Covering about a third if Louisiana’s western boundary, Toledo Bend Reservoir is an absolutely gargantuan body of water. Resembling something more like a freshwater ocean than a lake, it’s earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top fishing destinations. In fact, in 2015 and 2016 Bassmaster magazine named Toledo Bend the No. 1 bass fishery in the country. Get details on the Louisiana Bass Trail. Visit South Toledo Bend State Park.
Bring your own boat or rent one at North Toledo Bend State Park, and see if you can land a “lunker” (the name given to a bass that weighs in at over 10 pounds). A boat launch and fish cleaning station are conveniently located near the parking lot.
Fishing is what’s made Toledo Bend famous, but it’s by no means the only attraction at North Toledo Bend State Park. Hiking and biking trails wind throughout the park, with hills that are perfect settings for photographing sunsets over the lake. And if you’re looking for calmer waters, the park also offers canoes for rent. Active families love the swimming pool at North Toledo Bend State Park. Also for the younger set, a playground is located just a short walk from the lake.
Accommodations at North Toledo Bend State Park include deluxe cabins, a group camp (capable of sleeping up to 150 guests) and RV spots.
You’ll find plenty more to see during your visit to rural west Louisiana. Mansfield and Rebel state historic sites commemorate Louisianians’ role in the Civil War, and Los Adaes State Historic Site features the remains of a Spanish fort that was once an outpost on the El Camino Real. More history awaits visitors in Natchitoches (Louisiana’s oldest city), a town with antebellum Southern architecture, restaurants, cafés and boutiques.