Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicot State Park

We spent the weekend tent camping at Chicot and we had so much fun! There are so many things to do here. You can hike, fish, photograph wildlife, canoe, or ride your bike. This is what the roads look like: perfect for riding a bike!
I took the above picture on Saturday morning when we went for a walk to the north boat landing. We didn't encounter any cars, just lots of squirrels and rabbits.
The park is next to Lake Chicot and has two boat launches. We camped near the north boat landing and we decided to walk down the road to see what condition the lake was in. I was so disappointed to see the lake full of half dead lily pads! I really wanted to paddle around the lake in our kayaks, but the lily pads make it so difficult. So we opted out of paddling and decided to explore the fishing pier next to the boat landing.
I was so excited to see these two birds on the pier! The white bird is an egret and the grey bird is a heron. It was a little chilly that morning so the heron fluffed himself up to keep warm. I almost didn't get the chance to photograph these birds...I almost scared them off. I walked around the corner of the fishing pier and was surprised to see the birds. Dave was behind me and I said "Don't move!" in the loudest whisper I dared speak. I got my camera ready as quietly as possible and snapped the pictures. That almost made up for not being able to paddle.
This is the fishing pier that the birds were on. We brought our fishing poles but didn't fish. We were too busy taking pictures!
On our way back to our campsite I saw so many Beautyberry bushes! Birds love eating the berries. I have one planted at my house but I haven't seen any birds eating the berries. I think they like eating the left over catfood and dogfood better...
Spanish moss was hanging everywhere! Natural Halloween decorations.
We wanted to see the south boat landing, so we get in the car and shortly came across deer! We saw two groups of deer eating on the side of the road. They had babies with them but the babies are already lost their spots. Still cute though.
Later on Saturday we went to the Louisiana Arboretum, located inside Chicot State Park. They have a nice visitor center and interactive displays geared towards kids, but we played with them too!
Kids display at the arboretum. Each display teaches kids about something in the swamp or woods. My favorite was the snapping turtle and alligator display. Every time you walked by the dispay, a motion activated sensor would play the noise that animal makes. The alligator one growled!
This is what most of the hiking trails look like at the arboretum. Most trails are mulched to make a nice walking surface, but it had rained the night before and you could tell lots of armadillos had been digging around for grubs. The mulch was scattered everywhere.
The arboretum even has boardwalks going across the swampy parts of the trail.
Look at this cute rabbit! We were walking on trail and I was ahead of Dave and I said "Don't move!". I had already missed a picture of a rabbit earlier that day and I didn't want to scare off this one. I'm glad I got a picture of him!
Now we get to the one bad part of our trip...it rained really bad Friday night/Saturday morning and our tent leaked! We were woken up unexpectedly by rain drops falling on our faces at 1:30AM. Not fun. We couldn't do anything about then, so we just pulled our sleeping bags over our heads and tried to go back to sleep. We got up as soon as it was enough daylight and we discovered water in the tent! Thankfully we brought air mattresses to sleep on so we didn't get wet. We had to drag everything out of the tent and let it air dry. We still had fun even when our tent leaked.
Most people at the campground have RV's and some of them came of talk to us that morning. They asked if got wet during the storm and offered to help. My favorite person at the campground was the campground host. He lives at the park and makes sure everything is in working order. As soon as I saw him I thought to myself, "This guy looks like a cross between Duck Dynasty and Mountain Men!". He was one of the people that came check on us Saturday morning. He was nice. That's the end of our adventure in Chicot. Make plans to visit soon, its one of our favorite parks!

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