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Baton Rouge, LA: Clark Creek Natural Area


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Distance: 4.7 miles

This strenuous, 4.7-mile loop links a string of remote waterfalls and rocky coves tucked into the inner reaches of Clark Creek Natural Area.
  • Streambed
  • View of the Falls
  • Base of the Falls

More than 40 waterfalls pepper the Clark Creek Natural Area, making it a prime locale for ultra-scenic Mississippi hiking. This strenuous lollipop loop follows a rough-and-tumble trail through a series of leg-burning ascents and equally sharp descents. From the trailhead, descend a gravel path, heading southwest through hardwood forest. After 0.4 mile, bear left at the Y-junction to start the loop on a primitive trail. Over the next 3.8 miles, the trail passes through remote stretches where you'll spot waterfalls pouring into rocky coves. At times, the trail traces the streambed, ascends wooded hills, and reveals views of the surrounding countryside. The hike culminates at the base of 2 waterfalls: One is a 25-foot cascade that drips into a rocky alcove; the second is a set of three 25-foot falls that pour into a semi-circular cove. At mile 4.3, the route reconnects with Waypoint 2 and winds back to the trailhead.

-Mapped by Marcus Woolf

Trail Reviews & Comments


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Be prepared!
Jul 06, 2014

Clark Creek Primitive Trail - NO PETS, NO CHILDREN!!!!
The hike was amazing, although we got off track once and almost stepped on a 4 foot Canebrake Rattlesnake! The trail is VERY physically challenging and without the right gear would be downright miserable. But if prepared it's great, I can't wait to go back! Suggestions for future Clark Creek primitive trail hikers: soak your clothes in permethrin for ticks before going; use sunblock and plenty mosquito repellent before heading out; good pair of sturdy waterproof hiking boots; hiking pants (nylon, cool and they unzip into shorts or capris and back into pants easily, plus they dry quickly!); sturdy hiking stick or trekking pole(s); trail map and compass; hydration backpack with at least 70oz water per person (put ice in it with the water, you'll appreciate that cold sip as it melts!!!); electrolytes if hiking in the summer (power-aid drops to add into water work great!); small pack of first aid items (including a snake kit) and some high protein granola bars. Read up and familiarize yourself with local venomous snakes, that could save your life because they DO have snakes there as with any outdoor trail. Being prepared made this hike fantastic! Also if someone thinks just because they jog on a treadmill everyday they are fit enough for this hike...think again!! You will need to climb up tree roots, rocks and do some major leg burning cardio steep hills (also a lot of stair climbing and that's AFTER you've hiked all day just to get back to your car!!!!). This hike made my recent 10 hour Hocking Hills hike seem like a walk in the park!!!

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Jessica Carlson
Jun 06, 2014

The Clark Creek improved trails are great for a family hike and the primitive trail is a great challenge for adult hikers. It's worth the few hour drive from where I live and I plan to visit it again. Read my whole experience and review and important things you should know about the trail before going, here on my hiking blog:

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Lindsay Barrett
Jun 28, 2013

My family and I have been living in Angola, LA for a little over a year now and were recently introduce to Clark Creek. We have been very impressed with the area and our kids (ages 6 and 7) have begged to go back every chance they can. It is challenging especially if you are not used to hiking or rock climbing. This is not your average nature hike! It is beautiful and an amazing experience that we will continue with our family for years to come!


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