Heart of Louisiana: Mountain biking in Bogue Chitto State Park

Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - If you enjoy off-road bicycling on mountain trails, you no longer have to leave Louisiana to experience the thrill.

Twelve miles of mountain biking trails are opening this weekend in Bogue Chitto State Park.

It’s a fast-paced adrenaline-filled ride that will test your bicycling skills. The creators of these new mountain bike trails in Bogue Chitto State Park near Franklinton have high expectations.

“We can take this trail here and put it anywhere in the country and people would come and ride it. And it’s that high-class world-class type of trail system that we have here,” says Toby Cortez.

Cortez is with the Northshore Off-Road Bicycling Association, the group and other volunteers have provided countless hours of labor and raised money to help pay for construction. And they found a great partner with Bogue Chitto State Park.

“With the backing of the state park system, we found some nice terrain here where they can make these nice expansions. It’s quite hilly for south Louisiana and I’m pretty sure it’s about a 200-foot elevation difference. We’re able to use some of these rises and falls in the bike trail system,” says Tony Frickey.

The trails are rated in three skill levels. Green for beginners, blue for intermediate, and black diamond for the most experienced cyclists.

“Some massive jumps and then we have some massive drops. It looks like you’re going off of a diving board and you actually, in two of the spaces are actually going to go over bikes going through the trail,” says Cortez.

“It’s the thrill and it’s an adrenaline rush. I’m a Type A personality. And I like to go fast and I like to work hard,” says Nina Rogers.

Rogers, who is from Baton Rouge, and her friend Jennifer Bush, are checking out the new trails.

“I like being out in the woods. That’s a lot of fun. So being outdoors, the rush of it, the thrill of it,” says Bush.

You can practice and develop your skills in this progressive jump park with jumps ranging from beginner to advanced.

“I would say anybody who’s starting out, take it slow, learn how to navigate roots and how to miss trees. It’s a lot of fun,” says Rogers.

The bike trails add to the other attractions at the state park which is only a 90-minute drive from either New Orleans or Baton Rouge. There is tubing and paddling on the Bogue Chitto River, a hilly five-plus mile trail for hiking, horseback riding, disc golf, and camping.

“It’s really been a vision to come and not only put a mountain bike trail but put a whole park and put a whole mountain bike trail system where everybody can come enjoy it,” says Cortez.

And developers expect these trails to be a major draw for cyclists who can now get the thrill of mountain biking much closer to home.

For more information, visit HeartofLouisiana.com

The new mountain bike trails open Saturday, April 10 at the Bogue Chitto State Park.

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