LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BR Proud) — A growing number of people are flocking to Tickfaw State Park in hopes of combining adventure with the great outdoors and now there is even more incentive to stay socially-distanced. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Office of State Parks announced the “Park with Pets” policy in late August.
Pets have always been welcome to enjoy the trails and outdoor spaces at Louisiana State Parks, but they were not allowed to overnight with their owners in cabins.
“It’s only certain cabins that are set aside to be pet-friendly,” said Brad Lavigne, park ranger for Tickfaw State Park. “If you’re worried about allergies, we have cabins that dogs are never permitted in.”
The park offers at least 1.6 miles of ADA boardwalk allowing visitors and their four-legged friends to stay socially-distanced from other patrons at all times.
“I’d say we have the most boardwalks of any state park,” said Lavigne. “We have at least two miles or more of boardwalk, over and in the swamp.”
The park is one of the most popular in the system, partly based on its proximity to New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Tickfaw is 64 miles from the Crescent City and about 43 miles from the Red Stick.
Tickfaw has 14 cabins total, four of which are pet-friendly for overnight stays, allowing families to bring everyone in their household on vacation. The park also has a new water playground for little ones who may need a break from the walking trails.
“We’re basically in what you’d call a bottomland hardwood swamp and that mainly consists of having Ball Cypress and Tupelo Gum. Ball Cypress, our state tree of course. That’s our main attraction of the park is being in a swamp,” said Lavigne.
There are 21 State Parks in Louisiana. Make sure to check ahead of your trip to see which parks offer the “Parks with Pets” policy.