, are open to the public (except for activities involving horses and mules.) Because of incomplete flooring on some of the bridges, the Trail is open to horses and mules between Ashland and Goldonna only.
The railbed dates to 1890, when it was constructed by William Buchanan to expand his 4-mile logging railroad south from Bodcaw, Arkansas, to Louisiana. Eventually, what became known as the Louisiana & Arkansas Railroad, was sold to the Kansas City Southern Railway. During its day, the rail line connected with the Carey Salt mine in Winnfield and linked oil and gas operations in Bienville and Webster parishes.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available in Jamestown between E. Front Street (Rt. 792) and W. Front Street, south of Rt. 154. You can also park in two places in Goldonna, near the Post Office (Main Street/Rt. 479) and also farther along northeast of there on Main Street/Rt. 479.
Parking is available at the southern end point is near Winnfield, at the intersection of Rt. 501 and Par Road/994/Milam Rd.
Other towns along and near the route include Mt. Morgan, Ogden, Heflin, Swift, Fryeburg, Lawhon, Jamestown, Castor, Alberta, Roy, Guynes, Ashland, Skidder, Chestnut, Oshkosh, Coldwater, Grace, Calvin and Carla Station on the west side of Winnfield.