One of the perks of living in West Central Louisiana is having the Kisatchie National Forest in your backyard.

Covering 604,000 acres in across parishes, Kisatchie is the only National forest in Louisiana. The landscape that makes up that acreage is natural and diverse.

Among that diversity are some of Louisiana's oldest rock formations. The jewel of these formations being Wolf Rock Cave.

The cave, located in Vernon Parish, is believed to have been inhabited as far back as 2500-1000 B.C.

Archaeological evidence shows that Indians from the Archaic Period used the cave for habitation. It is the only rock shelter in the state known to have been used by people from the this era.

Archaeological record also indicates that chert, a fine-grained sedimentary rock, was gathered from this area for tool-making around this same time period. In prehistoric times it was commonly used in the construction of stone tools.

The rock formation that makes up the cave overlooks Bundick's Creek.

Standing on top of the cave's entrance reveals a vista of the creek below and the surrounding area, with pine, beech, and various other hardwood trees as a backdrop.

The hike from the parking area to the cave is a relatively easy and short one. The cave's entrance is only a couple hundred yards from the parking area.

The National Forest Service keeps the well-marked trail maintained, making it a manageable walk for individuals of all ages.

The current cool weather that Louisiana is currently experiencing in Vernon Parish makes for an ideal time to visit the cave. The cool temperatures will keep the mosquitos away and most likely snakes still in hibernation. However, as the scenery changes with the seasons any time of the year is perfect for a visit.

Wolf Rock cave is located off La. Hwy. 10, just a short distance from Fort Polk.

For a map and more information about the cave visit the Vernon Parish Tourism website Vernonparish.org.