This loop will take you on the majority of the trails throughout the park providing a fantastic means to view multiple ecosystems from well-marked paths.
From the parking lot, take the portion of the Camp Ridge Trail
down towards the Lodge. Follow the trail along the bayou enjoying beautiful views over the water. Turn into the woods behind the lodge, and follow the trail until you re-emerge into a field. Follow the trail in the grass until you see a small bridge to your right, just before a cell tower. Take this bridge.
You'll soon see a pair of trails across the street to your left. Take the left of these two trails (perpendicular to the street) and follow it around into the woods. This will put you on the Old Forest
Trail, which you'll follow to its end. This trail will spit you out onto the Archer Trail
Follow the Archer Trail
until the second turn off to the right onto the Goldfish Bayou Basin Trail
. Take this trail in, turn left on the Old Forest
Trail, and follow until you find another left to access the Gum Swamp Boardwalk
. At the end of the boardwalk portion of the trail, turn left, then right to re-access the Archer Trail
. When possible, re access the forest, and make your first left to bring you back to the road.
Cross the street, and head towards a small shrine to the Virgin Mary. Head left along the treeline until you see the Old Grotto Shortcut
trail to your right. Follow this path into the woods until it brings you to the Tammany Trace
. Turn right on the Trace, and follow it all the way back to the pavilion/your parking location.
Originally the property of Spanish Governor Estevan Miro (per a late 1700s land grant.) A trading post was built in the early 1800s, and is considered one of the oldest in the Bayou Liberty Region, or in Louisianan. This location also operated as a ferry crossing for nearly 100 years.
In 1901 the Salmen Brick and Lumber company took ownership for use in their timbering operations. They would eventually donate the site to the Boy Scouts of America in 1924. The site was used as a regional camp reservation for all New Orleans area troops.