National Forests are some of the best places for RV camping. They’re untamed land with beautiful views, often maintained with RV camping in mind. In Louisiana, we’re lucky to call Kisatchie National Forest our own. It’s the only national forest in our state, and its over 600,000 acres are made up of 5 separate ranger districts across central and northern Louisiana. These separate districts are rather spread out, so it’s important to know what area you’re planning on heading to in your RV. Not every campsite in Kisatchie National Forest offers RV camping, so doing your research is key. Not to worry – our RV dealership here in Louisiana has done the research for you! If you’re planning to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest, here are the best campgrounds to visit.
Best Places to Camp in Kisatchie National Forest: Calcasieu Ranger District
The Calcasieu Ranger District’s Evangeline Unit has plenty of places to camp in Kisatchie National Forest. It’s located in Rapides Parish, near Pineville and Alexandria, not far from our RV dealership in Opelousas. As of early 2023, some popular RV camping sites in this unit such as Kincaid Lake Recreation Area are closed. With that in mind, here are some other great options for RV camping.
Ahtus Melder Campground
If you love boondocking, Ahutus Melder Campground is the place to RV camp in the Calcasieu Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest. It’s a primitive camping area, with no distinct camp sites or reservations. As the forest service says, they “leave campers to use their imagination on how to best camp” at this location. There are no restrooms and no water, and you must pack out all of your trash. The upside is it’s serene and remote – and free! There is a $5 fee to use the Claiborne Multi-Use Trail but no charge for camping here. Bonus: this spot is located just one hour from Courvelle’s RV in Opelousas!
Valentine Lake Recreation Complex
This 46-acre lake is a peaceful setting to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest. Motorized boating isn’t allowed here, but you can use the boat launch on the south side of the lake for canoes and kayaks if you are camping here. There are 14 campsites, including 6 lakefront sites. Each campsite has a picnic table, lantern post and a fire ring. There are also restrooms, trash containers and water fountains available at Valentine Lake. All of these is available for just $10 per night per campsite. When you camp here, you can enjoy the 3 mile Valentine Lake Trail that starts and ends at the Northshore Campground as well as the 2 fishing piers on the lake. If your RV needs some attention on your trip here, our RV service department is located just 1 hour and 20 minutes from this campground.
Best Places to Camp in Kisatchie National Forest: Caney Ranger District
This district, located in Webster and Claiborne Parishes in northern Louisiana, is divided into 3 units: Caney Lakes, Middle Fork and Corney Lake. The Caney Lakes Unit is the only one that offers RV camping, and we have all the details on this spot to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest.
Beaver Dam Campground
When it comes to comfort and convenience, this is the best place to camp in Kisatchie National Forest. This campground is nestled on the shores of the 125-acre Upper Caney Lake in the Caney Lakes Recreation Complex. Activities abound at this beautiful campground, from boating and water skiing to swimming and skiing. The lake’s main feature is unsurprisingly “Beaver Dam,” and you can fish for bluegill, sandbass, bass, crappie and catfish in this lake. The popular Sugar Cane National Recreation Trail is 5.7 miles long and passes right by this campground, perfect for campers who want to fit a hike or a mountain bike ride into their trip.
Standard campsites are $25 per night and include electric and water hookups. There are drinking water fountains, flush toilets and a sanitary dump station on site. If you’re camping with a convoy, you can opt for access to the group picnic area, which can accommodate up to 200 people for $65-135 a night.
Best Places to Camp in Kisatchie National Forest: Kisatchie Ranger District
Kisatchie Ranger District provides a lot of variety for visitors looking to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest. There are 5 different campsites with RV camping availability in this district located near the city of Natchitoches. In fact, this district made our list of the best places to camp in the fall! Many of the campsites are quite primitive though, so if you love boondocking, this is the district for you.
This campsite near the Sandstone Multiple-Use Trail is mainly used as a horse camp. It offers general camping for a $10 daily usage fee along with drinking water, flush toilets and horse feeding tie poles.
This is another great spot for campers who love boondocking. Located inside the National Red Dirt Wildlife Management Preserve, it’s popular with OHV campers thanks to its access to the Sandstone Multiple-Use Trail, which has a $5 per operator fee for off-roading. The campsite has no hookups, but it does provide vault toilets. Ironically, although it is called Corral Camp, no horse camping is allowed here. Campsites at Corral Camp are $10 per night.
If you love hunting on your RV travels, Custis Camp is a great spot to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest. The camping here is primitive – there are no facilities offered here – but as a designated hunter’s camp, it’s popular with outdoorsmen and women looking to hunt during their stay. Even if you aren’t a hunter, it is open year-round to general forest visitors as well.
Toy haulers: this is the boondocking spot for you! There’s a connecting spur trail from this campground to the Sandstone Trail, which is popular with OHV riders. You can easily hop from your campsite straight to the trail! Campsites here are $10 per night and include access to drinking water, flush toilets, picnic tables and a fire ring at each campsite. Again, the Sandstone Trail requires an additional $5 per operator fee.
Oak Camp is another designated hunter’s camp in the Kisatchie Ranger District. Camping here is primitive, although vault toilets are provided. No OHV camping is allowed here, so if you’re looking to go off-roading, you’ll want to skip this stop.
Best Places to Camp in Kisatchie National Forest: Winn Ranger District
Winn Ranger District is located near Winnfield, Louisiana in Winn Parish. It’s a very popular district for equestrians, thanks to the many amenities it offers both horse and rider. You don’t have to have your horses along to camp in this area, but here are the best spots to RV camp in Kisatchie National Forest’s Winn Ranger District.
Cloud Crossing Campground
Located near Goldonna, this gorgeous, wooded campground provides access to Saline Bayou National Wild and Scenic River. Cloud Crossing is the perfect spot to put in your boat or canoe for a day on Saline Bayou. While there are no hookups here, there are plenty of amenities. There are picnic tables, a pavilion with a barbecue pit, trash containers and vault toilets. Every campsite is equipped with a fire ring and a lantern hook. Some campsites are shaded or even surrounded by brush for seclusion. It’s the only river access campground in Kisatchie National Forest.
Gum Springs Recreation Complex
If you’re an equestrian, this is the place to camp in Kisatchie National Forest. Nearby Gum Springs Horse Camp attracts horses and riders from all over the US thanks to its easy (and free!) access to the popular Gum Springs Horse Trail. This campsite provides plenty of parking for trucks with horse trailers as well as overnight spots for primitive camping alongside hitching posts and a corral. There are also water fountains, vault toilets and trash containers provided. Overnight camping both at the Gum Springs Recreation Complex and at Gum Springs Horse Camp for just $10 a night.
Where will you camp in Kisatchie National Forest?
With so many wonderful options, it’s hard to choose where to camp in Kisatchie National Forests! Note that there was one ranger district we left off this list: Catahoula Ranger District. That’s because there is no place designated to RV camp in Kisatchie National Park’s Catahoula Ranger District. Not to worry, you can enjoy RV camping in plenty of other spots inside this natural area. Whether you’re an equestrian, a hunter, an off-roader, a boater or simply an avid outdoors lover, there’s a campsite for you in this wonderful national forest.
On your travels to Kisatchie National Forest, make sure you stop in and see us at Courvelle’s RV in Opelousas, Louisiana! We are located just north of Lafayette and are open for RV service and RV sales 6 days a week. Our dealership in Opelousas is closest to Kisatchie National Forest’s Evangeline Unit, but we’d love to see you no matter where you camp!