Visitors to Chemin-A-Haut State Park will soon have upgraded maps to serve as guides, not only to the park, but to the community as well.
Park manager Russ Brantley said the new maps, which began development last year, have gone through several drafts and are expected to become available “any day now.
“While not drawn to scale, [the new map] is modeled after an original map I made of the horse trails,” he said. “We’ve gone through a few drafts since then, and we’re hoping the next draft will be the final one. This will be a total redesign [from the old maps].”
Whereas the first generation park maps were single page and had only three colors, the new maps will be full page and “upgraded to full color,” showing not only the main infrastructure of the park, but new trails with icons to denote areas of old growth cypress, where some of the trees are believed to older than civilization as we know it. Brantley said in the future, he hopes to supplement the maps with printouts providing GPS coordinates so that visitors can “walk right down to the trees and put their hands on them.”
Future revisions to the maps will include additional facts of interest about the park grounds, and information about a new project under development to construct a road through previously inaccessible areas of the park, on which visitors will be able to take guided tours this fall. The tour will allow visitors to see and appreciate unique natural and natural features around Chemin-A-Haut Creek.
The second generation maps are being sponsored by local businesses – 14 so far, with space for seven more – which will be featured on the back of the map, with information directing visitors to their locations in Morehouse Parish. Brantley said out of town campers will be able to “pinpoint” local places to eat, shop for groceries or seek other services.
Starting out with a print job of about 4,000 maps, Brantley said they will be distributed not only at the park, but at the Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce, Bastrop Visitor Center and the Interstate 20 welcome station.
“We do get a lot of campers who are just passing through the area,” he said. “It’s going to be very handy for them. I think [the new map] matches the character of the park pretty well.”