Louisiana fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Louisiana fall foliage. — Nick Romano
Kisatchie National Forest
Kisatchie is Louisiana’s only national forest, and its 604,000 acres are home to an abundance of wildlife and tree species. The Kincaid campground, above the Kincaid Reservoir, is set in a mixed woods, comprising both pines and such hardwoods as magnolia and dogwoods -- fall foliage abounds here. Start your quest at the Calcasieu Ranger Station just outside Gardner for up-to-the-minute information.
Calcasieu Ranger Station, 9912 Highway 28 West, Boyce, LA 71409 | Get Directions
Shreveport-Bossier City area
Many TV fanatics recognize the city of Shreveport from the HBO series "True Blood," but this city's attractions don't have to be taken in after midnight. According to Shreveport.com, "The stars in the autumn show include gum trees, oaks, beeches, birches, elms, maples, sycamores, crape myrtles, pears," among others. Start your quest at the R.W. Norton Art Foundation, which features 40 landscaped acres, beautiful stone sculptures and 15,000 plants, including brightly colored Japanese maples.
R.W. Norton Art Foundation, 4747 Creswell Ave., Shreveport, LA 71106 | Get Directions
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Bald cypress and tupelo trees grace the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge and, come fall, they light up the swamps with brilliant reds and browns. The trees, along with cherrybark oak and cedar elm, among many others, provide a canopy for such critters as alligators, coyote, herons, and egrets. In the arboretum, next door to the visitor's center, there are more than 100 additional woody plants. Not only is this wildlife refuge the place to experience Louisiana fall foliage and wildlife, but it also allows visitors and tourists to get a firsthand look at the swamp grounds that make the state so unique.
480 Richland Place, Monroe, LA 71203 | Get Directions
Slideshow of autumn scenes from the Shreveport area.
Did we miss a Louisiana fall-foliage spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.