Red River Trail In Louisiana

Here is everything you need to know about the Red River Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Louisiana
  • Length: 5.3 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Red River Trail Management Committee
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Red River Trail holds significant historical importance as a major trade route that connected the United States and Canada during the 19th century. This trail, also known as the Red River Ox Cart Trail, stretched approximately 550 miles from the Red River Colony in present-day Winnipeg, Canada, to St. Paul, Minnesota, in the United States. It played a crucial role in the fur trade and later became a vital transportation route for settlers, traders, and goods.

The origins of the Red River Trail can be traced back to the early 1800s when the Hudson’s Bay Company established the Red River Colony as a fur trading post. The trail was initially used by Métis and Indigenous peoples who transported furs and other goods using ox-drawn carts. The carts, known as “Red River Carts,” were uniquely designed with large wooden wheels to navigate the challenging terrain of the region.

As the fur trade expanded and European settlers began to migrate westward, the Red River Trail gained prominence as a primary transportation route. It facilitated the movement of goods, including furs, buffalo hides, and agricultural products, between the Red River Colony and the growing settlements in the United States. The trail also served as a vital link between the fur trading posts of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the American trading centers along the Mississippi River.

The Red River Trail played a significant role in shaping the economic and cultural landscape of the region. It fostered trade and cultural exchange between Indigenous peoples, Métis communities, and European settlers. The trail’s importance gradually diminished with the arrival of railways in the late 19th century, but its legacy remains as a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of those who traversed its path during a crucial period in North American history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Red River Gorge Geological Area Trailhead
2. Sky Bridge Trailhead
3. Auxier Ridge Trailhead
4. Gray’s Arch Trailhead
5. Natural Bridge State Resort Park Trailhead
6. Whittleton Campground Trailhead
7. Indian Staircase Trailhead
8. Chimney Top Rock Trailhead
9. Princess Arch Trailhead
10. Courthouse Rock Trailhead
11. Double Arch Trailhead
12. Angel Windows Trailhead
13. Rock Bridge Trailhead
14. Creation Falls Trailhead
15. Sheltowee Trace Trailhead

Transportation Available

1. Red River Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation along the Red River Trail.
2. Red River Trail Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the Red River Trail.
3. Red River Trail Taxi – Taxi service for quick and convenient transportation to and from the Red River Trail.
4. Red River Trail Bus – Bus service with multiple stops along the Red River Trail, perfect for group travel.
5. Red River Trail Car Rentals – Car rental service providing flexibility and freedom to explore the Red River Trail at your own pace.


The amenities available at the Red River Trail may vary depending on the specific location or section of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along many parts of the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available, either in the form of permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There may be designated parking areas or lots near the trailheads or access points for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and specific areas, camping sites may be available for overnight stays. These sites could include designated campgrounds or primitive camping areas.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, there may be designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and sometimes even grills for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals or snacks.

5. Water Stations: Some sections of the trail may have water stations or fountains where visitors can refill their water bottles.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At the starting points or trailheads, there might be information boards, maps, and other amenities to provide visitors with relevant information about the trail.

7. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs or educational displays that provide information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology.

8. Benches and Rest Areas: To provide resting spots for hikers, bikers, or other trail users, there may be benches or rest areas along the trail.

9. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there may be trash cans or receptacles placed at regular intervals along the trail.

10. Signage and Markers: The trail may have signage and markers to guide visitors and indicate distances, trail junctions, or points of interest.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary, so it is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for specific information about the amenities available at the Red River Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Red River Inn – Cozy lodging option with comfortable rooms and friendly staff.
2. Trailside Diner – Convenient food service offering a variety of delicious meals for hikers.
3. Red River Campground – Campsite with basic amenities and beautiful surroundings.
4. Riverside Lodge – Charming riverside lodging with scenic views and modern facilities.
5. Red River General Store – One-stop shop for groceries, snacks, and camping supplies.
6. Red River Medical Center – Emergency medical services available 24/7 for any health-related needs.
7. Red River Police Department – Local law enforcement agency ensuring safety and security along the trail.
8. Red River Fire Station – Emergency response team equipped to handle fire-related incidents.
9. Red River Visitor Center – Information hub providing guidance and assistance to trail visitors.
10. Red River Trail Rescue – Dedicated team of volunteers offering assistance and rescue services for hikers in distress.

Red River Trail Difficulty Notes

The Red River Trail presents a moderate level of difficulty for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning approximately 500 miles, this historic trail offers a diverse range of terrains and landscapes, including rolling prairies, dense forests, and rugged canyons. While the trail is generally well-marked and maintained, hikers should be prepared for occasional steep ascents and descents, as well as uneven surfaces. Additionally, weather conditions can vary greatly along the trail, with hot summers and cold winters, making it essential for hikers to plan accordingly and carry appropriate gear. Overall, the Red River Trail provides a challenging yet rewarding experience for those seeking an adventure in the heartland of America.

Features And Attractions

1. The Forks National Historic Site – Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, this site marks the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and is a significant historical and cultural landmark.

2. Lockport – A small town in Manitoba, Lockport is known for its historic locks, which were built in the early 1900s to bypass the rapids on the Red River. The locks are still operational and provide a scenic view of the river.

3. Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site – Situated near Selkirk, Manitoba, this site was once a major trading post and served as the headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It offers a glimpse into the fur trade era and features well-preserved buildings and exhibits.

4. St. Andrews Rectory Provincial Heritage Park – Located in St. Andrews, Manitoba, this park is home to a restored rectory that was built in 1854. It provides insight into the early settlement of the Red River area and offers beautiful views of the river.

5. The Selkirk Waterfront – Situated in Selkirk, Manitoba, this area along the Red River offers a scenic view and is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and picnicking. It also features a historic steamboat landing and a riverfront park.

6. The Floodway – Also known as the Red River Floodway, this engineering marvel diverts excess water from the Red River during periods of high water levels, preventing flooding in Winnipeg. It is an impressive sight and can be viewed from various points along the Red River Trail.

7. The St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park – Located in St. Norbert, Manitoba, this park is home to the St. Norbert Trappist Monastery ruins, which date back to the mid-19th century. The park offers scenic views of the river and is a popular spot for hiking and birdwatching.

8. The Red River North Heritage Trail – This trail stretches along the eastern side of the Red River, passing through various communities and offering scenic views of the river and surrounding landscapes. It is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the region.

9. The Red River Mutual Trail – During winter, the Red River in Winnipeg freezes, creating the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trail. The trail offers stunning views of the city skyline and is a unique experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

10. The Red River Exhibition Park – Located in Winnipeg, this park hosts the annual Red River Exhibition, featuring agricultural displays, amusement rides, and live entertainment. It is a popular attraction and offers a variety of activities for visitors.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Red River Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail, but motorized vehicles are prohibited.
4. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
6. Open fires and barbecues are not allowed on the trail.
7. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or extreme weather conditions.
8. Do not litter and help keep the trail clean by disposing of trash in designated bins.
9. Be mindful of other trail users and yield to pedestrians and slower-moving individuals.
10. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Red River Trail, located in the beautiful state of New Mexico, offers visitors a unique and breathtaking experience throughout the year. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting, depending on your preferences and interests.

One of the most popular times to visit the Red River Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is warm and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. The trail is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including lush forests, sparkling rivers, and majestic mountains, which are at their most vibrant during this time. Additionally, summer brings various events and festivals to the area, providing visitors with a chance to immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy live music, art shows, and delicious food.

Another great time to visit the Red River Trail is during the fall season, from September to November. This is when the surrounding forests transform into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, as the leaves change from green to shades of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it perfect for hiking and exploring the trail, while also offering a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Fall is also a great time for wildlife enthusiasts, as many animals can be spotted preparing for the winter months.

It’s important to note that the Red River Trail does have seasonal closures during the winter months, typically from December to February. This is due to heavy snowfall and potentially dangerous conditions. However, if you enjoy winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding, this closure can be seen as an opportunity to visit nearby ski resorts, which offer a wide range of winter activities and stunning mountain views.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Red River Trail are during the summer and fall seasons, when the weather is pleasant and the landscapes are at their most beautiful. However, each season offers its own unique charm and activities, making the trail a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Pathways: The Red River Trail features wide and smooth pathways that are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, ensuring easy navigation throughout the trail.
2. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the Red River Trail, providing wheelchair-accessible facilities for visitors.
3. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are provided near the trail entrance, allowing individuals with disabilities to conveniently park their vehicles.
4. Accessible Seating Areas: The trail offers accessible seating areas at various points, allowing individuals with mobility impairments to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Braille Signage: Braille signage is installed along the Red River Trail, providing visually impaired individuals with important information about the trail’s features and amenities.
6. Tactile Pathway Markers: Tactile markers are placed along the trail to assist individuals with visual impairments in navigating the path independently.
7. Accessible Picnic Areas: The trail includes accessible picnic areas equipped with tables and benches that are designed to accommodate wheelchair users.
8. Assistance Animals: Visitors with disabilities are allowed to bring their assistance animals along the Red River Trail, ensuring equal access and support.
9. Accessible Trailhead Information: The trailhead provides accessible information boards and maps, allowing individuals with disabilities to easily access important details about the trail.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the Red River Trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities can stay hydrated during their visit.

Safety Information

When visiting the Red River Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. Straying from the trail can lead to getting lost or encountering hazardous terrain.

2. Be aware of wildlife: The Red River Trail may be home to various wildlife species. Respect their space and observe them from a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any animals you encounter.

3. Carry essential supplies: Bring enough water, snacks, and appropriate clothing for the duration of your hike. It is also advisable to carry a map, compass, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies.

4. Check weather conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid hiking during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or extreme heat.

5. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans, including the trail you will be on and your estimated return time. This way, someone will be aware if you encounter any difficulties or fail to return on time.

6. Stay hydrated and nourished: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. Carry enough food to maintain your energy levels, especially for longer hikes.

7. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing, including sturdy hiking shoes or boots. Dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures and protect yourself from sunburn or insect bites.

8. Be cautious near water bodies: If the trail passes by rivers, streams, or other bodies of water, exercise caution. Avoid swimming in unfamiliar areas, as currents can be strong and water conditions may be unpredictable.

9. Carry a first aid kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may require.

10. Leave no trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Dispose of trash properly and avoid damaging plants or wildlife. Follow the principles of “pack it in, pack it out.”

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring any trail. By following these guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and safe experience on the Red River Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Red River Trail, located in the United States, is currently facing a critical conservation status due to various factors. The trail, spanning across several states, is under threat primarily due to habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by human activities. Urbanization, agriculture expansion, and infrastructure development have resulted in the loss and degradation of the trail’s natural habitats, leading to a decline in biodiversity.

The Red River Trail is home to numerous endangered and threatened species, including several migratory birds, mammals, and reptiles. The destruction of their habitats has significantly impacted their populations, pushing them closer to extinction. Additionally, the alteration of the trail’s natural hydrology, such as damming and water diversion, has disrupted the delicate balance of the ecosystem, further exacerbating the conservation challenges.

Efforts are being made to address the conservation status of the Red River Trail. Conservation organizations, government agencies, and local communities are working together to protect and restore the trail’s habitats. This includes implementing land-use planning strategies, establishing protected areas, and promoting sustainable practices among landowners and stakeholders. However, the conservation status of the Red River Trail remains a concern, requiring continued efforts and collaboration to ensure the long-term survival of its unique biodiversity.

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