It’s that time of year when many families typically take that long-awaited vacation. However, the typical dream resort destination might not seem attractive due to the ongoing pandemic.
Instead, many families are looking towards making the most of a summer vacation closer to home, and camping trips seem to be growing in popularity.
According to a recent survey released by Kampgounds of America (KOA), 46 percent of travelers rank camping as the safest type of travel once coronavirus restrictions were lifted. The survey also shows non-campers now interested in camping due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Health and safety concerns spiking from COVID-19 are also driving an increased interest in RV ownership, the survey says.
Steve Bordelon, president and CEO at Steve’s RV Center in Lacombe says part of the growing interest in RV ownership is the ability to “control your own environment.” Bordelon reports a 32 percent increase in sales over last year at this time.
“Possibly due to the pandemic, people feel this is a safer way to travel with their family,” Bordelon said. ” You have your own bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, which people feel is safer, more secure and sanitary.”
Bordelon says most of his customers are choosing to stay closer to home, opting for local campgrounds and state parks.
Families looking take their RV on a road trip can choose from hundreds of campsites in more than 20 state parks around Louisiana.
“State parks offer spacious campsites with RV hookups and a variety of other amenities each with beautiful landscapes, and each has a history all its own,” Bordelon said.
From scenic hiking routes to refreshing water recreation, here are a few Louisiana state parks for your next summer road trip. Photojournalist Dave McNamara will also explore Louisiana state parks in a special edition of Heart of Lousiana: Exploring our State Parks on July 27 at 10:35 p.m. on FOX 8.
Fairview-Riverside State Park
Located in Madisonville, La., the clear, calm waters of the Tchefuncte River make Fairview-Riverside State Park perfect for fishing and boating.
If you plan to stay overnight, the park offers 81 sites great for RVs, with water and electrical hooks and a nearby comfort station and dump station.
Nature lovers can wander the park’s nature trail, where it’s common to see migratory birds and even alligators from the boardwalk. The whole family can enjoy a day along the waterfront or relaxing under stately oak trees.
Fairview-Riverside State Park is also home to the Otis House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake Claiborne State Park
One of the most popular activities for visitors at Lake Claiborne State Park is swimming at the park’s sandy beach area.
From fishing to hiking, the state park is dream spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
Halfway between Shreveport and Monroe, Lake Claiborne is a 6,400-acre scenic waterway, stocked with largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish and white perch.
Nature lovers can choose from six trails offering more than 10 miles of scenic hiking or biking — including the King of the Mountain Nature Trial and the Whispering Pines Bike Trail.
Families can also play a round of disc golf at the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked disc-golf courses in the state.
Bogue Chitto State Park
You can plan a full day with a trip to Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, La. From hiking to tubing, nature lovers can spend time taking in the diverse natural habitat.
If you’re active, take advantage of several pedestrian trails, including the Gorge Run Trail. Near the end of the trail, you can spot one of the park’s hidden gems — a gorge of sandstone formations known as Fricke’s Cave.
Inside the park, you can also cool off with a float trip along the lazy Bogue Chitto River. Washington Parish’s newest access point for tubing, Tubing in the Park, offers tubing and kayak rentals.
Fontainebleau State Park
If you’re looking for a change of scenery a little closer to the New Orleans area, head to the North Shore for a quick getaway.
The 2,800-acre Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville features several hiking and nature trails great for outdoor enthusiasts. Take in stunning views of marshy areas while strolling along the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk.
You can also turn your day trip into a mini-vacation with a stay at the waterfront cabins.
This post was created in partnership with Steve’s RV Center.