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Camping on a budget: Tickfaw State Park, Springfield, La.

Swamp at Tickfaw State Park
Swamp at Tickfaw State Park
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Generic

Tickfaw State Park

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If you live in Louisiana or southern Mississippi, a day visiting one of the many campgrounds is a great little trip that is both relaxing for you and fun for the kids. Best of all, it fits in with budget traveling!

My family has enjoyed camping for many years. We started out when my girls were small and they grew to love camping as much as my husband and I do. Now that they are grown and with families of their own, they still like to tag along whenever possible when we head out for a few days of relaxation at one of our favorite parks.

Tickfaw State Park is located in Springfield, Louisiana. The campground is just a few minutes away from I-55 before you enter the park. If you are not familiar with the area, New Orleans and Baton Rouge are just about 45 minutes away.

Facilities for day use include picnic tables and covered pavilions for groups, as well as BQ pits. Day visitors may also come for the day to fish off the banks or use the boat launch if bringing their personal boat. Canoes are also available to rent.

Nature Trails

I would have to say that the main highlight of Tickfaw State Park is the boardwalks that run through the swamp. There is an abundance of wildlife in the area and no matter what time of the year you visit, you will see many different animals when you stroll along the boardwalk. Some of the things you may see are deer, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, possums, snakes, turtles, squirrels, wild turkeys, owls, woodpeckers and lots of other avian species. You will also get to observe a bottomland hardwood forest.

There are three trails with boardwalks in the park ranging from 1/2 a mile to two miles long. There is also a primitive trail that leads through the woods that could be challenging for senior citizens and small children. This park is located right off of a river and most of the territory in the park is literally swampland.

Nature Center

The Nature Center at Tickfaw State Park contains a collection of Louisiana wildlife that is on display for all to see. This collection contains aquariums of freshwater fish, stuffed animals such as bobcats, foxes and even an owl. There are also turtle shells of different species of turtles.

The Nature Center also has a room dedicated for education and a video that visitors can sit down and watch to learn more about the various species of wildlife native to southern Louisiana.

You may also enjoy browsing the gift shop which contains many interesting items relating to Louisiana and the culture of the south.

Climate

The climate in southern Louisiana is usually moderate, but temperatures during the winter months are usually erratic and can range from lows in the low 20's at night to mid 60's. During the day, you can expect high's anywhere from the 30's to the 70's.

The humidity in Louisiana is also high and you can even feel this during the winter months when the temperatures hit the mid 70's during the day.

Be sure to pack insect repellent, as the swamp is the home to lots of big size mosquitoes.

Camping

Campground areas are suitable for both tent camping and RV's or smaller travel trailers. Each site contains a fire ring and BQ pit combo. There are two loops or sections for camping, one for tents and the other for RV's and travel trailers. Each loop also contains a comfort station with restrooms and showers.

You may want to call the campground before you arrive if you plan on staying in the tent loop, as that area is low and some sites hold water.

Rates

Rates for daily visitors are $2.00 each, free for senior citizens age 62 and older and for children under the age of three. Normal park hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m., but sometimes change with the season and/or if the park has a boat launch.

For current rates for campsites please call 877-226-7652.

In Closing

This is one of my favorite State Parks to spend the day at. The walks on the boardwalks are fun, interesting and educational. The park has signage along the boardwalks that give information on the different types of wildlife that live in the swamp. Children have fun looking for animals and discovering new facts about the animals that live there. Adults will love the scenery and the relaxation.