Lake Chico State Park- in the Cajun Trippers’ backyard
Lake Chicot State Park is located in the rolling hills of South Louisiana; on the northern fringe of Cajun Country. During the road trip to the State Park, don’t let the rolling hills and farmland fool you. Hidden within and in the lower elevations of the rolling hills, you will see beautiful flooded swamp scenery, hardwood bottomland scenery and wildlife as you near Lake Chico State Park.
Lake Chicot- flooded swamp scenery and wildlife
Lake Chicot was created in 1942 when the dam was closed across Chicot Bayou. This flooded the surrounding cypress and tupelo swamp and flooded some of the bottomland. In the ensuing years, the landscape changed; new growth cypress and tupelo now shares the flooded areas with remnants of dead trees. But, bottomland hardwood continue to survive in shallow water and new growth cypress and tupelo have re-populated the shallow perimeter of the lake.
Some of the deadwood is still in place from years ago, but the cypress and tupelo trees have taken their place to create a beautiful flooded landscape that is now home to various wildlife. Below, is an American White Ibis. Typically seen wading along the shore and in the water, this one was discovered perched a tree 20′ above the water.
Yes! You will see alligators! Due to this being a state park, much of the wildlife is very approachable, including this and many other alligators.
During two prior trips within two years, I was able to photograph this alligator in the same location of the lake. Sadly, after this photograph was taken, I understand that the larger alligators were removed from the lake. I assume this gator was removed, as I have not been able to locate him in subsequent years.
The anhinga, seen below, is common to South Louisiana. Many are sighted at Lake Chicot, drying their feathers in the sun.
Lake Chico State Park has multiple camping facilities available on the North and South ends of the lake. Several cabins are available on the Southeast side. One of the benefits to staying in a cabin is the immediate and full-time water access.
Another cabin benefit is the lake view. This was our base camp in 2015, shown above. Because I love photography, and fishing, I am always watching for that next great photo, or trying catch the biggest or most fish.
This is an early morning photo taken from the cabin dock prior to a fishing trip. It turned out to be a very foggy morning and rainy day.
Lake Chicot – a popular destination
Lake Chicot is a popular destination for many. If you enjoy boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and a relaxing atmosphere, and have never experienced the flooded wonders of a Louisiana swamp, this is a great location and easily accessible.