Map for this blog
We had originally wanted to go to Tickfaw SP after Fairview-Riverside but because it was the weekend and Tickfaw is quite small we couldn’t get a booking, so we chose to drive a bit north to visit Bogue Chitto SP. We arrived there just as the Coronavirus situation was getting worse and around the time when the Canadian government recommended that all Canadians return home. We spent a lot of time in the park social distancing and analyzing our travel plans to see if we should cut our trip short. Luckily our campsite was right beside a pond with lots of turtles to watch as we relaxed and it was right underneath a broadcast location for the park Wi-Fi so we had access to the data we needed to determine our next steps. The weather was gorgeous at this park with 85 F days and warm enough overnight that we didn’t need our heater. In fact during the afternoons we even used the RV air conditioner! Once we had setup in our isolated campsite, we took a 5 km walk around the park and by the river to the day use area. We were scoping out the trail system for doing some Mountain Biking the next day.
Bogue Chitto has a long double track multiuse trail called Gorge Run and they also have two single track MTB trails called Bird Dog and Zephyr. We got the MTB’s setup and packed a lunch and headed out for the day. We did a total of 18.4 kms with an elevation gain of 218 m, so needless to say, we were quite exhausted by the time we got back to the campsite. We followed the Gorge Run trail by the day use area and took the connector trail so we could do the Bird Dog MTB trail. This trail had some ups and downs and even a small jump to fly over😉 We only saw 3 other riders on the trail. Next was the Zephyr MTB trail and it had a lot more large ups and downs so was extremely physical. I really enjoyed the speed on the downhill portions (I reached a top speed of 46 kph!), but Sharon was much more cautious and had a small fall. Once we finished the two MTB trails, we took the Gorge Run trail to the stairs that led into the actual gorge where we saw the red cliff formations. Along the way there were lots of different flowering plants and trees in bloom, so it was a very pretty park at this time of year. We had our lunch overlooking the gorge and then continued around to see the Upper campground area (we were in the lower) and returned to our campsite.
On Saturday they were having a Dutch Oven demonstration in the day use area, so we took a ride over to see what they were cooking. They gave lots of pointers on how to be successful using a Dutch Oven, but we were too early to sample their foods. When we went to check out the boat launch area, we saw a small snake crossing the road. We did a more leisurely 11 km ride around the Gorge Run trail before returning to relax at our campsite. Lots more people out since it was a weekend, but everyone was keeping their distance.
On Sunday Sharon decided to do a walk around while I did another 11 km MTB ride. I did the Gorge Run and Bird Dog trails. Since it was Sunday the weekenders started to leave and by Sunday night it was like we had the campground to ourselves along with the alligators and turtles😉
After looking at pros/cons of when to begin heading home, trying to keep away from storms and bad weather, we decided it was best to head to Tickfaw SP and from there head toward the Natchez Trace. We decided to cancel the other State Park visits we had booked, Lake Fausse Pointe and Chicot. When we got to Tickfaw we didn’t have to worry about being around anyone!! Our first day there we went to the Nature Centre, saw the exhibits and walked the Tupelo Boardwalk (3 km). One saying we liked in the Nature Centre was “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere”. We didn’t see anyone except the ranger who just said hello from his office. Tickfaw SP is based around the Tickfaw River which is tidal in this area. In the Tickfaw floodplain there are Wetland Swamps and Bottomland Hardwoods, and in the more elevated areas there are Upland Forests.
The next day we spent a lot of time on the phone cancelling reservations, the non-refundable portion was refunded to a Louisiana State Park Gift Card, I guess we’ll be back! We headed out to the hiking trail but just as we got there it started to rain, short hiking day (2 km). On our final day we did all the hiking trails (11 kms), again not seeing anyone! Joel said he wanted to see a snake and sure enough, his wish was granted with multiple sightings. I’ll finish this section off with our last beer selection, a mixed Abita Brewing case, my favourite was the Andygator Bock followed by the Wrought Iron IPA and Sharon’s favourite (even though she doesn’t like beer that much) was the Strawberry Lager.
Our next blog will be the final one for this RV Trip and will cover a quick trip along the Natchez Trace and our return to Canada.