There is more to Louisiana than swamps, bayous, and Bourbon Street! Not far from Shreveport lies the highest point in Louisiana, the Driskill Mountain Trail! Though not known for its towering peaks, this southern state manages to surprise with this charming highpoint! This trail balances accessibility with just enough surprising challenge, variety, and scenery, making this a highpointing experience well worth pursuing!
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Guide to the Driskill Mountain Trail – the Highest Point in Louisiana!
This guide to Driskill Mountain Louisiana will cover the location and a full trail report for planning purposes.
Location of the Highest Point in Louisiana
The Driskill Mountain Trail is located approximately one hour east of Shreveport, Louisiana. It can be accessed off of Interstate 20 East, south of the small town of Arcadia, Louisiana, on Highway 507. The parking area and trailhead for Driskill Mountain are located adjacent to Mount Zion Presbyterian Church, on the left side of the church building. There is a cemetery immediately behind the church, and a small brown sign on the lawn in front of the church labeled “Driskill Mountain, elev. 535 feet”. This trail and state high point does lie within private property.
Driskill Mountain Louisiana and surrounding area
Quick Facts on the Driskill Mountain Trail
Length: 1.5 miles out and back roundtrip
Elevation: 535 feet
Elevation Gain: 167 feet
Rating: Easy – this trail is well marked, short, shady, and with minimal elevation grade.
Dog Friendly: Yes, our pittie Middy joined us on this trail. She loved the soft underfooting of the path and the shade, and enjoyed climbing and jumping over some of the fallen trees that she found along the way!
Fees: Driskill Mountain is free to hike
Estimated Time to Hike: 45 – 60 minutes
Best Time of Year to Visit: Driskill Mountain Louisiana is open year round, and is hikeable in any season
Driskill Mountain Trail Report
I visited Driskill Mountain on the first stop of a highpointing road trip that took me to the tops of six southern state highpoints, including Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi. I had the pleasure of visiting this highpoint on New Years Eve with my husband, as we decided we wanted to explore the backcountry of this state in peaceful seclusion, as opposed to more chaotic ways of ringing in the new year!
This was the perfect spot and the perfect way to close out one year and ring in another, by hiking to the highest point in Louisiana. This hike is just long enough, with just enough elevation gain, to make it a fun way to get some exercise on a short day hike, with plenty of energy left over to last you the rest of your day, whether your plans include trying to stay up until midnight or not!
Insider Tip: Most likely, you will have this trail to yourself and highpoint without crowds. But there are signs warning to be aware and pay attention during hunting season.
The Trailhead of the Driskill Mountain Trail
This highpoint hike has a unique start at the trailhead. The trailhead is located just to the left of the church and church parking lot. You can park in the parking lot on the left hand side of the church. There is no cost.
There are small signs marking the trailhead of the Driskill Mountain Trail, which looks more like a dirt service road at the beginning. There is a metal gate to go around at the very beginning. The main trail follows what almost has a ravine type of feel to it, with slopes on either side gently easing down to meet in the middle, the trail. It is cleared out, well maintained, and well marked.
There is plenty of shade on this hike to the highest point in Louisiana, as the majority of it occurs under heavy tree coverage. This can make the underfooting of the trail a bit on the soft side, even a little soggy, as there is not a lot of natural sunlight reaching the bottom to dry out any precipitation. Except a decent layer of needles and fallen leaves on the ground.
My husband and I happened to hike this trail shortly after a rain, and it was almost a necessity that we had hiking footwear just to wade through some of the larger sections of muck. Though on a dryer day, I would recommend just a regular trail shoe.
- Grab the most reliable pair of trail runners that will grab on to the most unpredictable terrain out there!
Heading in from the trailhead, the path is very easy to follow. The trail is wide, with trees shouldering on either side. As I mentioned before, the trail in is very soft, and there are no real rocky or uneven sections. The trail is flat with very minimal grade.
Summiting the Highest Point in Louisiana
There are actually two different ways to hike up to the highest point in Louisiana and back on Driskill Mountain. I am going to recommend taking one route in and one back, as I did, in order to experience a little more variety and see both sides of this mountain. I am curious to see which trail you prefer, as I definitely had my favorite. To follow my same itinerary, plan to hike the Driskill Mountain Trail in to the summit, and return via the False Mountain Trail.
About ten minutes past the beginning of the Driskill Mountain trailhead, hikers will pass a split on the right hand side for the False Mountain Trail. This does lead to the summit atop the highest point in Louisiana. It is slightly more steep than the Driskill Mountain Trail. We opted to continue on the main trail to the summit, and return down via the False Mountain Trail, so we experienced the grade going downhill. But it is completely doable to hike this summit in reverse of the way I did, going up the False Mountain Trail to the summit, and returning down the main Driskill Mountain Trail.
Continuing on past the split for the False Mountain Trail, the main path steers straight ahead until reaching the ascent up to the summit.
Insider Tip: You can continue on the main trail past the signage for the ascent up to the summit, however, we tried this route out and did not find it worthwhile as an add on. The main path continues on only a short distance, before running into an empty field that resembles some type of previous maintenance or industrial site. We stopped here and turned around, but eventually this trail would dead end onto a rural country road.
There is a very short, consistent grade up the ascent to the top of Driskill Mountain. The summit contains a few benches and a wooden placard labeled “Driskill Mountain”, with a registry to record your visit to the highest point in Louisiana. The overlook is named the “Jordan Mountain Overlook”. There are views, but only on one section of the summit, the overlook, where the trees open up and there is a gap in the forest for observing the surrounding hills. This is a very quiet and undisturbed summit, and it is quite peaceful to stop and spend a few minutes resting at the top.
For the descent, I encourage hikers to depart down the False Mountain trail, which leads away from the summit towards the right side of the wooden placard, marked with blue blazes consistently on the trees. This False Mountain trail departing the summit has a more natural path feel to it, and less like the “forest service road” feel found in some spots on the main trail in. This trail is much narrower, but still easy to follow.
There are a few slightly uneven sections along the False Mountain path, and the surrounding trees definitely feel like they close in on you more here, however, nothing too challenging. But all this leads to the authenticity of this trail. The False Mountain Trail winds in and out among the trees, down the hill, and even traversing over some fallen logs that lie in the pathway.
The False Mountain Trail will spill back out onto the main Driskill Mountain Trail, at which point hikers will go left to leave back towards the trailhead and parking lot.
This trail definitely does not have the big name boasts of some of the more looming of the 50 state high points in the U.S, like Mt. Whitney in California, or Wheeler Peak in New Mexico, or Mt. Elbert in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, or Mt. Hood in Oregon, but it still gives visitors the chance to explore a highpoint with multiple trails, scenic views, secluded forests, and a very doable rating! Almost anyone of any fitness level can enjoy a visit to this highpoint, any time of the year!
Read More: Interested in other state highpoint hikes across the country? My home state of Texas has a high desert stunner, the Guadalupe Peak hike! King’s Peak in Utah gives you the chance to backcountry hike and camp before reaching the summit! Brasstown Bald in Georgia has some of the most beautiful smoky views of any high point perspective so far! You can read about more of thehigh point hikes I have completed and written guides for here.
Ready to Check Off All 50 State High Points?
- Guide to Hiking Mount Mitchell – the Highest Point in North Carolina
- Guide to Hiking Mt. Magazine -the Highest Point in Arkansas
- Guide to Hiking Clingman’s Dome – the Highest Point in Tennessee
- Guide to Hiking Brasstown Bald – the Highest Point in Georgia
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Based on my expertise and knowledge as an outdoor enthusiast and hiking expert, I can provide insights into various aspects discussed in the article about the Driskill Mountain Trail, the highest point in Louisiana. Here's a breakdown of the concepts and information covered in the article:
Driskill Mountain Trail:
- Location: Situated approximately one hour east of Shreveport, Louisiana, accessible from Interstate 20 East, south of Arcadia on Highway 507. The trailhead is adjacent to Mount Zion Presbyterian Church.
- Property: The trail leading to Driskill Mountain's highest point lies within private property.
- Quick Facts:
- Length: 1.5 miles roundtrip
- Elevation: 535 feet
- Elevation Gain: 167 feet
- Rating: Easy, well-marked, shady, and with minimal elevation grade.
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Fees: Free
- Estimated Hiking Time: 45 – 60 minutes
- Best Time to Visit: Open year-round, suitable for any season.
- The trail begins near the church parking lot, initially resembling a dirt service road, with clear signs and a metal gate at the start.
- The path is shaded due to heavy tree coverage, resulting in soft, sometimes soggy, underfoot conditions.
- Footwear recommendations: Waterproof hiking boots or regular trail shoes, depending on recent weather conditions.
- The trail is wide, flat, and well-maintained, with minimal unevenness.
Summiting Driskill Mountain:
- There are two trails to reach the summit: Driskill Mountain Trail and False Mountain Trail.
- The ascent via Driskill Mountain Trail is recommended, while the descent via False Mountain Trail offers a different experience.
- The summit area has benches, a wooden placard denoting Driskill Mountain, and the "Jordan Mountain Overlook" providing limited but peaceful views.
- False Mountain Trail, marked with blue blazes, offers a narrower, more authentic path with slightly uneven sections.
- The trail rejoins the main Driskill Mountain Trail, leading back to the trailhead.
- The trail offers a serene, less crowded highpointing experience, especially during hunting seasons.
- It's suitable for visitors of various fitness levels and is enjoyable year-round.
- Despite not having the grandeur of some other state high points, it provides multiple trails, scenic views, and a manageable rating.
- The author shares insights about highpoint hikes in other states, offering suggestions and links to related articles.
- The article includes affiliate links to hiking gear and a free hiking checklist.
This comprehensive guide aims to provide a detailed overview for those interested in hiking the Driskill Mountain Trail, highlighting its accessibility, trail specifics, and overall experience while also offering recommendations for further exploration of other state highpoints.