STARS: 4 out of 5
CYPRESS BLACK BAYOU, OUTSIDE OF SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANNA: GPS 32.6819° N, 93.6750° W
This was an odd one. Had circumstances and a couple of factors been different, it could get a 5.0 rating. However, there were a couple of elements that just weren't quite right and dragged the rating down.
The pluses: the setting is gorgeous. The sites were mostly large pull-throughs. There was an amazing Cajun "meat store" (Bergerons Boudin and Cajun Meats) within a 15 minute drive. There was a nature trail walk and water on 3 sides of the "trailer" campground. It is important for me to suggest that if you go to this campground, you must go to Bergerons. They have all sorts of frozen prepared and/or prepped foods that are amazing. We loaded our freezer up with Etouffe, Gumbo, stuffed boneless whole chicken, mac 'n cheese with bacon, and more. Amazing.
The minuses: when we arrived, some people who worked with the rec area were burning leaves, presumably for clean up. This meant we had to literally drive through fire (on both sides of the road) to get to our site, and then we watched as the leaf-burning-crew drove off while piles of leaves still had flames and embers. Bear in mind this was the same week that California's "worst fire in 50 years or something" was burning down the middle of CA. We were a little sensitive to the idea of being surrounded by little fires that could become big fires and burn us down. When we complained to the staff and rangers, we were told "Oh, that's the Hondurans" and when we asked if they could not burn leaves around us the next day, and told them about the embers and flames that remained, they argued with us about the verity of that statement and acted as if they had no control over what "the Hondurans" were doing. Gee, who allowed these burning leaves?
Another minus: the bathrooms, which looked pretty old and dilapidated, were locked I guess for the season. When we asked about that, the "ranger" said "oh, one of them is open and I can't open the other one" and we later verified that neither were open. Apparently they are going to replace the existing bathrooms with new and improved ones, which probably is a good move, but we didn't appreciate being lied to.
All that being said, we spent an extra day there, and I would have been happy spending more as it was quite beautiful, even in the off season.
We had full hook ups and didn't need to dump, but the dump station looked extremely easy.