Hodges Gardens State Park

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For pictures of Hodges Gardens Christmas Lights Festival CLICK HERE

See the High-Resolution Panoramas of Hodges Gardens - CLICK HERE

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Hodges Gardens

Over 700 acres of wild and cultivated beauty awaits you here!

Originally designed and opened to the public in 1956 by oil and gas businessman A. J. Hodges, Sr., the site's gardens consist of a variety of plants and flowers, from formal rose gardens to a natural garden.

Hiking, equestrian and cycling trails invite visitors to enjoy nature in its original state. There is a 225 acre lake and, to better enjoy it, you can rent a boat, canoe, kayak, or paddleboat. Bring your fishing rod and see what you catch in the lake, too!

Find out about Hodges Gardens' Bluebird Trail - HERE

Lookout Tower
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Cabins and Tent Camp Sites provide overnight accommodations

DIRECTIONS:

From Toledo Town (LA Hwy 6 / 191):

  • Go South on 191 for 9.4 miles to Hwy 474
  • Go East on Hwy 474 for 7.8 miles to Florien - Hwy 171.
  • Go South on Hwy 171 for 5.4 miles to Hodges Gardens on the East side of the highway - across from Emerald Hills Golf Resort

From the junction of Hwy 6/171 in Many,LA:

  • Go South on Hwy 171 for 14.6 miles to Hodges Gardens on the East side of the highway - across from Emerald Hills Golf Resort
Lookout Tower
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Hodges Gardens State Park

Admission:
Hodges Gardens State ParkAdults - $5.00 - Seniors (over 62) - $4.00
Children under 3 - Free
Please Note: This prices above are based on information from Hodges Gardens which was current in July, 2010. It is possible that prices at Hodges Gardens may change and not be reflected on this page.

Hours: 7 AM - Sunset - Monday - Sunday

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Contact Hodges Gardens
Hodges Gardens State Park
1000 Hodges Loop
Florien, LA 71429
318-586-4020 or 800-354-3523
http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/
email: hodgesgardens@crt.la.gov
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Butterfly Garden Herb Garden Wild Azalea Overlook
Fantastic for photos when Azaleas in bloom!
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History of Hodges Gardens

Hodges Gardens State ParkLocated in North Central Louisiana, Hodges Gardens, the nation's largest privately owned horticultural parkland and wildlife refuge and is one of Sabine Parish's most celebrated attractions. It was founded by Andrew Jackson Hodges, Sr., notable civic leader, oil producer, conservationist and lumberman. Mr. Hodges was born at Cotton Valley, Louisiana on March 22, 1890, son of Floyd Crawford and Adeline Reynolds Hodges. The Hodges ancestors were among Captain John Smith's company of early settlers of Jamestown, VA. They moved from Virginia to North Carolina, then to Georgia and later to Cotton Valley. Mr. Hodges received his elementary and high school education in Webster Parish and later attended Meridian Military College, a small college in Meridian, Mississippi, no longer in existence.

Hodges Gardens State ParkHe began his career in merchandising in Cotton Valley. Becoming interested in oil and gas exploration in the early 1900's, he participated in the development of the Cotton Valley, Sugar Creek and Sligo oil and gas fields. In 1923 he became associated with the Triangle Drilling Co. of Shreveport, and in 1948 he acquired all of the stock, combining it with his timber-growing interests in Sabine Parish to form A.J. Hodges Industries, Inc.

Hodges Gardens stems from a vast reforestation program and forest genetics research in the early 1940's by the late A.J. Hodges. A strong believer in conserving natural resources in the production of oil, gas and fresh water, Mr. Hodges also became a member of the pioneering corps of Louisiana men who recognized the need to restore barren and cut over forest lands. These men mobilized for the battle of "Southern Forestry" on land laid barren and worthless as a result of the "cut out and get out" philosophy of lumbermen in the first 20 years of the 20th century.

Hodges Gardens State ParkA.J. Hodges Industries purchased 107,000 acres of cutover land, mainly in Sabine and Vernon Parishes in 1937 and 1940.

In the early 1940's he put his lands under an extensive timber management and improvement program which included planting approximately 39,000 acres of pine seedlings and converting the entire acreage into a managed tree farm.

Seedlings from superior seed trees were used in the replanting, and experiments were begun in forest genetics under the direction of the Southern Forest Experiment Station at New Orleans, the Texas Forest Service at College Station, Texas and Louisiana State University. Work was aimed at a cross breed of slash pine for straightness and loblolly pine for toughness.

Hodges Gardens State ParkSelected for the arboretum was a ridge running east to west just south of Many which contained an abandoned stone quarry. The site encompassed 4,700 acres and in 1951 it became the Hodges Gardens Experimental Area and Wildlife Preserve.

Mr. Hodges and his wife, Nona Trigg Hodges, recognized the potential of the old quarry and planned a unique scenic garden using the natural rock formations. Flowers were planted on one level above another. Walkways were laid and foot bridges built. Streams, waterfalls and a 225-acre lake were created to further enhance the overall beauty.

Thus, Hodges Gardens became one family's contribution to the preservation of our land's natural beauty.

Hodges Gardens State ParkCurrent Operation of Hodges Gardens

In April 2007, Hodges Gardens became one of Louisiana’s State Parks, having been donated to the State and Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) by the Hodges Foundation. DCRT and the Office of State Parks are committed to preserving much of the culture and history surrounding the Gardens.