Driskill Mountain is the fifth trek in my Hike America series. I’ve always wanted to visit every state, but I’ve only made it to about half of them. What better way to see the country than to hike all across it. I plan to hike a major trail in each of the 50 states, typically to the highest point in each one. Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end!
As you may have read in my previous blog, my family and I recently returned from a road trip across the south. As with any expedition I take, I study the state high points map to determine whether we will be passing within any reasonable distance of a one of these highest peaks. With Driskill Mountain residing just a few miles off of I-20 on our way to Texas, there was no way I could pass up a chance to visit the towering 535-foot summit of the Bayou State. In addition, this would likely be the one and only time my family would get a chance to join me on a high point climb.
One of the unique aspects of exploring each state high point is that you end up discovering places you likely would have never visited otherwise. As we exited I-20 and headed down state road 507, we quickly left civilization entirely. The winding country road took us through farmland and dense forest into the heart of Cajun country. An occasional car would pass, and a few folks waved at us like we were locals out for a joy ride.
The trail head is located behind the Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, a quaint country church and one of few buildings around. As we exited the car, the sound of stillness was overwhelming. There was not a soul in site. We passed beside the church cemetery to enter the trail, which leads you through a winding stretch of towering timber. The sun faded between the trees, as sunset was just a couple of hours away.
It’s a short 1-mile trek to the top, but I was surprised to discover that the path led us through rolling hills and a decent bit of elevation change. The wide and well-maintained trail consists of quartz sands in parts, but it is well marked and easy to navigate. On this humid October day, we were huffing and puffing, as sweat dripped from our faces.
I’m not sure why, but I made the absurd decision to bring a stroller with us, thinking our seven-month-old would want to remain in his seat during his first high point adventure. I figured, “It’s Louisiana. It will be a fairly flat, just a nice little stroll over to the high point.” What was I thinking?! To top it off, guess who started begging for an unobstructed view of his surroundings while thinking that Dad had lost his mind? I ended pushing the stroller filled with our belongings up the hills while Karen managed to carry Ryan in tow. Thankfully no one was around to see our ridiculous parade, and it’s a journey I will be hearing about for many years to come.
At the top, I was pleasantly surprised to view a small glimpse of the surrounding “mountains” through the tree tops. Who knew Louisiana could boast such lofty peaks? The overlook view was a bit obscured because of the dense summer foliage, but an opening provided a slight view of the surrounding area.
As I placed my foot on the high point marker, I crossed high point number five off my list. While 535 feet pales in comparison to many of the other high points, I was pleasantly surprised with this hidden gem of a trail. What better way to visit Louisiana than from the top.
The journey continues…