Along with the historic and natural treasures in Louisiana's Legend Country, the outdoor recreation opportunities available in this region are as legendary as the stories surrounding it. From its sleepy creeks and bayous, to its biking and hiking trails and birding refuges, few places boast the serene beauty of Vernon Parish. Partake in geocaching, horseback riding, ATV riding, and biking along beautiful wilderness trails or take advantage of the parish's waterways, plentiful for boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
Anglers will enjoy numerous spots for world-class fishing in Vernon Parish, replete with boat launches and marinas to make your outing easy. Five miles west of Leesville, 4,200-acre Vernon Lake is ripe for exploring; its varying depths make the waterway ideal for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities. Toledo Bend Lake is known for its high caliber bass fishing, as evidenced by the many national fishing rodeos hosted here in Lake Country. Experience nature at its finest along Toro Bayou, a remote, quiet waterway popular for its clear and swift water, rock ledges, and sandy beaches. Kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts will find a variety of float trips for paddlers of all skill levels, from a two-hour trip to overnight camping trips, thanks to sandbars offering natural campsites. You can paddle on your own or sign up for one of the guided trips in the area.
Wolf Rock Cave, part of the Kisatchie National Forest in Leesville, is an ancient cave system used by primitive people in 2500 BC. Union soldiers allegedly used its giant back rooms as garrisons, hiding weapons and even horses from their Confederate enemies. Legend also has it that outlaw Jesse James used the cave as a hideout. In the seventies and eighties, the cave’s back rooms were gathering places for local teenagers until the United States Forest Service took over the site and sealed the rooms for public safety. It’s still possible to visit Wolf Rock Cave, a beautiful spot featuring two rock outcroppings overlooking Bundick’s Creek.
Dubbed the Wildflower Capital of Louisiana, Vernon Parish boasts abundant species of botanical beauty. Allen Acres features gardens dedicated to Louisiana flora. Head into the Kisatchie National Forest to spy spring blooms and bogs full of carnivorous pitcher plants. Many species of native and neotropical birds can be spotted in Vernon Parish, and Little Cypress Recreation Complex is a terrific place to break out the binoculars (the Little Cypress Pond Loop makes for a great nature walk, too). Listen to the chirps of songbirds, and stay ready for the raspy cackle of the red cockaded woodpecker, known to be seen in Vernon Parish. legendcountry.com.
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