Louisiana Hiking

Description - Louisiana's State Parks, Historic Sites, and Preservation Areas offer a uniquely rewarding experience of the state's natural beauty and historical riches. Enjoy championship fishing, relive a Civil War battle, hear the best of Louisiana's country music, or pitch a tent under the stars. State Parks are open 365 days a year. State Historic Sites and Preservation Areas are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

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Attractions - Louisiana can be split into three distinct regions: the southern region, dominated by the Acadian culture and Gulf Coast; the northern uplands, harboring mainly an anglo-protestant population and forested natural areas; and the central region where the landforms and cultures of the north and south meet. The general topography of the state consists of 400 foot uplands in the north that slope southward through a heavily forested central region to the Gulf of Mexico, where New Orleans lies at two feet below sea level.

Louisiana is contained by various waterways. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the south and holds many natural resources that support the economy of the state. The Sabine River forms the southern border with Texas and supports wildlife refuges, lakes and state parks. The Pearl River forms the southern border with Mississippi and provides water for two wildlife areas.

The Atchafalaya River lies in southern Louisiana within a large basin that dominates the geography of the region. It's waters provide the life for many designated natural and wildlife areas. The largest waterway within Louisiana is the Mississippi River. It forms the eastern border and the delta sediments on which New Orleans rests. Although this river has been diverted and dammed in many places it remains the life-giving force for many industries.

In addition to the natural areas supported by the state's many waterways is the Kisatchie National Forest. The forest consists mainly of thick wooded areas in central Louisiana. A few districts of the forest also lie in the northern regions of the state. An extensive system of wildlife areas pervade the northern uplands of Louisiana.

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Recreation - Water-oriented activities are most popular in this state containing 4,000 square miles of waterways, lakes and bayous. Gulf Coast water access can satisfy the most hard-core angler and boating enthusiast. The National Forest lands support facilities for hiking, camping and canoeing.

Climate - Southern Louisiana experiences a subtropical climate that's warm throughout the year. Winter months bring low temperatures near 40 degrees F and highs above 55 degrees F. During the summer expect high temperatures to reach 95 degrees F frequently, with mid-afternoon showers. Humidity is highest in August and September.

Northern regions of the state have cooler winters and somewhat warmer summers than the south. Low temperatures in the winter dip into the high 30s and highs reach 60 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months with average high temperatures reaching 100 degrees. Humidity is slightly lower in the northern uplands and the average rainfall in May is higher than any other month.

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