LA - Bogue Chitto State Park

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by mckeapc67, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    Took our first trip to Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, LA this weekend; so, here's a campground review for anyone interested.

    We stayed in the Upland RV Area (Site 38). Here are pros and cons of the camping areas and overall park:

    Upland RV Area
    • Pro - Campsites are pretty level left to right. Ours was spot on. Front to rear, the sights vary. Didn't see any that appeared too bad. Ours wasn't bad. I used my wooden blocks under my front stabilizers. I always use a cement block under my tongue jack and it was nearing the max lift to get level. Of course, our pup is 25 feet long too; so, most folks with a PUP wouldn't have this issue.
    • Pro - I loved the bath house: Very clean, plenty of hot water, and well maintained. They were air conditioned and appeared to have humidity control. The bath house had 6 separate bathrooms with shower, sink, and toilet.
    • The bath house was fairly centrally located near the center of the circle.
    • Pro - The bath house had a laundry room with Washer, Dryer, and Utility Sink. Washer / Dryer were free (not coin operated) which would be a nice plus if we would have been staying longer and needed them.
    • Pro - Direct access to the main hiking trail right across the road from the bath house.
    • Pro - Very little light polution. No street lights (booger lights) or other electric lights at the campsites. The only electic lights were at the bath house. Of course, depending on your neighbors, this could change but at least the park doesn't force it on you.
    • Con - Although there is a kids' play area, there is only a single climbing gym (synthetic rope webbing). It would have been nice to have more available like we've seen at some of the other state parks.
    • Con - Not much shade. The vast majority of the sites don't get much afternoon shade; so, I recommend looking at the sites where your awning would be on the eastern side.
    • Con - The upland site is a bit of a distance from everything with the exception of the hiking trail.

    Bottomland RV Area
    • Pros - Two bath houses available and appear to be the same configuration as the Upland area.
    • Pros - There appears to be a bit more shade in the bottomland areas.
    • Pros - A number of the Bottomland sites are right on the water (ponds)
    • Pros - Like the upland area, little light polution with the exception of the bath houses and neighbors.
    • Neutral - Sites weren't as roomy as the upper area; but, they still were not crowded together. This wouldn't really matter too much except we liketo be able to tie out the dogs which wouldn't work well with some of these sites.
    • Neutral - There appears to be more shade in these sites.
    • Con - Bottomland could be prone to river flooding. This would likely only be an issue for an extended stay or planned trip where a weather event (heavy rain) occurred.
    • Con - Didn't see a kids' playground in the Bottomland area.
    • Con - Closer, but still a bit of a distance from the day use area.

    Overall Park Facilities & Amenities
    • Pro - Plenty of hiking Trails (7+ miles) in a large loop around the park. The main trail passes through diverse areas and is very scenic. The trails are nice for walking and would good for biking as well. There are even dedicated equine (horse) trails.
    • Pro - Plenty of fishing opportunities. There are numerous ponds and the river available.
    • Pro - Canoe / Kayak / Tube launch and recovery areas to the river.
    • Pro - Water features (water slide / wet area) in the day-use area.
    • Con - Not a lot of shade in the day-use area and the number of pavilions is limited.
    • Con - Limited plaground equipment at the day use area.

    This is a fairly new State Park. It's only been open for a couple of years. I expect that it'll only get better as time goes on.

    We'll definitely be going back to Bogue Chitto as one of our local, weekend options. Unless we were planning on canoeing/kayaking or tubing on the river, I doubt we would go mid summer due to the lack of shade; but it would definitely be a good spring, fall, and winter area when it isn't too hot.
     
  2. skysummit

    skysummit Member

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    I really like Bogue Chitto SP. Thanks for your thorough analysis. You're 100% correct about the lack of shade in the upland area. I did take notes of which sites would have shade however. It looks like spot #41 in the upland area has the most shade. It's the same spot that backs up to the rope play area, and directly across from VERY nice bathhouse as you have mentioned.

    In the bottomland area, my favorite spot is #133 which has a lot of shade, and is backed up to the pond. It also looks like it has the most room around it, and you are sort of isolated from any neighbors.

    That water play area gets very crowded in the summer, as does the beach area along the Bogue Chitto River. You can rent kayaks/canoes from rental company within the park, and they'll drop you off on the north side of the river in the park, and pick you up on the southern side of the river in the park.
     
  3. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    We really did like Bogue Chitto, too.

    We did note the site #133 like you mentioned being one of the most shady.

    We've camped at a number of other parks that don't have much shade. One example is Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. The key to staying in these spots are:

    (1) Try to get a spot where the back side of the camper faces West or SouthWest so you have afternoon shade under the awning.
    (2) Use our PUGs on the bunk ends and slide-out to reduce heat build-up in the PUP.

    Like I said in my original post, we'll definitely be going back to Bogue Chitto.
     
  4. msuce99

    msuce99 New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys! We will probably look at camping here later in the summer.
     
  5. fiddlingdoc

    fiddlingdoc Member

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    Thanks from me also,

    We have been wondering about it, and will try to sneak over there sometime in the short term future. Shoud you ever be there and see an Aliner, there is a good chance that it is us (Or Sushidog). Who knows, it could become a gathering!

    Bob
     
  6. msuce99

    msuce99 New Member

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    Thought I'd add to this thread. We just got back from a weekend trip to the area and we stayed in the Bottomland area, site 102. We were camping with friends who had claimed various spots around this cul-de-sac. Without trying to repeat too much of what has already been said, here are my thoughts:

    -The Bottomland campsites have water and electric but do not have sewer. I believe the Upland sites do. This is just the price you pay for being close to the river. River flooding would wreak havoc on the sewer system. However, it wasn't an issue for us in our PUP.

    -The bathhouses were a nice surprise, especially for my wife. They had six "private" (lockable) bathrooms at our closest bathhouse with individual showers in each room (!!!), and working air conditioners! The laundry was free, as mentioned above.

    -We did the tube float trip yesterday, and it was a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon.

    -We did the splash park in the day-use area, and it entertained and cooled the kids for about an hour, then I guess they ran out of things to hold their attention.

    -Some of the campsites seemed to have very little "lot" aside from a gravel patch along the road (as a "pull-through site") and maybe a deck for a picnic table. Others had spacious green grassy areas for kids to play in. It really pays to do your research ahead of time and know what you're getting. Our spot, #102, was a parallel spot with really not enough gravel down to be off the road completely. So to get completely off of the road, our right side of the PUP was off the gravel and into the grass. It wasn't the most level site, and I think my BAL was about maxed out leveling the trailer side-to-side. The other sites in this loop seemed to be more level side-to-side.

    -In general, I was much more impressed with the "back in" sites than I was with the "pull through" sites, for the reasons mentioned above. The pull-through sites tended to be the ones alongside the road with less area for kids to play. They are probably more suited for the older campers in fifth-wheels or travel trailers, because many of them had nice scenic pond views, but no place for kids to really burn energy.

    -We didn't have any afternoon shade from trees on site 102, but our awning was on the east side, so that gave us some. The box fan we brought helped a lot.

    -The pond alongside the road between our site and the bathhouse had a sign that said "Don't feed the alligators". We saw at least 3 alligators in this pond this weekend. None of them ate our dogs however.

    -There is precious little light at night aside from the bathhouses. This is great for stargazing at your campsite, but a little nervous when your kids want to go to the bathhouse alone and they have to walk past the alligator pond. Ha.

    -I commented to my wife that the park seemed to be very spacious, with large areas of undeveloped land between campgrounds, activity centers, etc. I wonder if in time more "activity areas" or playgrounds or something will be built to fill in the park.



    Overall, we really enjoyed our trip. This was our first out-of-state trip with our PUP, and we discovered that from Jackson, MS, getting off of I-55 south at Crystal Springs and taking Hwy 27 (MS) which turns into Hwy 25 (LA) takes you directly into Franklinton, then nearest town, about 6 miles from the campground. It's an easy 2.5 hr drive and we will be going back again.
     
  7. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    Just had our second trip to Bogue Chitto this past weekend.

    This time, we were at site #40 in the upland area. Site #40 is right by the play area (the path in is between #40 & #41). With our site right there, we can keep an eye on our DD while we are still relaxing under the awning or preparing meals.

    Site #40 is also fairly well shaded. The pine trees on the east side keep the shade available in the a.m. and with the back side of the PUP to the west, there's enough shade in the afternoon/evening.

    One of the other things that we really like about Bogue Chitto is that the campground is unlighted with the exception of the bath house. This makes the starry sky beautiful as long as the other campers don't add too much light pollution. [:D]

    The campground (upland campground) was pretty full on Saturday night. I believe there were only 2 empty sites. I only saw one other PUP in the upland area. There were quite a few tents as well. Even with that many people there, it was plenty quiet and dark.

    Another nice addition at this trip was that on the 2nd Saturday of the month, a group gets together at the day-use area for a Dutch Oven Cookout. You can go over there and participate and/or sample the foods.

    Keep an eye out for us if you ever are up there or at any of the other nearby LA & MS State Parks.


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  8. skysummit

    skysummit Member

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    We're going back to Bogue Chitto this coming weekend, and will too be in the upland loop this go around. We'll be in spot 14 which is in the first half of the loop, past the bath house, on the right. With temps in the upper 90's and heat indexes around 110 - 115 degrees, I'm looking forward to see how my first run with reflectix and gizmos go :)
     
  9. msuce99

    msuce99 New Member

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    We are going back and will be in the upper loop at the end of the month. :)
     
  10. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Sounds like a great park, I will have to put it in my to-do list..
     

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