Worth the Drive :: Clark Creek Waterfalls

Clark Creek Natural Area is perfect for families

Our family loves an outdoor adventure, and the weather (and terrain) in New Orleans doesn’t always allow for outdoor fun. We have twice visited the Clark Creek State Park to hike and experience the waterfalls.

It’s about 2 1/2 hours drive from Greater New Orleans, located North of St. Francisville, right over the Mississippi line. Both times we have visited, we stayed overnight in St. Francisville and made a little weekend getaway out of it, but you can certainly drive there and back in a day.

The hike does include some inclines, so it’s important to be in good health. But, my toddler walked most of it himself with a little help, so don’t be intimidated by the journey. We make sure to pack lots of water and sunscreen even though most of the walk is shaded.

On our recent trip, we were out there for about two hours (one hour in and one hour back) because we visited three waterfall areas. You can keep walking / hiking beyond that, but that’s usually enough for us. The waterfalls were lighter on the water flowing when we went early October because of how dry the weather has been, but there was still flowing water and shallow creeks to walk through.

The kids have fun climbing the stairs, climbing over large rocks, and walking along the creeks. I recommend walking in tennis shoes and then switching into water shoes to walk along the creeks and waterfall areas. You’ll want to return back into tennis shoes to return back to the beginning. (We brought one backpack with a change of shoes and a small towel to dry off.) We also like to bring a second soft-sided cooler backpack with water bottles for everyone. One trick is to fill an empty water bottle with creek water and use that to rinse off the sand off your feet before returning back into your dry shoes.

The path is pretty well marked and you can opt to just visit the first waterfall and return back to the beginning. Sometimes there is a snowball stand open at the entrance for a refreshing treat when you’re done. We also keep additional cold waters and snacks in our car for the return drive home. St. Francisville also offers some great local dining, and we like to visit the Francis Southern Table and Bar for their Boudin Balls and other delicious menu options.

Other items of note: There is an honor system for paying the day use entry fee of $2.00 per person with children five years of age and under free.

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneur, Rachel is a mom of four with an active schedule. Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining extracurriculars including coaching dance, volunteering, and occasionally teaching courses. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, stepson Luke, and son Tucker. With a family of six and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next getaway with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very funny people.


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