Tickfaw State Park – Springfield, Louisiana – March 6 – 13, 2024

Well it’s back to my favorite state, Louisiana!

We left Historic Blakeley State Park around 10:30 am on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 for a 3-hour drive to Tickfaw State Park in Springfield (does EVERY state have a city/town named Springfield?), Louisiana for a 7-night stay.

Tickfaw State Park opened in May of 1999 and is 1,200 acres of diverse ecosystems; bald cypress (the State Tree), bottomland hardwood forest, mixed hardwood forest, and the Tickfaw River. The Tickfaw River stretches north from Mississippi to the edge of Lake Maurepas and the area of the river here in the park is tidal; moving up and down with the levels of nearby lakes that are connected to the Gulf of Mexico. The park provides a home for various birds, fish, reptiles and mammals. There are alligators, armadillos, beavers, deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and opossums. Cindy also saw a huge rat come out of the vegetation near our site one morning. As you know, that means we won’t be returning to this park, lol!

They also have more than a mile of boardwalks in the park that usually allow visitors to explore hard to reach places. Unfortunately, most of them have been closed due to damage by Hurricane Ida in 2021 that has yet to be repaired. Ida was a category 4 hurricane and the second-most damaging hurricane to make landfall, after Katrina in 2005. Most trails were also closed due to damage and current flooding effects, as you’ll see in the photos of where we tried to hike. In the Choctaw language “Tickfaw” means “pine rest”.

The park has 50 campsites for RVs and tents, 14 cabins, several picnic shelters for day use, a large fishing pond, and a very nice nature center, all within walking distance of each other. A short drive down the road there is even a water playground for children. It seems like that might attract gators and snakes, but that’s just me.

Our site was a level, asphalt pad with a small pebble deck enclosed by wood. The pad was JUST wide enough for Nomad’s wheelbase, so it was like threading a needle to get her backed in and keep the wheels on the pad. But we were thankful for the pad as the ground around the site was saturated and had puddles of standing water. Not many trees around us, which meant not much shade but also no droppings to clean off of the slide-out roof before bringing it in. We had 20/30/50 amp service and water. The campground had a nice dump station right at the exit.

Next to the dump station was a building on stilts (about 8 feet off the ground) with clean bathrooms and a nice laundry room. As you’ll see in one of the photos, in 2016 flood waters reached to the bottom of the building on stilts. Unless you’ve been through a flood, or arrived shortly thereafter to offer assistance, it’s hard to imagine water rising high above your head like that.

Park rules state dogs must be on a maximum 5-foot leash at all times, but I imagine that is hard to enforce that rule when the camp host has his two dogs on a 20-foot leash.

We did as much hiking as we could, considering that most of the trails and boardwalks were closed for damage and/or flooding. We had planned to hike to the Tickfaw River, but had to turn back about three-quarters of the way through when the trail was under more than a foot of water. With the proliferation of venomous snakes in the park, we did not want to take the chance of wading into any of them.

We were able to hike down to the fishing pond a couple of times. I took my walking stick and had the lead (which Bella does NOT like, she wants to be the leader) so I could sweep the trail with my stick to scare off snakes. This helped make sure that Bella was not bitten by surprising one of the vipers as she trotted by or over. We had a couple of close calls in Alabama and did not want to risk her stumbling upon a snake that could hurt her.

The fishing pond was also a favorite hangout of alligators. We spotted two ourselves. One was about 6 feet in size swimming in the water. The other one was about 9 to 10 feet long and was sunning itself on the bank next to the trail. None of us saw it. It was only when it scuttled off the bank and splashed into the water that we realized we were right next to it. All three of us jumped at the sound and then nervously laughed as we hurried on our way, being a bit more cautious in scanning our surroundings, lol.

Our countertop ice maker stopped working the first day we arrived, so we drove into nearby Hammond the next day to get a new one from Home Depot and that allowed Cindy to get some more thread she needed from Michael’s. It also allowed us to have dinner at our favorite fast food chicken place, Raising Cane’s.

We got new neighbors across the road from our site, a young couple who arrived on that Friday. They put up a screen room and that afternoon Cindy glanced out our window and saw movement in the screen room. She called me over to ask what she was seeing.

The young woman had on an Apple Visor, PlayStation headset or something similar and was playing air drums, at least to our eyes. I’m sure to hers she was actually pounding out percussive beats while a concert crowd screamed in appreciation. On successive days we observed her boxing, climbing, doing yoga, and having a conversation. We’re easily amused and it was free entertainment. As a fan of Star Trek’s holodeck, I’d like to try something like that one of these days. But only if no one is watching, lol.

The other fun part of our stay is that they were digging up the ground around the sites so they could install sewer pipes to each site, allowing campers to have full hook ups (FHU) while staying. They started on Monday and were up to our site by the time we were pulling out on Wednesday. It was noisy, dirty and a bit aggravating to have the peaceful quiet punctuated by tractors, backhoes and men yelling over the sound of the machinery. But, progress must go on.

And so must we. We left Wednesday, March 13th and headed for our next stop; Austin, Texas. We hope you’ll join us there in our next post.

Thanks for following The Wandering Wetheringtons.

3 thoughts on “Tickfaw State Park – Springfield, Louisiana – March 6 – 13, 2024”

  1. We just got a Raising Cane’s and Mikey and I love it! I am not a fan of ‘special sauces’ and you know Mikey doesn’t like anything he isn’t used to, but we LOVE the sauce. We’ve been twice already lol. Also, glad you didn’t get eaten by an alligator.

  2. Pingback: McKinney Falls State Park visit from March 13 to 28, 2024.

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