South Toledo Bend State Park
Hiking, biking, boating, birding and fishing await visitors at this park overlooking Toledo Bend Reservoir in Louisiana
Situated on bluffs overlooking enormous Toledo Bend Reservoir, South Toledo Bend State Park certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the nation’s top spots for recreational fishing. In 2015 and 2016, Toledo Bend Reservoir was named the nation’s No. 1 bass fishing lake by Bassmaster magazine.
There are many options for fishermen for casting a line whether it’s off a boat or off the pier, you’ll find largemouth bass, sac-à-lait (crappie), catfish and bream that crowd the lake’s waters. All are easily reachable via the park’s boat ramp or one of the piers or bridges found within the park. Fishing here is all the more memorable with calm waters and spectacular views.
Hiking, mountain biking and bird watching are all popular activities at the park too. South Toledo Bend State Park is home to bald eagle nesting grounds, so listen up and look up for a chance to spot one. This park is also the only state park that allows the use of off-road vehicles. Twelve miles of rocky, hilly country awaits riders in need of an adrenaline fix. You’ll find these areas located in a designated area away from the park’s main facilities.
Overnight visitors can choose from a deluxe cabin (which sleeps up to eight guests), RV campsites or tent campsites.
North Toledo Bend State Park
Explore the depths of the South’s largest man-made lake and fish in the number one bass lake in the country.
Covering about a third of Louisiana’s western boundary, Toledo Bend Reservoir resembles something more like a freshwater ocean than a lake – it’s an absolutely gargantuan body of water.
You can rent boats at North Toledo Bend State Park, then see if you can land a “lunker” (the name given to a bass that weighs in at over 10 pounds).
Fishing is what has made Toledo Bend famous, but it’s by no means the only attraction at North Toledo Bend State Park. As with South Toledo there’s also hiking and biking trails that wind throughout the park, with hills that are perfect settings for photographing sunsets over the lake. The park also offers canoes for rent on the calmer waters, plus you’ll find a swimming pool at North Toledo Bend State Park.
Accommodation at North Toledo Bend State Park includes deluxe cabins, a group camp (capable of sleeping up to 150 guests) and RV spots.
Looking for more attractions? Just outside of South Toledo Bend State Park is the Gothic Jail of DeRidder. A little further down the road you’ll find the shops, historic homes and restaurants of Natchitoches (pronounced nack-a-tish), plus this is home to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum. Nearby in Leesville, learn about the area's history at the Museum of West Louisiana and don't forget to grab some Zwolle tamales before you head home!