Four Distinct Eco-Systems
Strolling through four ecosystems on over a mile of boardwalks
through Tickfaw State Park, visitors can experience the sights
and sounds of a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood
forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.
Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons can be seen gathering
crawfish and other food amid a mix of palmetto, wax myrtle
and native azalea. Sightings of turtles, snakes, squirrels,
opposums, songbirds, wild turkeys, and migratory waterfowl,
as well as tracks of beaver, coyote, deer, fox, and racoons,
offer the possibility to encounter wildlife less than an hour
from Louisiana's capital city.
The adventurous can explore the park's backwater swamps
and dark-watered sloughs that form the wetland network created
by the Tickfaw River.
Periodically the park site serves the region by detaining
floodwaters when winter and spring rains overflow the steep
banks of the Tickfaw River. These periods of occasional flooding
offer a unique opportunity to educate visitors on the importance
of periodic flooding in the cycle of life that makes wetlands
an invaluable habitat and breeding ground for wildlife and
Check posted program schedules for guided hikes on the
boardwalks, or you may prefer the more relaxed approach offered
during a nature program presentation at one of the three education
pavilions and an outdoor amphitheater at the nature center.
You can also join a nighttime program, go night hiking or
listen to the swamp nightlife from the porch of your vacation
Bicycle, stroll, or skate the interconnecting park roadways.
Rent a canoe and take a fun-filled trip on this unique section
of the Tickfaw River. Visitors can bring their own canoes
or rent ones supplied by an available canoe vendor. Even Louisiana
residents who are familiar with the upper sandy creek-like
nature of the Tickfaw River, or the lower stretches where
the river broadens and flattens into a tital waterway, will
not recognize this narrow, twisting section of the river.
Shaded by trees that stabilize this section, the Tickfaw River
cuts through the heart of the park. On the opposite shore
are approximately 600 undeveloped park acres for future trails
and remote adventures.
Teachers can utilize the park as a classroon for day trips.
Park naturalists offer materials and leadership to initiate
the learning process in the classroom and provide the follow-up
on site. Nature programs for families and tour groups are
also available. And after you've seen the park in the fall,
come back for the winter, spring and summer seasons for a
completely different look.
Overnight visitors can stay at one of 14 vacation cabins that
overlook a cypress swamp. Each air-conditioned, two-bedroom
cabin sleeps eight persons and includes a fireplace, fully-equipped
kitchen and bathroom. Thirty campsites with water and electricity,
fire ring and picnic table are available for recreational
vehicle owners. An additional 20 tent campsites offer a tranquil
setting for tent campers. A climate-controlled bathhouse and
laundry facility are also available for camper use.
A Group Camp accommodates up to 52 visitors in two spacious
dormitory wings, each wing served by private bath facilities.
The dormitories flank a dining hall and central kitchen, furnished
with commercial cooking equipment.
Day-use visitors can reserve a covered picnic shelter to
enjoy a traditional crawfish boil or an old-fashioned family
picnic. A canoe launch at the north end of the park and a
canoe landing with parking area in the heart of the park afford
convenient access to the Tickfaw River.
A gift shop in the Nature Center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily)
offers souvenirs with a local flavor.
Originally inhabited by the Mississippian-era tribes, the
area's first European settlers were French. Springfield grew
out of a trading post on the Old Spanish Trail and became
a shipping center. The Natalbany and Tickfaw rivers were used
to transport cotton and timber to New Orleans.
The contemporary agricultural character was created by logging
operations which left virtually no area untouched. Early settlers
utilized much of the cleared acreage to establish a rich agricultural
community. Truck farming crops such as strawberries, sweet
corn, cucumber and peppers are area favorites. Pick-your-own
berry farms are popular with tourists and residents beginning
in December with Louisiana's favorite strawberries and continuing
through early summer when blackberries and blueberries are
in season. Logging and forest product industries remain an
important part of the local community.
A Short Drive
Only a short drive from Baton Rouge, Hammond and New Orleans,
Tickfaw State Park is located just seven miles southwest of
Springfield on the Tickfaw River.
Kliebert's Turtle and Alligator Tours-- (41607 West Yellow
Road, Hammond, LA 70401)--Tours include the turtle and alligator
farms as well as a bird sanctuary with egrets and herons nesting
over the alligators.
Antique City"-- (7 miles south of Hammond on I-55) Historic
District renovated in 1920-30 period featuring over 60 antique
stores representing 200 dealers.
Fairview-Riverside State Park--
(12 miles east of Madisonville on LA Hwy. 22)--Nestled among
magnificent live oaks on the edge of the cool clear waters
of the Tchefuncte River, this park features 81 improved campsites,
excellent fishing, canoeing, and picnicking. A nearby boat
ramp offers access to the park and Lake Pontchartrain.
Joyce Wildlife Management Area-- (2 miles south of Ponchatoula
off I-55)--This area is primarily a cypress-tupelo swamp with
a small tract of fresh marsh. A boardwalk offers birding and
opportunities to view wildlife. Hunting allowed in season.
Global Wildlife Park-- (26389 Hwy. 40, Folsom, La 70437)--Get
eye to eye with giraffes and many other species! 900 acres,
more than 200 free-ranging animals, 90-minute guided-covered-wagon
BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center-- (10503 N. Oak Hills
Parkway, Baton Rouge, LA 70810)--Take a unique walk into the
Bluebonnet Swamp in the heart of the city. Educational exhibits
and a gift shop.
State Park--27225 Patterson Road, Springfield, LA 70462-8906;
225-294-5020 or 1-888-981-2020) is located 32 miles east of
Baton Rouge. Take I-12 to the Albany/Springfield exit. Travel
2 miles south on LA 43, merge with LA 42 and continues one
mile to the center of Springfield. Turn west on LA 1037 and
travel six miles to Patterson Road (across from Woodland Baptist
Church), then south 1.2 miles to the park entrance.
For an alternate route from Baton Rouge, take the Holden/Hwy.
441 exit, turning south onto Hwy. 441. Travel 2 miles and
turn east onto Hwy. 42. Travel 1.3 miles and turn south onto
C.C. Hutchinson Road (at the gas station), and go 3 miles
and turn west onto Hwy. 1037/Blood River Road. Follow 1037
for about 2 miles to Patterson Road (across from Woodland
Baptist Church), then south 1.2 miles to the park entrance.
Tickfaw State Park is a unique 1200-acre park located along
three miles of the Tickfaw River. The park offers diverse
recreational, nature and educational opportunities. To reserve
a cabin, campsite, group camp or picnic pavilion, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA
toll free (877-226-7652).