U.S. Forest Service - Kisatchie National Forest

U.S. Forest Service - Kisatchie National Forest The Kisatchie National Forest has more than 600,000 acres of land spread across seven parishes in Louisiana and is divided into five Ranger Districts.
(7)

The USDA Forest Service page is a combined effort of the National Forest Foundation and the USDA Forest Service. The National Forest Foundation, chartered by Congress, engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests. http://www.nationalforests.org/ The Forest Service manages a system of 155 national forests, 20 national grasslands, and 222 research and experimental forests, as well as other special areas, covering more than 192 million acres of public land. The Forest Service has evolved into a 30,000 employee agency that manages the national forests for a number of multiple uses, including recreation, timber, wilderness, minerals, water, grazing, fish, and wildlife.

Mission: The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service motto, "Caring for the Land and Serving People," captures the spirit of our mission, which we accomplish through five main activities: Protection and management of natural resources on National Forest System lands. Research on all aspects of forestry, rangeland management, and forest resource utilization. Community assistance and cooperation with State and local governments, forest industries, and private landowners to help protect and manage non-Federal forest and associated range and watershed lands to improve conditions in rural areas. Achieving and supporting an effective workforce that reflects the full range of diversity of the American people. International assistance in formulating policy and coordinating U.S. support for the protection and sound management of the world's forest resources.

Operating as usual

Calling all hunters! Listen as Jim Caldwell explains how the Kisatchie National Forest is ready to kick-off hunting seas...
09/19/2020
Jim Caldwell

Calling all hunters! Listen as Jim Caldwell explains how the Kisatchie National Forest is ready to kick-off hunting season!

Jim Caldwell talks about Kisatchie National Forest and the upcoming hunting season plus a damage assessment from Hurricane Laura.

Updates on Kisatchie National Forest Recreation Sites after Hurricane Laura (as of September 18, 2020): (please read pre...
09/17/2020

Updates on Kisatchie National Forest Recreation Sites after Hurricane Laura (as of September 18, 2020): (please read previous post from Sept. 16: We are continuing evaluations of all of our recreation sites and will open our campgrounds and trails as soon as we can remove hazard trees) A weekly update will be made on Facebook and the Kisatchie NF website (www.fs.usda.gov/kisatchie).

• The Old LSU Walking Trail at the Supervisor’s Office is open.

Calcasieu Ranger District / Evangeline Unit, Rapides Parish (318-793-9427)

OPEN:
• All Kincaid Boat Launches

CLOSED:
• Kincaid Lake Day-Use and Beach Area
• Kincaid Lake Group-Use Area
• Lakeshore Trail
• Kincaid Lake Trail
• Kincaid Campgrounds A & B
• Kincaid Primitive Camp
• Valentine Lake Recreation Area and Campground
• Loran Campground
• Boy Scout Camp
• Evangeline Camp
• Ahtus Melder Camp
• Wild Azalea Trail
• Camp Claiborne OHV Trails

Calcasieu Ranger District / Vernon Unit, Vernon Parish (318-793-9427)

OPEN:
• Government Pond Camping and Fishing
• Hunter Camp

CLOSED:
• Enduro OHV Trail and Campground
• Fullerton Campground
• Fullerton Lake and the Interpretive Trail
• Fullerton Group-Use Area
• Wolf Rock Cave
• Big Branch Trail and Longleaf Area
• Wild Turkey Trail
• Little Cypress Day-use Area
• Little Cypress Pond and Ol’ Sarge Interpretive Trail
• Blue Hole and Hogback Ridge Trail

Caney Ranger District, Claiborne and Webster Parishes (318-927-2061)

OPEN:
• Caney Lakes Campground (Beaver Dam Campground) – reservations may be made at https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233319
• Caney Lakes Day-Use Area and Group Pavilion – limited to 50-person maximum capacity rental – gates open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Caney Lakes and Corney Lake Boat Launches
• Sugar Cane National Recreation Trail (partial segments open – please see map)
• Corney Bayou Boat Ramp
• Corney Lake Day-Use and Group-Use Areas
• Corney Lake Hunter Camp
• Sugar Creek Hunter Camp
• Bucktail Hunter Camp
• Turkey Trot Hunter Camp
• Sugar Cane National Recreation Trail

Catahoula Ranger District, Grant Parish (318-765-3554)

CLOSED:
• Stuart Lake Recreation Area, Campground, and Group-Use Area
• Glen Emery Trailhead located at Stuart Lake
• Glen Emery Hiking Trail (except the trailhead near Stuart Lake)
• Iatt Lake
• Bankston Hunter Camp
• Highway 472 Hunter Camp
• Pearson Hunter Camp
• Saddle Bayou Hunter Camp
• Livingston OHV Trails – Hickman Trail and Little Creek

Kisatchie Ranger District, Natchitoches Parish (318-472-1840)

OPEN:
• Kisatchie Hills Wilderness Area and Associated Trails
• Anderson Pond Day Use Area
• Longleaf Vista Trail, Pavilion, and Picnic Area

CLOSED:
• Kisatchie Bayou Recreation Area and Campground
• Caroline Dormon Recreation Trail
• Sandstone Trail
• Cane Camp
• Lotus Camp
• Dogwood Campground (broken water line, soon to be reopened)
• Corral Camp
• Coyote Camp
• Custis Camp
• Oak Camp
• Red Bluff Camp
• 395 Parking Area

Winn Ranger District, Winn Parish (318-628-4664)

CLOSED:
• Saline Bayou Recreation Trail
• Gum Springs Horse Campground
• Gum Springs Horse Trail
• Gum Springs Campground
• Highway 472 Hunter Camp
• Cloud Crossing Campground
• Saline Bayou
o Cloud Crossing Launch Area
o Pearfield Launch Area
o Goldonna Launch Area
o Sand Point Launch Area

Kisatchie National Forest re-opens after Hurricane Laura to many public uses including hunting!After a two-week hurrican...
09/17/2020

Kisatchie National Forest re-opens after Hurricane Laura to many public uses including hunting!
After a two-week hurricane assessment closure, the Kisatchie National Forest re-opens to hunting, boating, and dispersed camping.

Deer archery season opens this Saturday, September 19, in some areas of the Kisatchie. Squirrel season opens October 3 throughout KNF, and deer gun season will soon follow. Hunters and other users of the Forest are cautioned to be careful in the Forest. Dead snags, root-sprung trees, large hanging limbs and broken tops are hazards that are always in the general Forest zone. However, after the impacts of the severe storm, there are more of these hazardous conditions present. Additionally, trees and limbs that were damaged by the storm could fall on a public road. Therefore, hunters and other users should always be aware of fallen tree hazards while driving through the Forest.

Kincaid Lake boat launches in Rapides Parishes will open by this weekend.

Improved recreation sites such as Kincaid Lake, Valentine Lake, Stuart Lake and other developed recreation sites will remain temporarily closed at this time. The Forest Health Protection unit of the USDA Forest Service is presently conducting hazard tree surveys of these areas. The improved recreation areas will not be re-opened until the surveys are complete and identified hazards have been removed. The more primitive hunter camps are being evaluated straightaway and will be opened as soon as possible. As always, dispersed camping (camping outside of a designated campground) in the general Forest zone is allowed.

Most Kisatchie trails have trees across them. Hiking and biking trails will remain temporarily closed while damage is being assessed. Some of the motorized trails are covered with large, downed trees and it will take some time to clear the routes. A closure order has been issued for the multi-use (motorized) trails and most hiking and biking trails. A list is attached which indicates the status of KNF recreation sites. As these sites are evaluated and cleared, they will be opened and the list will be updated.

U.S. Forest Service - Kisatchie National Forest's cover photo
09/17/2020

U.S. Forest Service - Kisatchie National Forest's cover photo

09/13/2020
KALB News Channel 5

KALB News Channel 5

Jim Caldwell gives us an update on the Kisatchie National Forest damage:

Here is a drone's eye view of the devastation in the Vernon District from Hurricane Laura .  The block that these pictur...
09/08/2020

Here is a drone's eye view of the devastation in the Vernon District from Hurricane Laura . The block that these pictures came from was 5,045 acres. The total of heavily damaged timber in the Vernon District was 16,690 acres. Still much work to be done and our people are at it daily.

An update on the Wild Azalea Trail (WAT) near Alexandria, Louisiana. (Currently CLOSED)  This trail was hit hard.  There...
09/07/2020

An update on the Wild Azalea Trail (WAT) near Alexandria, Louisiana. (Currently CLOSED) This trail was hit hard. There are too many trees (30-40) to count that are across the trail just in the first half mile. The Forest Service will most likely host “Clean-Up Days” and enlist the help of volunteers to help with the trail. If you are wanting to help please stay tuned to our page and website for news announcing clean up days and other opportunities to volunteer.
The Wild Azalea Trail carries the honor of being the longest Running/Hiking trail in the state of Louisiana. It runs from the town of Woodworth to Valentine Lake. Along the trail you will pass through a variety of ecosystems. Parts of the trail are lower with hardwoods and lazy creeks creating a beautiful backdrop to your adventure. Other parts are higher and hillier with the Longleaf Pines gracing your path to the Finish line. At 28 miles in length, the WAT can be traversed in as little as a single day for the super ambitious, or a multi-day backpacking trip for those that want to take their time. The trail is usable all year – but the best times are from October through May when the weather is cooler. March and April are the best times to spot the Wild Azaleas for which the trail is named. The trail route is conspicuously marked with bright yellow paint blazes, and is signed at road crossings. The trail is designated for both foot and bicycle travel. It is bisected at about midpoint by State Highway 488 and is accessible by road at several other points. This makes it possible to hike short sections, a convenience for those who haven’t the time or inclination to hike the entire length of the trail in one outing.

While on-site supporting Hurricane Laura, the Gold Team practices safety first.  Everyone practices social distancing, w...
09/06/2020

While on-site supporting Hurricane Laura, the Gold Team practices safety first. Everyone practices social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and using alcohol wipes.

One of the many projects our Incident Management Team is conducting assessments the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) cluste...
09/06/2020

One of the many projects our Incident Management Team is conducting assessments the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) clusters and installation of inserts (artificial nests). The only woodpecker species on the Endangered Species List, the RCW, makes its home in mostly longleaf pines of the Southern United States. Habitat encroachment severely limited their range and breeding capabilities. In an effort to increase the RCW population, Louisiana wildlife management have created artificial cavities in longleaf pine trees. There are two methods in which wildlife management officers use to insert cavities in longleaf pines. The most respected and latest approach is to carve out a nesting cavity in the tree and insert a man-made nest. The older and less used approach is to drill a cavity into a tree in hopes that the birds will settle there and nest. Our crews will be checking the trees that are down and also putting more inserts into standing trees.

The longleaf pine and grassy understory on Big Branch Marsh NWR is home for multiple breeding pairs of RCW's. Today's RCW populations, especially small ones, will not increase to viable sizes without human intervention. Several management techniques have been responsible for increasing RCW populations. The refuge uses prescribed fire to maintain existing longleaf pine habitat, and the installation of artificial tree cavities also directly benefits the small population of RCW's found here.

More Hurricane damage photos from along the Longleaf Trail Scenic Byway on the Kisatchie Ranger District of the Kisatchi...
09/06/2020

More Hurricane damage photos from along the Longleaf Trail Scenic Byway on the Kisatchie Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest. The 17-mile scenic byway is one of the most scenic drives in Louisiana with elevation ranging from 120 to 400 feet. Vistas along the road include mesas, buttes and sandstone outcrops, backdropped by longleaf pines. The Longleaf Trail is located 5.5 miles south of the Derry exit on I-49. It connects Louisiana Highways 117 and 119. Currently all National Forest Service System Roads are closed on the Kisatchie, Catahoula, Winn, and Calcasieu Ranger Districts until September 16 to allow U.S. Forest Service crews and contractors to clear the roads and assess the damage to bridges and other infrastructures.

Update on Longleaf Vista in Natchitoches Parish on the Kisatchie Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest after ...
09/06/2020

Update on Longleaf Vista in Natchitoches Parish on the Kisatchie Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest after Hurricane Laura:
Natchitoches Parish also received widespread damage from Hurricane Laura. Besides some trees blown down and shingles torn off the bathroom roof, the Vista remains intact! Many trees are down on almost all of the Forest Service Roads. Saw crews are working daily to clear all roads. Once roads are cleared, recreation areas will be assessed. Once recreation areas are assessed, then trails will be next. For now, the Kisatchie, Calcasieu, Catahoula, and Winn Ranger Districts are all closed through September 16 to allow Forest Service crews and contractors to get in and make the necessary assessments and begin recovery.

When you see power lines on the ground following a storm, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact the electric u...
09/06/2020

When you see power lines on the ground following a storm, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility company. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Any utility wire, including telephone or cable lines sagging or down could be in contact with an energized power line making them also very dangerous, so stay away from all of them. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. A downed power line can energize things around it, such as chain link fences and metal culverts. Keep in mind that a line that's indeed "dead" could become energized during power restoration.

Hurricane Laura was strong, but we are strong and resilient.
09/06/2020

Hurricane Laura was strong, but we are strong and resilient.

The Forest Service now has drones in the air.  Pictured is a DJI Mavic Pro,USFS Unmanned Aircraft Systems(UAS).  The Pil...
09/05/2020

The Forest Service now has drones in the air. Pictured is a DJI Mavic Pro,USFS Unmanned Aircraft Systems(UAS). The Pilots are from USFS units in Mississippi and North Carolina. They will be doing aerial mapping of approximately 4000 acres that have been damaged by Hurricane Laura. Today they were in the area of Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit.

Kisatchie National Forest Issues a Closure Order for Most of the Forest through September 16, 2020On Thursday, August 27...
09/05/2020

Kisatchie National Forest Issues a Closure Order for Most of the Forest through September 16, 2020

On Thursday, August 27, Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, passed through four of the five Ranger Districts of the Kisatchie National Forest, causing extensive damage. Thousands of trees are down with many damaged and leaning trees. Currently, National Forest crews are assessing the damage to roads, structures, and trails.

As a result, all of the Calcasieu Ranger District (Vernon and Evangeline Units), Catahoula Ranger District, Kisatchie Ranger District, and Winn Ranger District identified within the designated areas are closed to ALL visitor activities.

All National Forest System roads and trails within the closure areas are also closed to the public. The only exception is the Caney Ranger District, which is open to the public. The closure is effective September 4 until September 16 or until rescinded by the USDA Forest Service.

The following acts are prohibited:

• Using any motor vehicle on National Forest Systems Roads (36 C.F.R. 261-54(a)).
• Being on a National Forest System Trail (36 C.F.R. 261-55(a)).
• Entering or using a developed recreation site or portion thereof (36 C.F.R. 261-58(a)).
• Camping (36 C.F.R. 261-58(b)).

To view the complete Closure Order, please visithttps://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd797758.pdf

A drone's eye view of the tree left standing.  This tree has a house put there by the Forest Service for the red cockade...
09/05/2020

A drone's eye view of the tree left standing. This tree has a house put there by the Forest Service for the red cockaded woodpecker to live in it. We are so happy it was spared. Check out all the downed trees.

Update on the Moon Tree: It's still standing! Brenda Sequoia Shirey was kind enough to check on our Moon Tree and take p...
09/05/2020

Update on the Moon Tree: It's still standing! Brenda Sequoia Shirey was kind enough to check on our Moon Tree and take photos. It appears Hurricane Laura did not impact the Moon Tree nor its "Cone Twin." Thank you for the update Brenda and for sharing your photos.

A "hazard tree" is a tree that has a structural defect that makes it likely to fall in whole or in part.  Falling trees ...
09/05/2020

A "hazard tree" is a tree that has a structural defect that makes it likely to fall in whole or in part. Falling trees are an ever-present hazard when traveling or camping in the forest, yet too often we are unaware of the risks associated with defective trees. Trees may be defective from age, fire, Insect damage and disease.

Beware of hazardous trees due to recent storms or insect damage. Storms such as hurricanes can inflict serious damage to trees, uprooting or breaking off large limbs. Cracks can develop in large branches which, although they are damaged, do not fall from the tree. Such branches can present a hazard to people or property long after the hurricane has passed.

Our crews will be checking on the status of the Louisiana Champion Long Leaf Pine tree which is in the Calcasieu Ranger ...
09/05/2020

Our crews will be checking on the status of the Louisiana Champion Long Leaf Pine tree which is in the Calcasieu Ranger District. It is 105' tall, 61'spread, and 11'1" circumference!! What is a Champion tree? The public can nominate a champion tree to be included in the National Register of Champion Trees by submitting a form with estimated measurements of the tree they've found. The directory comes out in March of each year. The National Register of Champion Trees started out as a competition, a national hunt to discover and preserve the largest specimens of American tree species. The campaign to find America's largest trees grew from a desire to protect and preserve them for future generations. The trees people hunted for were scattered through forest and field, along roadways and in backyards.

The Woodworth FireTower, near Alexandria, Louisiana is a 176' tall iron MC-40 by Aermotor Co.  It is the tallest active ...
09/04/2020

The Woodworth FireTower, near Alexandria, Louisiana is a 176' tall iron MC-40 by Aermotor Co. It is the tallest active lookout in North America. This was constructed in 1951. To withstand the hurricane winds that sometimes rake the area, the structure is set on four huge concrete foundations measuring 10' x 10' x15' deep. It survived Hurricane Laura with no damage.

Did you know we have a "Moon Tree" on the Kisatchie National Forest?  Moon trees are trees grown from 500 seeds taken in...
09/04/2020

Did you know we have a "Moon Tree" on the Kisatchie National Forest? Moon trees are trees grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the moon by Stuart Roosa the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 14 mission in 1971. Roosa, who had been a smoke jumper, was contacted by the Chief of the Forest Service at the time, with the idea of taking the seeds along. Seeds for the experiment were chosen from 5 different species of trees: Loblolly pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood and Douglas Fir. The seeds orbited the Moon, but did not land on it. After the flight, the seeds were sent to the southern Forest Service station in Gulfport, Mississippi, and to the western station in Placerville, Calif. Nearly all the seeds germinated successfully and 420 seedlings were produced. A Loblolly Pine was planted at the White House and still stands. The seedlings were shared to different states and countries. The Forest Service will be looking for the Moon Tree, which is a Loblolly Pine, in the Kisatchie National Forest to see if it is still standing or damaged. Roosa's effort to honor the Forest Service, stands today and a living tribute on the Forest.

Update: The tree was found and it was unharmed.

Address

2500 Shreveport Highway
Pineville, LA
71360

General information

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Opening Hours

Monday 12:30 - 16:30
Monday 08:00 - 11:30
Tuesday 12:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 11:30
Wednesday 12:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 11:30
Thursday 12:30 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 11:30
Friday 12:30 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 11:30

Telephone

(318) 473-7160

Alerts

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Comments

GREETINGS YOU can JOIN an ENVIRONMENT ORGANISATION
Can someone give us an idea when Kisatchie Bayou Campground is going to reopen to at least access for fishing
GREETINGS YOU can JOIN an ENVIRONMENT ORGANISATION
YOU can JOIN an ENVIRONMENT ORGANISATION
Hey Rangers! Thanks for your hard work! Please open the rest of the camping areas ASAP! Thanks!
What is a good spot that isn’t closed to go out in a kayak? We are planning to go this weekend and want to avoid closed down areas. It will be my first time at Kisatchie. Thanks in advance!
Check out my newest video...Camping & Travel VLOG #15 https://youtu.be/bco038BLRt0 #camping #hiking #solotravel #Louisiana #YouTube
When was the south side of Valentine closed? It would be helpful if this was posted online, on fb, or somewhere, seeing as we made the trip from Texas for this 😉
Anybody have any info on Bankston Camp and what it's like there? Is it a good place for adults to go camping?
Are these areas still closed?
Cleaning rec-sites has taught me some things. 1) Bathroom garbage cans don't want to be pee'd in. 2) Watermelon Rinds, dirty diapers, beer/soda cans and bottles do not belong in fire rings and will not burn.