From Ville Platte on Lasalle St make a right onto HWY/Chicot Park Rd. Drive 6 miles and then make a right into the entrance of Chicot State Park. Take two lefts after the entrance station and the nature center will be at the end of this road which is Sudie Lawton Ln.

More than 130 bird species have been recorded at the Louisiana State Arboretum since its founding in 1961. The large facility – the first state-supported arboretum in the country – is filled with more than 600 acres of natural growth, embellished with additional plantings of species indigenous to Louisiana. The topography is varied and dramatic. The landscape ranges from nearly flat down along the Walker Branch of Lake Chicot, to relatively steep slopes along the terrace ridges. 

Due to this variation in topography, many types of Louisiana vegetation are represented on site. Habitat types at the arboretum include cypress-tupelo swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, and beech-magnolia hardwood slope forest. 

Year-round wading birds, raptors, and woodland species densely populate this site. Worm-eating Warbler, a rare breeder in Louisiana, is strongly suspected of nesting here, along with 16 other warbler species. Additional breeders include Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers, Wood Thrush, Summer Tanager, and Northern Cardinal. 

Well-interpreted nature trails plunge deep into the wooded areas and along Walker Branch and Ferguson’s Gully. A portion of one trail is handicapped-accessible. No pets, bikes, or other recreational activities outside of nature study, hiking, and photography are allowed. Bird Hikes are scheduled once a month (usually on the second Saturday at 9 AM). Interpretive programs, including guided hikes and canoe trips, are scheduled nearly every Saturday morning. 

Picnicking is not allowed on the grounds. Picnic grounds and camping facilities are available nearby at Chicot State Park, as is a larger Visitors Center housing interactive exhibits and meeting facilities. There are two parking areas for visitors. The main lot is inside Chicot State Park. A second lot is located off LA 3042, approximately 1.3 miles north of the Chicot State Park entrance. 

Drinking Fountains
Offers Programs & Activities
Parks & Nature
Paved Trails
Visitors Center/Nature Center