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Tickfaw State Park - Springfield, LA


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Rating

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Overview

Strolling through four ecosystems on over a mile of boardwalks through Tickfaw State Park, visitors can experience the sights and sounds of a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.

Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons can be seen gathering crawfish and other food amid a mix of palmetto, wax myrtle and native azalea. Sightings of turtles, snakes, squirrels, opposums, songbirds, wild turkeys, and migratory waterfowl, as well as tracks of beaver, coyote, deer, fox, and racoons, offer close encounters with wildlife less than an hour from Louisiana's capital city.

The adventurous can explore the park's 1,200 acres that include backwater swamps, and dark-watered sloughs that form the wetland network created by the Tickfaw River.

Periodically the park site serves the region by detaining floodwaters when winter and spring rains overflow the steep banks of the Tickfaw River. These periods of occasional flooding offer a unique opportunity to educate visitors on the importance of periodic flooding in the cycle of life that makes wetlands an invaluable habitat and breeding ground for wildlife and fisheries.

Begin your park visit at the Nature Center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) with an introductory video presentation, interactive learning exhibits, and a stop at the aquarium. Don't be late for a guided hike on the boardwalks, or try your hand at canoeing while a ranger describes the varied plant and animal life found within the park. You may prefer the more relaxed approach offered during a nature program presentation at one of the three education pavilions and an outdoor amphitheater at the nature center. You can also join a nighttime campfire group, go stargazing, or listen to the swamp nightlife from the porch of your vacation cabin.

Bicycle, stroll, or skate the interconnecting park roadways. Canoe the Tickfaw River as part of a ranger-led canoe tour or paddle the slow-moving connecting canals on your own. A canoe landing accommodates shallow-draft watercraft that can navigate the narrow stretch of the river that cuts through the heart of the park. Visitors can bring their own canoes or use park canoes during scheduled canoe tour sessions. Reservations are required for park canoes used as part of guided canoe tours. Contact the Nature Center at 225-294-2218 for more information on canoeing.

Teachers can utilize the park as a classroon for day trips. Park rangers offer materials and leadership to initiate the learning process in the classroom and provide the follow-up on site. Nature programs for families and tour groups are also available. And after you've seen the park in the fall, come back for the winter, spring and summer seasons for a completely different look.

Overnight visitors can stay at one of 14 vacation cabins that overlook a cypress swamp. Each air-conditioned, two-bedroom cabin sleeps eight persons and includes a fireplace, fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom. Thirty campsites with water and electricity, fire ring and picnic table are available for recreational vehicle owners. An additional 20 tent campsites offer a tranquil setting for tent campers. A climate-controlled bathhouse and laundry facility are also available for camper use.

A Group Camp accommodates up to 48 visitors in two spacious dormitory wings, each wing served by private bath facilities. The dormitories flank a dining hall and central kitchen, equipped with commercial cooking equipment. Day-use visitors can reserve a covered picnic shelter to enjoy a traditional crawfish boil or an old-fashioned family picnic.

A gift shop in the Nature Center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) offers souvenirs with a local flavor.

Originally inhabited by the prehistoric Mississippian culture, the French were among the area's first European settlers. Springfield grew out of a trading post on the Old Spanish Trail and became a shipping center. The Natalbany and Tickfaw rivers were used to transport cotton and timber to New Orleans.

The contemporary agriculture character was created by logging operations which left virtually no area untouched. Early settlers utilized much of the cleared acreage to establish a rich agriculture community, providing a variety of fruits and vegetables to the surrounding urban areas. Truck farming crops such as strawberries, sweet corn, cucumber and peppers are area favorites. Pick-your-own berry farms are popular with tourists and residents beginning in December with Louisiana's famous strawberries, and continuing through early summer when blackberries and blueberries are in season. Logging and forest product industries remain an important part of the local economy.

Only a short drive from Baton Rouge, Hammond and New Orleans, Tickfaw State Park is located just seven miles southwest of Springfield on the Tickfaw River.


Activities & Amenities

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Nearby Attractions:
Kliebert's Turtle and Alligator Tours
Ponchatoula - America's Antique City
Fairview-Riverside State Park
Joyce Wildlife Management Area
Global Wildlife Park
Hungarian Settlement/Harvest Winery
BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Fees
$2 per vehicle with up to four persons and 50 cents for each additional person.
Campsites: $12 per night
Annual Permit: A $30 Annual Day-use Permit is available at the park's entrance station. The permit is valid at all State Parks.

Hours and information:

27225 Patterson Road
Springfield, LA 70462-8906
225-294-5020 or
1-888-981-2020

Louisiana State Parks are open 365 days a year. State Historic Sites and Preservation Areas are open 9 am to 5 pm daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Information provided by Louisiana Department of Recreation and Tourism

 


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