Wild Azalea Trail | TigerDroppings.com

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Blue Velvet
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Wild Azalea Trail



quote:

At just under 30 miles, the Wild Azalea Trail is Louisiana’s longest footpath. What it lacks in length, it makes up in beauty and biodiversity. Located in the Kisatchie National Forest, the trail runs from southeast to northwest. The trail was built in the early 1970s by Forest Service personnel and volunteer groups. No less than five ecosystems thrive here among the rolling pine-covered hills and lush bottomlands where clear waters flow over sandy streambeds beneath rich hardwoods. Also in these bottoms are wetlands, or bogs, locally known as bayous, where the elegant cypress tree reigns. Hickory and oak forests thrive in transitional zones, along with some of the largest dogwoods in the land. Don’t let the Bayou State’s reputation for flatness cloud your mind; the Wild Azalea Trail features plenty of vertical variation. Your legs will attest to this fact at the end of the day. Another surprise will be the wild character of the trail. The forest cover exudes a real sense of being “out there.” And you really are. Only the beginning and end are developed.
quote:

This trail is for bikers and hikers only, with trailheads at the Town Hall in Woodworth and at the Valentine Lake Recreation Area. There are many points where you can join the trail, so you can determine the trail length according to your preference.

The Wild Azalea Trail is not a loop. It is bisected about midway by Louisiana Highway 488. Designated by the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service as a National Recreation Trail because of its outstanding scenic values, the trail is for foot or mountain bike traffic only. The route is conspicuously marked with bright yellow paint blazes. Traversing flat to rolling terrain, it winds through pine hills and hardwood bottoms, passing through managed forest areas, clearings and untouched areas. Visitors can enjoy the Castor Creek Scenic Area, a 90-acre site where large pine and hardwood trees are left in their natural state.

Streams along the trail are unsuitable for drinking purposes, so it's best to bring water. Parking is available at the town of Woodworth (at the Town Hall), on Forest Roads 273 and 279, and at the Valentine Lake Recreation Complex near the Southshore Campground.


I took the following a little over a year ago there:







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Nodust
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


So you did that in a day and had time to stop and take pictures

I'm doing this soon. Can't make it in a day. Would have to be a one night trip. Got a few of us OBers would do it.






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Blue Velvet
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


quote:

Got a few of us OBers would do it.
Count me in. I may do it by bike this time though. My family home is around the corner.






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Nodust
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Member since Aug 2010
18871 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


How much water do you carry for this trip?





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Blue Velvet
Colorado State Fan
Apple butter toast is nice
Member since Nov 2009
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


3 liters





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LSUintheNW
Utah Fan
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Member since Aug 2009
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


Damn....it's 219 miles away from me. Might be more than I'd want to spend in gas for an overnighter.





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Blue Velvet
Colorado State Fan
Apple butter toast is nice
Member since Nov 2009
18172 posts
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


Where you at?





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LSUintheNW
Utah Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
23323 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


St. Bernard parish.





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Nodust
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Member since Aug 2010
18871 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


I'm in ascension. Going to check on gear I need tomorrow. If I go you could meet me here.





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LSUintheNW
Utah Fan
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


I could do that. Splitting gas makes it easier.





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Nodust
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
18871 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


I figure in a few years my oldest will be ready to go to Philmont with the scouts. I always wanted to do a pack trip. This would be a good start.

I have a small camel back but wouldn't be enough for a overnighter. so need a pack.

I have a few sleeping bags already
Think I have stove and cooking stuff covered
Need a small tent and pad(although as a youngter I used to just sleep on the ground with no tent )

Going to check out Cabela's just to see what is there.






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LSUintheNW
Utah Fan
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Member since Aug 2009
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


quote:

need a pack


I have two extras but I left them in my moms attic otherwise I'd lend you one. I have a stove pot/pan and two sets of fozzils if you want to use one.

I'll bring my bag but with how warm it's getting already it'll just be more padding Thermarest makes the best pads. Not sure if they carry that brand though.






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Nodust
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Mung
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El-lick
Member since Aug 2007
5450 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


Nic pics. This is a nice weekend trip. You need two cars, or someone to drop your car at one end, so you can hike to it. Start on a Friday afternoon, hike 5-6 miles in then camp, hike 15-18 on Saturday, then do the last bit Sunday then go home and catch a shower. I would bring a filter so you didn't have to carry all that water.





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INFIDEL
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The couch
Member since Aug 2006
14183 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


Lived here all my life and never walked the whole thing. Would probably be a great trip.





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Da Hammer
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Folsom
Member since May 2008
3178 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


Nice pics, Sounds like a neat trail. Have never been on it, been on Black Creek Trail in MS several times, but never the Azalea.





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Salmon
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On the trails
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re: Wild Azalea Trail


Love the Azalea Trail. My parents live about a mile from the Valentine Lake trailhead. I've ran/hiked the entire trail multiple times, just never all at once. The section through Castor Plunge has some serious elevation.





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Langston
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Cenla
Member since Nov 2010
6119 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


quote:

Lived here all my life and never walked the whole thing. Would probably be a great trip


Me either. Drove by it heading to the camp and use to ride 4wheelers all around there. Always athletic but never into hiking until I got around some hills.






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nhassl1
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Baton Rouge
Member since Jun 2008
1848 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


thanks for sharing. i'm going to try and check it out for myself.





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LSUintheNW
Utah Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
23323 posts

re: Wild Azalea Trail


No, I have this one. Worth every penny.

LINK






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