Things to do Near Lake Claiborne State Park

Lake Claiborne State Park, situated in the hilly forests of north Louisiana within an hour’s drive from Shreveport, Monroe and neighboring cities, gives day-trippers and overnight visitors alike a chance to see the splendor of the region with modern conveniences nearby.

Boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, disc golfing and camping are all popular at this park, located at the south end of Lake Claiborne. For visitors eager to see the forests on foot or mountain bike, six nature trails are here to enjoy. The tiny Dogwood Nature Trail is just .14 mile in length — perfect for stretching your legs after a long drive — and more ambitious explorers should check out the six-mile White Tail Hiking Trail and the five-mile Whispering Pines Bike Trail.

Getting out on the water is easy at Lake Claiborne State Park. The park’s sandy beach, located in a protected inlet far from boat wakes, beckons visitors eager to get some time in the sun. Check out one of Lake Claiborne State Park’s numerous fishing piers, conveniently located near camping areas as well.

When you’re ready to leave the land behind, head down to the boat launch near the picnic areas. It’s a short trip from there into the depths of Lake Claiborne, which is stocked with sac-à-lait (crappie), striped and largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish and many more species. Lake Claiborne’s surface area measures 6,400 acres, and with that much space to spread out, it’s easy to find a spot away from the crowds to drop anchor.

Want to get on the water, but didn’t bring a boat? That’s not an issue at Lake Claiborne State Park. Explore the coastline while getting some exercise by renting kayaks, canoes and flat-bottom boats here. All are offered for rental by the hour or day and include paddles and life jackets.

As well-known as Lake Claiborne State Park is for its fishing and watersports, it’s also home to the top two disc golf courses in Louisiana. Bring your own discs or check them out at the fee station.

After a day on the boat, on the beach, on the trails or on the course, you can take a rest in one of the two-bedroom cabins or in the RV camping area at the park (sites with and without hookups are available). For visitors looking for a more rustic overnight stay, primitive campsites are also offered.

Nearby Attractions

Pleasure Point Marina Bar & Grill is located on Lake Claiborne, and has been offering food, drinks, entertainment and accommodations to visitors since opening its doors in 1966. Try one of the “almost famous burgers” here, order up a drink from the bar and stick around for some live local music before taking a rest at Pleasure Point’s waterfront RV park.

Port Au Prince Restaurant is another lakefront business that has been serving the local community and visitors alike for more than 50 years. Try one of the many traditional Southern food dishes served up daily, and see why Louisiana Life magazine named Port Au Prince the “Best Catfish Shack” in the state.

Take a longer drive to Minden, where you’ll find a fascinating cultural museum (the Germantown Colony Museum), a German-style Mardi Gras festival (the Minden Fasching Carnival and Parade), and down-home soul food restaurants including Grace Estate and Dorcheat Seafood and Grill.

Southeast of Lake Claiborne State Park is Ruston, a college town with a diverse dining scene (check out Ponchatoulas and Log Cabin Grill & Market), museums (the Louisiana Military Museum, and the Eddie G. Robinson Museum in the neighboring city of Grambling), outdoor attractions (Lincoln Parish Park) and peaches galore (Mitcham Farms Peach Store and the Louisiana Peach Festival).