With moderate year-round weather, numerous parks, access to fine lakes, rivers, bayous and national forests, Natchitoches is an attractive recreation destination for anglers, hunters, boaters, hikers and many other outdoor enthusiasts.
Cane River Lake
Cane River Lake is a valuable asset to the people of Natchitoches, offering many opportunities to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, tubing and more. The lake, originally a tributary of Red River, stretches approximately 33 miles in length, meandering through Downtown Natchitoches and into Plantation Country.
City of Natchitoches Recreation & Parks Department
The City of Natchitoches Recreation & Parks Department strives to provide residents with opportunities to enjoy indoor/outdoor recreation through year-round programming and a collection of more than 20 parks and facilities. A full-size pool, spray park, extensive athletic complex with eight ball fields and four soccer fields, community centers, boat launches and more are among the department’s popular facilities. Also, the city’s many community park sites offer a range of amenities, including playground equipment, walking paths, pavilions and shaded spaces for relaxation. Additionally, the city is now moving forward with additional park spaces oriented toward pets.
Sibley Lake is a municipal-owned body of water that serves both as the city’s primary source of drinking water and recreation area. The lake covers approximately 2,000 acres with 38 miles of shoreline. It is ideal for picnicking, camping, boating and fishing. Sibley Lake is well stocked with a healthy population of white crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass.
Additional outlying water sources great for fishing and other forms of recreation include Red River, Black Lake, Clear Lake, Saline Lake and Saline Bayou.
Golf & Tennis
Natchitoches is home to two golf and tennis facilities: the 18-hole Demon Hills course at Northwestern Hills Golf Course and a private 9-hole course. Both facilities also offer a clubhouse, swimming pool, pro shop and tennis courts – great facilities for the entire family to enjoy.
Kisatchie National Forest
Kisatchie National Forest stands as Louisiana’s sole national forest. It stretches more than 604,000 acres in seven parishes, with just over 129,000 acres contained between Natchitoches and Winn parishes. The national forest presents a long list of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy including camping, nature viewing, picnicking, hunting, hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing.
Natchitoches Shooting Range
www.natchitochesshootingrange.com | (318) 356-9457
The Natchitoches Shooting Range offers several practice facilities for both members and the public. Sporting clays, lighted skeet and trap shooting are available, as is a hunting course, a rifle, pistol and archery range. NRA-certified and state-approved instructors provide staff to the shooting range: hunter education, archery training, personal protection and home safety tips as well as instruction on handling rifles, pistols and shotguns.
The Red River is an important regional feature, not only for commercial uses, but for recreation and tourism as well. The river, which links with the Mississippi River and Gulf Intercoastal Waterway, runs through Natchitoches Parish, affording a number of recreational outlets. Three facilities operated by the Red River Waterway Commission are located in the area, including the Grand Ecore Recreation Area, which features a two-lane concrete boat ramp, bank-fishing areas, picnic facilities and a boat dock; the Red Bayou Recreation Area, a popular spot for sportsmen; and the Grand Ecore Visitors Center. The visitors’ center is filled with informational displays on the past, present and future of the waterway. The grounds surrounding the center provide further historical displays and sites as well as areas for picnicking and boating.