2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2016-17 through 2021-22


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Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area

Hours of Operation:
Site is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Trails at the Louisiana State Arboretum:
➤ Walker Branch Trail -- 1.5 miles
➤ Backbone Ridge Trail -- 1.25 mile
➤ Paw Paw Loop -- 1.25 miles
➤ Wetland Trail -- 0.7 mile
➤ Baldcypress Trail -- 500 ft.

Facilities And Activities:
View complete listing of available facilities & activities


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Entrance Fees:
Entrance to the Louisiana State Arboretum SPA is free to all visitors.

1300 Sudie Lawton Lane
Ville Platte, LA 70586

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Coming from the north on I-49, exit on LA 106 south. Turn left off LA 106 onto LA 3042 south. From the south, exit I-49 on US 167 and drive toward Ville Platte. Take Hwy 3042 north. The Arboretum Visitor Center is located within Chicot State Park.

30.803893, -92.28771.



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Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area

Friends Website:
Friends of the Arboretum

Upcoming Events

A Birder's Guide to Louisiana gives directions to over 100 areas for birding throughout the state, includes maps, Louisiana specialties, and contains beautiful photography and checklists of Louisiana birds and other wildlife. The Guide was produced through a partnership between the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the American Birding Association.


Established in 1961, the Louisiana State Arboretum was the first such area in the South and the first state-supported arboretum in the United States. To help preserve the Arboretum for future generations, removing or damaging any plants or animals is strictly prohibited. Pets and picnicking are not allowed on the grounds due to the preservation status of this site. Picnic grounds and camping facilities are available at nearby Chicot State Park.

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The Louisiana State Arboretum is large--more than 300 acres of natural growth, embellished with additional plantings of species that are indigenous to the state. Atypical of the terrain in the Louisiana prairieland, the topography of the Arboretum is varied and dramatic. The landscape ranges from nearly flat along the Walker Branch of Lake Chicot to relatively steep slopes along the terrace ridges. Due to this great variation in topography, almost every type of Louisiana vegetation, except coastal marsh and prairie, is represented on the site.

A Visitor Center, located within Chicot State Park and dedicated to the memory of J.D. "Prof" LaFleur, an outdoor enthusiast instrumental in establishing the Arboretum, houses interactive exhibits and meeting facilities. Nature trails take you deep into the wooded areas and longer trails take you along Walker Branch or Ferguson's Gully where several of the footpaths converge. If you walk the trails quietly, you'll discover that sycamores, maples, beeches, magnolias, hickories, ferns, and crane fly orchids are not the only living things in the arboretum. There's a good chance that you'll encounter some two-and four-legged critters, too: white-tail deer, wild turkey, raccoon, opossum, fox, skunk, squirrel, and numerous species of birds.

Botanists, horticulturists, college students, youth groups, solitary nature lovers, and people of all ages are all attracted to this beautiful and fascinating place. No matter how you walk along the trails--whether carefully, with the attentive eye of a scientist, or at full tilt with the carefree heart of a child--the Louisiana State Arboretum promises to be a memorable experience. Enjoy and please remember--take only pictures, leave only footprints.

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Nearby Attractions

Chicot State Park - The park covers 6,000 acres of rolling hills and includes a fish-rich 2,000-acre reservoir. Picnicking, hiking, bicycling, and birding are popular activities. Also available are 195 improved campsites, backpacking sites, a primitive group camping site, 15 deluxe cabins, 2 lodges, trails encircling the lake, a playground and rental pavilions.

Prairie Acadian Cultural Center-Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve (250 W. Park Ave., Eunice) - The Center depicts the heritage of the Prairie Acadians.Artifacts, exhibits,and live demonstrations portray aspects of this unique culture.

Acadian Town of Ville Platte (On US 167 and LA 10 north of US 190) - Ville Platte means "flat town" in French. Its strong agrarian and Cajun traditions and cultural influences can still be found in the spoken French and the music and food of the area.

Historic Town of Opelousas (At the intersection of US 190 and I-49) - The Confederate capital of Louisiana during the Civil War, it was also the boyhood home of the legendary Jim Bowie.

Historic Town of Washington (On LA 103, just west of I-49) - Once the largest steamboat port between New Orleans and St. Louis, the town preserves its 19th-century architecture and offers an antique mall and shops.

Zydeco Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway - The byway traces the historic towns, musical traditions, andculture of the Prairie Acadians.

Liberty Theatre/City of Eunice (200 W. Park Ave., Eunice) - "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" is a Saturday night live radio show featuring Cajun & Zydeco music in the style of the Grand Ole Opry.

Acadiana Park Nature Station (1205 E. Alexander St., Lafayette) - More than three miles of trails takes visitors through the meeting of two ecological systems - Gulf Coastal Tallgrass Prairie and the Mississippi River Floodplain.