Have you read the book Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean or seen the 1995 film of the same name? It’s the story of the murder of Faith Hathaway, which took place at Fricke’s Cave in Bogue Chitto State Park. Bogue Chitto State Park is in Franklinton, LA.
There may be few other reasons you have heard of this community. Franklinton, LA isn’t a metropolis full of museums or attractions. Not many famous people have called this community home.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Franklinton, LA, is a beautiful part of the Pelican State. Let’s look at five reasons why you should make this city your next getaway.
How Big Is Franklinton, LA?
Located 61 miles north of New Orleans, Franklinton, LA, is the parish seat of Washington Parish. It’s at the intersection of Highways 10, 16, 24, and 440 in the eastern part of the state.
Franklinton is less than five square miles and is only about 154 feet above sea level. The founders named it Franklin in 1819, and the city changed its name to Franklinton in 1826 because another town was already called Franklin. Today about 3,600 people call Franklinton, LA, home.
What Is Franklinton, LA, Known for?
The Bogue Chitto river runs through the western part of the city, making that area a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Bogue Chitto State Park offers beautiful scenery, while Louisiana River Adventures has tubing, kayaking, and canoeing excursions down the river.
Its rural location makes Franklinton, LA, a prime area to escape from the bright lights, towering skyscrapers, and heavy traffic of the city.
5 Reasons to Make Franklinton, LA, Your Next Getaway
You might not have plans to visit Franklinton, LA, but here are five reasons why you should. It’s easily accessible from various highways so that you won’t be traveling out of your way.
Although less than 4,000 people reside in the city, there are quite a few things to do to make your stay enjoyable. Let’s take a look!
1. Bogue Chitto State Park
About: Bogue Chitto State Park might be the highlight of your trip to Franklinton, LA. It is south between Highway 16 and Highway 25.
Its 1,786 acres offer a beautiful landscape and a variety of habitats. You can enjoy streams, swamps, and forests, as well as 14 miles of track trails for biking.
Walk the boardwalks at Fricke’s Cave and admire the unique sandstone creations. Take a canoe or kayak out on the river or go fishing in one of the eleven stocked lakes.
If you have kids, take a picnic lunch and enjoy the water playground and outdoor classroom. There’s something for everyone at Bogue Chitto State Park.
2. White Sands Lake Day Beach
About: White Sands Lake is a spring-fed lake just outside of Franklinton, LA. It is in Enon, LA, about a 20-minute drive southeast of Bogue Chitto State Park.
The beach opens the first weekend in May and remains open only on weekends until school lets out. Beach season ends on Labor Day Monday.
The Aqua Park is fun for kids of all ages with water slides, trampolines, teeter-totters, aqua mats, and more. There is a boat hut with kayak and paddleboard rentals.
If you’re interested in playing a game of beach volleyball, nets and balls are provided. For $50, you can rent a small cabana for the day, or if your group is larger, you can rent a large cabana for $70. Plan to stay at White Sands Lake all day!
3. River Rafting and Tubing
About: You can choose from a 2-hour or 4-hour tubing float for a relaxing afternoon on the Bogue Chitto River. Float rentals are $20 per tube from Louisiana River Adventures.
If you’re looking for a more strenuous activity, rent a kayak for six hours of hard paddling down 20 miles of the river. Kayak rentals are $30. If you want to bring your kayak, there’s a $25 shuttle fee.
Canoes are also for rent for $60, and you don’t need a reservation. You may not bring your canoe. Enjoy a day on the Bogue Chitto River with Louisiana River Adventures!
4. DA Varnado Store Museum
About: DA Varnado Store Museum is in the center of Franklinton, LA. It is a historic general merchandise store built in 1906. It closed in the mid-1980s and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Exhibits change throughout the year and have included military exhibits, local collections exhibits, and a quilt show. You’ll also find demonstrations and guided tours on the weekends. A student art show is on display during the spring months.
It is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Be sure to make the DA Varnado Store Museum one of your stops when visiting Franklinton, LA.
5. Frank Town Hatchet House
About: A two-minute walk away from the DA Varnado Store Museum is Frank Town Hatchet House. This newly-built ax-throwing business provides entertainment for hours.
For $15 per hour, you can try your hand at ax-throwing and enjoy food and drinks from the snack bar. You can also bring your canned alcoholic beverages for a $5 ice chest fee.
Channel your inner lumberjack and challenge your friends and family to a competition. You can enjoy hours of fun in a unique environment.
Where to Stay in Franklinton, LA
You don’t have to go far to find accommodations in Franklinton, LA. If you’re bringing your RV or tent camp, Bogue Chitto State Park has a campground.
For a more traditional AirBnB-type rental, you can also reserve the Castle Cottage.
Bogue Chitto State Park Campground
About: Five cabins are available for rent, as well as several RV sites and tent camping sites. Rates vary depending on the season and type of rental.
For example, a premium campsite is $25-33 per night, and a deluxe cabin is $150-175 per night. Discounts are available for military guests and emergency responders.
There are sites with water and electric hook-ups. For those who want to experience the outdoors during their visit to Franklinton, LA, the campground at Bogue Chitto State Park is an excellent option.
The Castle Cottage
About: For $400/night, you can stay in this beautiful two-story, four-bedroom, two-bath home. One of the bedrooms is a bunk room, perfect for families with kids.
The main bedroom has a king bed while the other two bedrooms have queens. Additional sleeping room is available on the sofa sleeper in the living room.
Everything you need is at the Castle Cottage. If you’re traveling with another family or have several couples visiting Franklinton, LA, together, this is a great rental option.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Franklinton, LA?
Franklinton, LA, is in an area that doesn’t experience extremely low temperatures, but it can get above 90 degrees in the summer. Not only can it be hot, but Franklinton can also be quite muggy and humid.
With its proximity to the Gulf Coast, it’s also prone to hurricanes. The best time to visit is during the spring months of April and May or the fall months of mid-September to late October.
If you’re planning a trip from Mississippi to Louisiana down Highway 27 or traveling east to west along Highway 10 in Louisiana, plan to stop in Franklinton, LA. It’s worth taking a few days to enjoy the area’s beautiful scenery and relax in this small community. The locals will welcome you, and you might enjoy your visit so much that you’ll plan a return visit soon!
When will you head down to Franklinton, LA?