by Stephanie Snyder
Louisiana offers a lot of diverse natural beauty, but you need to be one with nature to take full advantage of that beauty. And the best way to do that is via camping.
If you stay at a state park in Louisiana, you might be surprised to find that it’s closer to glamping than camping, but a lot depends on the park and the site. The overall consensus is that its sort of a hybrid experience between camping and glamping. Perhaps someone will create a word for that one day. In the meantime, let’s take a look at three very different state parks and what they offer in regards to camping and activities.
Fontainebleau State Park
Fontainebleau State Park is located in St. Tammany Parish. It’s 280 acres on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain. This park is best known for its wildlife, plant life, boardwalk throughout the park, beach, kayaking, peer, hiking and bicycle trails, and sugar mill history. Showers and bathrooms are also available.
As far as camping goes, the campsites are set apart far from one another, which is a big plus. This isn’t the case at all Louisiana State Park campsites. There are also many different sites here. For all of them, you’re going to find a fully-equipped canvas tent, five gallons of water, a heater, a mattress, and a firepit.
Regardless of the campsite, you’re going to appreciate your seclusion. This allows you to decompress while enjoying scenic views and spotting wildlife. You might spot owls and wild boar. One important note is that a few of the sites here are canoe-in only. If you choose one of these sites, be sure to pack light. Another important note is that Site B is the least secluded. Therefore, avoid that site if you desire seclusion or choose that site if you want to be closer to other people.
Chicot State Park
Chicot State Park is located in a wildlife reserve in South Central Louisiana. It’s 6,400 acres with a 2,000-acre artificial lake. The lake is ideal for fishing because it has been stocked with red-ear sunfish, bass, crappie, and bluegill. On land, you’re very likely to see wildlife, including pigs and raccoons.
This is a popular park. Therefore, if you were searching for Louisiana State Park campsites and desire quiet, you’re best bet is to book during the week. The park changes a lot during the week and is a much different and more peaceful experience.
Whether you’re here on the weekend or during the week, you can take advantage of the well-maintained hiking trails, rent boats or canoes, or simply take in the beautiful lake views. If you’re here with kids, there is a splash park and a playground. You can also fish off the pier. Overall, this is a clean, family-oriented park with bathrooms and showers.
The camping sites are similar to those at Fontainebleau State Park. However, it’s easier to find larger tents here.
Lake Claiborne State Park
Lake Claiborne State Park is a 643-acre park in Northwest Louisiana. In addition to the lake itself–which offers nice beach areas and plenty of fishing as well as boating opportunities–, you have access to hiking trails and a disc golf course. For a special treat, check out Claiborne Dam for impressive views over the hill.
The camping sites here are similar to the other two parks. Since this is Northwest Louisiana, it’s going to dryer and more of a traditional in-the-woods kind of experience. In other words, no swamps or bayous. One important note for camping sites in this park is that your site might be on a hill, making for a difficult entrance and exit for some people. If you don’t want this type of experience, be sure to evaluate all sites before making a reservation.
The three Louisiana state parks mentioned above all offer very different types of camping experiences. That being the case, if you’re a real adventurer and want to make the most out of life, make plans to camp at all of them. This will allow you to experience different parts of this beautiful and wild state, leading you to form more memories. And that’s what life is about: creating memories.