Louisiana has unique mountain biking scenes that will make you explore fully. Within cities like Baton Rouge, the state’s capital, and New Orleans, the state is home to paved and scenic routes that slither through the counties. The southern Bayou is full of fun and exciting trails that will excite every level rider.
Louisiana has various terrains, including enormous deltas of coastal marsh and swampland (pine forests and wet savannas). The state’s varied topography will test rider’s skills and nerves while also helping them negotiate new obstacles and technical challenges.
This article will talk about the nine best of Louisiana’s most famous mountain biking trails. It will also show you the courses specifically designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.
1. Lincoln Parish Park Trail
Lincoln Park Parish Trail is located in the town of Ruston, Louisiana. The mountain biking trail system in Lincoln Parish Park is a fun and technical track that takes its way among several beautiful natural sceneries. The park hosts over 9 miles of well-manicured and multi-use trails. These trails cater to people of all ages and ability levels.
Beginner-level riders will enjoy the wide, spacious double-track, which is paved. The advanced riders will like the fast, flowing single-track at Lincoln Parish Park. The trails have technical obstacles, including tight switchbacks, exhausting climbs, roller-coaster-like descents, rocks, roots, and jumps. Most riders are predisposed to riding the course as a 9-mile loop. There are places along the track that allows for shuttle-type riding.
The Lincoln Parish Park trails are great and have fantastic scenery. Both hikers and bikers use the track. Keep an eye on them. It also features some family-friendly picnic areas, a small lake with a sandy beach, and a summer-only swimming area for children to beat the summer heat.
The park’s loop was designed by Lloyd Brick in 1993 and is considered one of the best intermediate-level courses in Louisiana. Every rider should have a helmet on this trail regardless of age and other protective gear. To get to the park for the whole day, you have to pay $2 per person. During winter, the time limit is from 9 am to 5 pm, seven days a week. During summer, you can use the park from 8 am until it is dark.
2. Comite Trails
Mountain biking beginners will indeed have fun at the Comite Trails located in Comite Park. The trails are located in Baton Rouge city in Louisiana. The trails have some short loops that together measure about 5 miles in total distance. The course is laid out upon wide, twisting double-track with a few potential obstacles. This makes it a perfect ride for beginners and recreational or family groups.
There are a few challenging hills and descents along Comite Trail. The trail has more than enough humps and bumps to keep the ride entertaining. You will also find protruding rocks and roots, berms, twisty turns and switchbacks, and a few shallow creek crossings. The Comite Trail is perfect for you if you’re looking for a nice afternoon workout or a leisure ride in a beautiful natural setting.
The trail is typically ridden as an out-and-back loop. The trail is located near the Hooper Road Trails, which is more advanced in nature but still manageable for beginner and intermediate riders. Visitors at Comite Trail usually park near the Hooper Road trailhead and face both courses one after the other for a day of fun-filled riding.
Comite Trail is a popular riding spot. It also has many amenities, including shaded picnic areas, restrooms, drinking fountains, and bike wash stations. The availability of the train depends on the season and weather conditions. It is advisable to call the Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation Department before visiting the park. This trail is dedicated to Kerry Stamey.
The trail starts on relatively flat land to get you warmed up. A quarter-mile in, if you continue past the “off BREC” sign, dip down along the Comite River. Here the terrain changes rapidly to a hill.
Ride until you hit an intersection. Take a left and pass along the river for some time until you reach “The Point.” Traverse the Cypress Bayou from here. The terrain here changes interestingly here. This is made possible by the water edge property.
At 4.3 miles in, you will find the connector to Hooper Road Park on the left. It is called the Connection Trail. Ride to the right to complete the last mile of the Comite loop.
3. The Beast Trail
The Beast trail is situated in the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. The trail lives up to its name through its wild reputation. The trail is intended for advanced to expert riders only. The Beast trail is a hilly and very technical track. It is a 6-mile trail in total distance. You can ride it as a loop. The trail is exhilarating even to the most experienced riders.
Riders set out on the Beast will notice the Big Climbs as the first thing on the trail. These climbs are the reason for the course’s nickname. The entire trail is one big climb until you reach the peak of the mountain. When you are at the Beast trail, you must work your way up the nerve to drop down one of the trail’s huge and speedy descents. You have to use all your technical skill they have. There are speedy curves, roots, bridges, berms, rocks, and gravel. These are a few of the technical obstacles riders will run into. Riders will have very little time to enjoy the beautiful scenery around them.
Hurricanes and Gustav almost destroyed the Beast trail. It was rebuilt in 2008 with the help of course designer Lynn Gray and local volunteers. Together they are responsible for the 16 bridges, bench cuts, and other features.
The natural scenery around the Beast is amazing. The park is known for its flourishing and picturesque ravines, steep bluffs, and spectacular views of the valleys below. You can access the trail through the West Feliciana Parks and Recreation Complex.
4. The Monkey Trails
Advanced rider looking to tackle one of the most popular and challenging courses in the state, you should use the Monkey Trails. This trail system is rated moderate to advanced riders mainly due to its fast single-track design. The trail is located in the town of Shreveport, Louisiana. The trail system includes roughly 10 miles of track. It will be great to ride on this trail to get the exercise you need in a beautiful outdoor setting.
The Monkey Trail is short, has steep climbs, rid descents, and a series of 180-degree switchbacks. The trail system is complete with the usual challenges of intermediates and advanced riders. The trail has a whole host of natural and artificial obstacles like bridges, creek crossings, protruding rocks and roots, soft sand berms, and high speed.
The Monkey Trails are positioned against a backdrop of beautiful natural scenery, highlighted by tall forests, rushing rivers, majestic bluffs, and local flora. The park where the Monkey trail is located has a 1.5-mile hiking trail that is inclined. There are on-site restrooms and water fountains, picnic areas, and a bike wash station to use after a messy ride in the area. The park is open on Wednesday to Saturday and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the park is closed.
5. Kincaid Lakeshore Trail
The Kincaid Lakeshore Trail is located in Alexandria, Louisiana. It is a fun ride that accommodates riders of all ability levels. The trail is rated as a beginner to intermediates. The course is 5 miles long. Riders will take an exciting trip around the scenic lakes in the state of Louisiana. If you would like to improve your basic bike handling skills, you will definitely like this trail. It offers a perfect combination of speed and technical challenges.
Start the trail in an easterly direction from the lake’s boat dock launch area. From here, the trail meanders both near and away from the shoreline giving the riders beautiful views of the lake, the local vegetation, and occasional wildlife encounter. There are several short climbs and descents on the course. Most of the climbs are manageable. Some obstacles include rocks, bridges, roots, and some switchbacks. They start miles away from the shoreline. Many parts of the course are fairly tight single-track. There are wider and more open areas where riders can pick up their speed.
Five miles in the Kincaid Lakeshore Trail, you will find it more demanding than the rest of the area. The riders have a flowing track and plenty of speed in both directions. There are other trails whereby some intersect with the Kincaid Lakeshore Trail. They include Lemotte Creek Trail and the Wild Azalea Spur Trail.
6. Red River Bicycle Trail
The Red River Bicycle trail is more than eight miles along the Red River. The trail has beautiful sceneries of the riverfront when riding. People of every skill level can enjoy this trail.
The Red River Bicycle Trail runs from the River View Park in Shreveport to Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park near 70th Street. It passes near Parkway recreation sites, e.g. Disc Golf Course, Stoner Avenue State Park, and Stoner S’port Marina.
7. Wild Azalea Trail
You can start the Wild Azalea Trail at the Valentine Lake end. Here, there are rolling hills and pines. You will ride past the fire tower, which was built in the 1930s. The first major creek to cross will be Valentine Creek which does not have an issue, but the incline is pretty good on the opposite side. There are more descents as the trail heads deep down into other smaller creek areas.
There is a great camping spot around 7.5 miles in the trail. There is also a well-constructed bridge that helps in the passage at Lamotte Creek.
On the 9th mile, you will find the Evangeline Primitive Camp that has a bathroom. The bathroom does have running water. The trail then heads eastward then southwestward, running parallel to Boggy Bayou. At around the 11th mile up to the Castor Creek Scenic Area, the trail becomes hilly. The lower area has a few creek crossings where some have bridges, and in others, you will be required to walk in the water.
The terrain becomes strenuous from 13 to 19.5 because of creek crossings, rugged terrain, and recurring hill climbing. The next 5.5 miles that follow have more rolling hills with fewer creek crossings. The trail has some blown-drawn trees from the 2016 tornado.
In the last 1.7 miles is a road hike to the southern terminus parking area in Woodworth.
Along the trail, there are six vegetation communities: bottomland hardwoods, upland hardwoods, mixed pinioned hardwoods, pure pine, bogs, and natural open spaces. The trail also has wild horses, bald eagles, bears, deer, and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
8. Caroline Dormon Trail
The Caroline Dormon Trail is a 10.5-mile course that stretches through Kisatchie National Forest. It is open to hiking, backpacking, biking, and horseback riding. The trail takes you through a longleaf pine forest and some steeper hills in Louisiana.
When you visit the Caroline Dormon Trail, you can park at the trailhead located off the Longleaf Scenic Byway (FH 59). This trail is not a loop trail. There are vault toilets and an information bulletin board at the trailhead for general day-use.
9. Bogue Chitto State Park Trail
The Bogue Chitto State Park Trail is a 5.7 miles loop that has high traffic. It is located near Franklinton, Louisiana, and features a lake. It is rated for intermediate riders. The trail has several activity options, and you can access it all year round.
To enter the park, you have to pay $3. The trail is washed a little from recent rains, and there was one small part you will have to walk through water. Some part of the trail is closed for maintenance. Arm yourself with bug spray because the park has aggressive bugs.
Several bike trails in Louisiana will take you close to its waterways. Louisiana’s miles of paved paths give the cyclists a chance to cover miles of diverse trails. Some trails will take you through sugar cane fields and crawfish farms through Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and New Orleans cities. The trails also head down highways that lead to the Mississippi River. You will enjoy your mountain biking experience.