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Long Trails of the Southeast: an alternative to the Appalachian Trail
At 26 miles, the Wild Azalea Trail is Louisiana¿s longest foot path. What it lacks in length, it makes up in beauty and biodiversity. Located in the Kisatchie National Forest, the trail runs from southeast to northwest. No less than five ecosystems thrive here, among the rolling pine covered hills and lush bottomlands where clear waters flow over sandy streambed beneath rich hardwoods. Also in these bottoms are wetlands, or bogs, locally known as bayous, where the elegant cypress tree reigns. Hickory and oak forests thrive in transitional zones, along with some of the largest dogwoods in the land. Don¿t let the Bayou State¿s reputation for flatness cloud your mind, for the Wild Azalea Trail features plenty of vertical variation. Your legs will attest to this fact at the end of the day. Another surprise will be the wild character of the trail. The forest cover exudes a sense of being ¿out there.¿ And you really are: only the beginning and end are developed.