8. Backbone Trail, Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana (7.6 miles)Learn More
As the name suggests, this well-blazed track follows a spine-line ridge for much of its length, offering expansive views of the hills and bayous of the Louisiana countryside. Located in the state’s only national park, a 600,000-acre swath of hardwoods and cypress-tupelo gum swamp, it’s without question the most beautiful trail in Louisiana, bisecting a longleaf pine forest that provides ample shade from the molten southern sun. About four miles in, you hit the tallest overlook on the trail, a sandstone outcrop facing the valley and Bayou Cypre. It’s doable in a day, but there are several good campsites, and no alligators, along the way.
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