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Heart of Louisiana: South Toledo Bend State Park

Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 9:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border has two state parks. At the southern end, the South Toledo Bend State Park attracts families who like to fish, camp and ride a 4-wheeler through the hills.

If you like the outdoors with some horsepower, this state park is the only one in Louisiana with ATV trails. South Toledo Bend State Park has nine miles of wooded trails that appeal to the experienced and beginning riders.

“Some of the trails were probably to be a little more proficient on the ATV. Have a little more experience. Some of them have a lot, as you can see with the hills out here, there’s a lot of topography and you do go through creek bottoms. You go up hills,” says Britt Evans.

The trails can get a little noisy, but they are a comfortable distance from the quiet campground and peaceful shoreline of the Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Jeff Dillehay is showing his two-year-old grandson, Easton, how to fish. Three generations of Dillehays are camping here.

“It’s a nice place to bring the kids. They have fun out here. They like the water,” says Taylor Dillehay.

The 60-mile long reservoir is a popular spot for serious fishermen. And also for Gale Larche and Alvin John Cooley who live in the area.

So yellow bass is the little stripe on it and bream.

“Last Friday we came and he called a whole bunch of them and I count four of them,” says Larche.

Dave: Well, what’s he doing that you’re not doing?

“Holding my mouth right,” says Cooley.

One of the things park management has done recently is clear out a lot of the underbrush. So when you sit and relax at your campsite, you have a nice view of the lake.

“We’ve started mulching these areas by hand, by machine. We want visitors. When they come in the park to see what they’re there for is the lakes. The topography, the hills see some wildlife,” says Evans.

And if you want to spend the night in a tent, but want somebody else to handle the setup, there are nine glamping sites on an isolated peninsula that have great lake views and sunsets.

“I need a big break and I need a break in that water right out there,” says Khrystyna Chapman.

Chapman is from Sulfur and has been repairing her hurricane damaged house for the past eight months. The tents are a weekend getaway.

“I came here for peace and quiet. So we’ll stay on this site in this little makeshift tent that looks pretty cool,” says Chapman.

Or if you want to just relax, you can swim at this sandy beach.

“We bring in the sand. We freshened up every Spring before the Summer starts, it’s not a Florida beach, but it’s a beautiful beach and a lot of people take advantage of it. It’s a place to cool off and swim in the Summer,” says Evans.

At this state park, you want to be outside. You can take the young ones for a nature walk and learn the animals of the forest, four wheel through the hillsides or find a reason to relax on the water at South Toledo Bend.

For more information on the South Toledo Bend State Park, and many other state parks, visit HeartofLouisiana.com.

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