Did you know that there are over 150 miles of trails for hiking and backpacking a short drive from the Alexandria/Pineville Area? The Wild Azalea Trail is the longest continuous hiking trail in Louisiana at 26.2 miles long. This is also a popular spot with mountain bikers from all over.
The trail begins at Valentine Lake Recreation Area and runs all the way to the Woodworth Town Hall. Accounts often vary about the trail’s length because the last 1.7 miles is on a road to the town hall.
There are entry points throughout the 26.2 miles so you can choose to do shorter day hikes along the way to explore the various segments of the trail. This is a great backpacking route especially for beginners as most of the trail is fairly easy. It offers several beautiful, relaxing primitive campsites.
If you take your hike in late March you will likely see the wild azaleas the trail is named after as well as dogwoods, and other wildflowers are blooming. The trail offers a variety of scenes from peaceful creeks to longleaf pine forest there is truly more beauty at every turn. And don’t trick yourself into thinking that Louisiana is all flat. There are certainly some hills along the way.
- “50 Hikes in Louisiana: Hikes, Walks, & Backpacks in the Bayou State” Janina Baxley First Edition,
- Pack & Paddle Website