Things to do Near Lake D’Arbonne State Park

Lake D’Arbonne State Park is one of the gems of north Louisiana’s state-run nature preserves. Like its neighboring parks, Chemin-A-Haut State Park, Lake Claiborne State Park, Poverty Point Reservoir State Park and Poverty Point World Heritage Site, Lake D’Arbonne offers endless opportunities to enjoy Louisiana’s outdoors.

Also like other Louisiana State Parks in the area, Lake D’Arbonne’s main attraction — fishing on a pristine, well-stocked lake — has kept anglers coming back year after year since it opened in 1967. Record catches of catfish, bream, bass and crappie have made Lake D’Arbonne a prime destination, and the fishing piers and boat docks throughout the park make it easy to cast a line.

Even if you didn’t bring your own boat, you can still get on the water with ease. At Lake D’Arbonne State Park, you can rent flat-bottom boats by the day and canoes by the hour or day. Both options include paddles and life jackets. Imagine exploring the forested shores of the lake, or taking some truly remarkable sunset photos on the water.

Onshore, visitors can choose from a variety of activities. Trails, ranging from a half-mile to four miles, run through Lake D’Arbonne State Park. An 18-basket disc golf course is located between the group camp and the campground, giving visitors a chance to compete while staying close to the conveniences of the park. Cyclists can feel the wind in their hair on a high-octane adventure on wooded trails. Lighted tennis courts are open to visitors so that they can play at night or day. And finally, there’s an on-site swimming pool (open from Memorial Day weekend through August 1st) that is especially popular with families.

With so many activities to choose from, it’s easy to work up an appetite at Lake D’Arbonne State Park. Picnic areas, located under pine tree canopies and shaded from the sun, give families and friends the chance to have great conversations around the grill.

Overnight visitors can choose from a variety of accommodations. Deluxe cabins come with utensils and essential gear like towels and linens and accommodate up to eight guests. Deluxe lodges can accommodate up to 14 visitors, and a group camp, with two dormitory-style wings and a dining hall, can hold up to 52 people.

Should you decide to bring your own accommodations — an RV — then you have options of staying in premium campsites (in scenic, prime locations) or in basic campsites that still offer easy access to the lakefront. All have water and electrical hookups.

Nearby Attractions

Collins Natural Horsemanship in Dubach is a ranch located about 20 miles outside of Lake D’Arbonne State Park. It’s a scenic, peaceful place that’s popular among both local residents and visitors alike. Riding lessons are available for children and adults.

For a sweet taste of rural Louisiana, check out the Louisiana Watermelon Festival, held the last weekend in July annually. Founded in 1963, this Farmerville event is one of more than 400 festivals held throughout the state every year. It celebrates the local watermelon industry with a pageant, watermelon contests (the grower of the largest watermelon overall wins $1,000), a parade, photo contest, street dance and treasure hunt. Plenty of artists and craftspeople are on-site, selling creations that make excellent souvenirs. And, as you might expect at a festival honoring North Louisiana’s agricultural legacy, the food vendors are serving up something tasty.