20 Louisiana State Parks

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The southern U.S. state of Louisiana can be found on the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed The Pelican State, this is a wonderful part of the States for exploring the outdoors through the state park system. Some of the parks offer excellent fishing, some great on-land activities like hiking and biking and you are often surrounded with beautiful views. Check out these 20 Louisiana State Parks the next time you head down south or find yourself taking a road trip across some of the most culture-rich places in America.

Louisiana State Parks

20 State Parks in Louisiana

1- Fontainebleau State Park

Fontainebleau State Park is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain around 50 minutes’ drive from New Orleans.

The park itself is 2,800 acres and is the perfect day trip destination from New Orleans.

The lake is a wonderful place for sailing and many colourful boats can usually be spotted along the water on a clear day.

There is also an old railroad track that runs through the park that is ideal for hiking, cycling and in-line skating.

After a day of fun activities, you can stop over at the rustic campground that features tented sites as well as lakefront cabins.

Fontainebleau State Park is at 62883 LA-1089, Mandeville, LA 70448.

2- Lake Fausse Pointe State Park

This state park is in southern Louisiana and around 50 minutes’ drive south of Lafayette.

Once the home of the Chitimacha Indians, this state park offers plenty of things to do with fantastic views. The park occupies a whopping 6,000 acres in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The park provides bountiful opportunities to fish, boat, and canoe.

There’s a boat launch that provides easy access to the waterways. If you aren’t traveling with your own canoe, you can rent one from the park office.

There’s a really awesome seven-mile canoe trail that showcases the best of what the park has to offer.

For an overnight stay there are camping options.

There’s a premium campsite, canoe campsite, primitive campsite, backcountry campsite and two glamping tents.

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is at 5400 Levee Rd, St Martinville, LA 70582.

3- North Toledo Bend State Park

North Toledo Bend State Park Louisiana
A spiderweb in North Toledo Bend State Park, Louisiana.

North Toledo Bend State Park is in western Louisiana on the border with Texas. The park is just under two hours’ drive northwest of Alexandria.

This is another of Louisianan water-based parks. North Toledo Bend State Park sits on the Toledo Bend Reservoir which is one of the nation’s largest man-made reservoirs.

There’s a boat launch with a double ramp so boating, kayaking, canoeing and fishing are all possible on the river.

There is also a full-size swimming pool at the park which is open during the summer season.

While there aren’t many hiking trails there is a short 1.5-mile loop and a more challenging four-mile loop.

There are eight premium campsites in the park as well as nine glamping tents.

North Toledo Bend State Park is at 2907 N Toledo Park Rd, Zwolle, LA 71486.

4- Palmetto Island State Park

Palmetto Island State Park is on the Vermillion River in southern Louisiana.

The park is under three hours’ drive west of New Orleans.

The river is an excellent place for fishing and boating and canoers and kayakers thoroughly enjoy heading out into the lagoon’s interior.

Kayaking or canoeing is an excellent way to get up close to Louisiana’s native plants and animals.

Palmetto Island State Park is also home to a water playground that kids will love.

Overnight visitors can stay at one of the park’s six cabins which each sleep eight people.

These cabins are tucked away in the trees and a peaceful place to spend a few days. There is also a 95-pitch campsite with RV camping as well.

Palmetto Island State Park is at 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville, LA 70510.

5- Tickfaw State Park

swamp in tickfaw state parks
One of the interesting state parks to explore is Tickfaw State Park.

Tickfaw State Park is 65 miles north west in New Orleans and a must-visit for nature lovers.

There are four distinct ecosystems found at Tickfaw State Park: cypress/tupelo swamp, hardwood forest, a pine and hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.

It is possible to go night hiking in this park, a fun experience if you have never done it before.

You can stay at their traditional campsite or in the parks glamping tents and listen to the swamp life at night!

Bring your canoe or kayak and you can enjoy a paddle down the Tickfaw River.

Tickfaw State Park is at 27225 Patterson Rd, Springfield, LA 70462.

6- St. Bernard State Park

Along the banks of the meandering Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana is St. Bernard State Park.

The park contains a series of artificial lagoons and an area where the woodland meets the wetlands.

Heading along the park’s nature trails is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of St. Bernard’s nature.

This is a lovely spot to visit with family as you can take a picnic or cook up a storm on their barbeque grills.

There’s a lovely pavilion that is perfect for a family to get together.

St. Bernard State Park is at 501, Saint Bernard Parkway, Braithwaite, LA 70040.

7- Bogue Chitto State Park

This 1,786-acre state park is just 10 minutes outside of Franklinton in eastern Louisiana.

Bogue Chitto State Park showcases one of the most scenic and active river systems in the whole of the state.

From small trickling streams to cypress-tupelo swamps and hardwood forest there’s plenty of different nature spots to enjoy in the park.

Mountain bikers will love the 14 miles of single-track trails that welcome two wheeled enthusiasts of all levels.

Other things to do in the park include taking a visit to Fricke’s Cave. Despite its name the cave is actually more like a gorge which features sandstone spires from water erosion.

Other activities include freshwater fishing, canoeing, kayaking, disc golf, and a water playground the kids will love.

There are also camping and glamping facilities at the park.

Bogue Chitto State Park is at 17049 State Park Blvd, Franklinton, LA 70438.

8- Lake Bistineau State Park

Lake Bistineau State Park is a truly beautiful state park and one that epitomizes the stunning nature of Louisiana.

The park is on the western side of Lake Bistineau in north west Louisiana.

The characterful cypress and tupelo trees make for an enchanting park to discover.

There are boat launches for launching kayaks and canoes which is a nice way to explore more of the park on the water.

Fishing is particularly good in the area, with black crappie, largemouth bass, yellow bass, catfish and bluegill on the possible list of fish to catch.

There’s a campsite and places to picnic along the lake.

There are also 10 miles of woodland trails and 11 miles of canoe trails to head out along.

Lake Bistineau State Park is at 103 State Park Rd, Doyline, LA 71023.

9- Lake Bruin State Park

Lake Bruin State Park is less than a mile from the Mississippi River in eastern Louisiana.

Lake Bruin is a wonderful example of an Oxbow Lake just off the Mississippi River.

If you are a keen angler then you will love Lake Bruin State Park as there are three large piers to fish from.

Largemouth bass is the most popular catch at the lake and is available year-round.

By far the best months for fishing are April, May, June, September and October. At both ends of the lake there are shallower waters for bluegill fishing.

You can also enjoy water sports and pleasure boating on Lake Bruin for a whole day of fun.

Lake Bruin State Park is at 201 State Park Rd, St Joseph, LA 71366.

10- South Toledo Bend State Park

From the North Toledo Bend State Park to the South Toledo Bend State Park, this is another of the best parks in Louisiana.

You will find to keep an eye out for bald eagles as the park is a nesting ground for them. Be sure to bring your binoculars with you to enjoy a variety of bird life.

Anglers can use the fishing pier, the boat launch and there’s also a cleaning station if you want to clean your catch and cook it on the campsite later.

Accommodation at the park includes 11 glamping tents and a premium campsite.

South Toledo Bend State Park is at 120 Bald Eagle, Anacoco, LA 71403.

11- Grand Isle State Park

Brown pelicans on a jetty at Grand Isle State Park Louisiana
One of the state parks in Louisiana to explore is Grand Isle State Park.

Grand Isle State Park is on the southern coast of Louisiana where the wetlands turn to delta at the Gulf of Mexico.

This park is on a beach ridge created by the Gulf tide. Grand Isle is actually a breakwater between the Gulf and the channels that are connected to the bayou.

Each July there is a Tarpon Rodeo which attracts a ton of fishing enthusiasts to the offshore waters. You can also go crabbing as well as fishing.

The Gulf is also a lovely place to swim because the waters are warm.

While in the park you can also keep your eyes peeled from birdlife, be sure to bring your binoculars.

You can reach the island via the toll bridge along Highway 1 Bridge at Leesville. 

Grand Isle State Park is at 108 Admiral Craik Dr, Grand Isle, LA 70358.

12- Bayou Segnette State Park

Bayou Segnette State Park is between Lake Cataouatche and the Mississippi River.

A 20-minute drive from the centre of New Orleans, Bayou Segnette State Park has a mix of fun activities as well as beautiful natural scenery.

You can try boating, fishing, canoeing, hiking and swimming.

Children will love the wave pool as well as the playground.

There is both saltwater and freshwater fishing available in the park – something that’s quite unique in the same park.

You can expect to catch bass, catfish, perch, bream, redfish and trout.

Bayou Segnette State Park is at 7777 Westbank Expy, Westwego, LA 70094.

13- Lake Claiborne State Park

a serene view at Lake Claiborne State Park Louisiana
Enjoy this serene view at Lake Claiborne State Park, Louisiana.

If you are searching for state parks in northern Louisiana then try Lake Claiborne State Park.

The park is around an hour’s drive from Shreveport.

Whether you want to kick back and relax or get stuck into a ton of park activities this is a wonderful place to visit with friends and family.

First up is fishing.

Lake Claiborne is well stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish, black crappie and more.

Swimmers will appreciate the park’s sandy beach which is suitable for visitors of all ages.

Lake Claiborne State Park is also home to the number one and two ranked disc golf courses in the state.

Whether you have played before or not they are entertaining courses.

The park is also home to a number of trails including the 6-mile White Tail Hiking Trail and the five-mile Whispering Pines Bike Trail.

Lake Claiborne State Park is at 225 State Park Rd, Homer, LA 71040.

14- Chicot State Park

Chicot State Park covers a whopping 6,400 acres in south central Louisiana.

It is around 55 minutes’ drive north of Lafayette.

The landscape surrounding Lake Chicot primarily consists of rolling hills.

Record catches of largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie have been recorded on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Chicot; so, if you are a keen angler you will want to pack your gear.

If hiking is more your thing there is an excellent trail that goes right around Lake Chicot. There are also primitive campsites around the lake as well.

Chicot State Park is at 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586.

15- Fairview-Riverside State Park

You will find the Fairview-Riverside State Park two miles east of Madisonville and 38 miles north of New Orleans.

Wandering along the boardwalks under a canopy of oak trees makes for a really relaxing start to your state park visit.

The park is home to the tranquil meandering Tchefuncte River as well as Lake Pontchartrain.

You can fish on the Tchefuncte River for bluegill, white perch and bream.

Then head out onto the lake for all sorts of boating fun.

There are boat tours offered on the river by Louisiana Tours & Adventures, the perfect family fun activity.

If you plan on staying overnight then you can check into one of their many campsite locations.

Fairview-Riverside State Park is at 119 Fairview Dr, Madisonville, LA 70447.

16- Jimmie Davis State Park

Jimmie Davis State Park is on the banks of the Caney Creek Reservoir in Jackson Parish.

The park was formerly Caney Creek Lake State Park until it was named after Governor Jimmie H. Davis who served between 1944 and 1948 and 1960 and 1964.

The lake being the park’s main focal point means there is plenty of fishing and boating fun to be had.

Water skiing is a popular activity in the park as the waters are clear and cooling, especially during the hot Louisiana summers.

There’s the lodge to sleep in if you are visiting as part of a large group or there are RV campsites and tented camping too.

Jimmie Davis State Park is at 1209 State Park Rd, Chatham, LA 71226.

17- Chemin-A-Haut State Park

in the scenic Bayou area Chemin-A-Haut State Park offers visitors great fishing opportunities as well as boating, kayaking and a seasonal pool.

You will find this state park close to the Bayou Bartholomew in northern Louisiana, around 45 minutes’ drive north of Monroe.

If you are traveling with children this is a lovely spot to stop at.

There are two playgrounds and the day use area has a wading pool and swimming pool.

The swimming pool is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

There’s a tented and RV campsite as well as cabins for a more luxurious overnight stay.

Chemin-A-Haut State Park is at 14656 State Park Rd, Bastrop, LA 71220.

18- Cypremort Point State Park

There aren’t many places next to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana that can be reached by car but Cypremort Point State Park is one such spot.

Cypremort Point State Park is on the peninsula that juts out into Vermillion Bay on one side and West Cote Blanche Bay on the other.

The park is under an hour’s drive south of Lafayette.

By far the park’s best feature is the half mile man made beach.

It’s a delightful spot for relaxing, reading a book and splashing around in the water.

The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are perfect for fishing, crabbing, waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing so pack your gear and get ready for an adventure-filled day.

While there’s no boat launch directly inside the park there is one just outside the entrance.

Their campsite is not large but it’s a lovely place to unwind and be close to the Gulf for activities the next day.

Cypremort Point State Park is at 306 Beach Ln, Cypremort Point, LA 70538.

19- Lake D’Arbonne State Park

On one of the bends of the 15,250-acre Lake D’Arbonne is the Lake D’Arbonne State Park, which is in northern Louisiana around eight minutes’ drive outside of Farmerville.

The lake is surrounded by pine forest and rolling hills, creating a beautiful backdrop for water activities.

There are five fishing piers in the park so you can take your pick!

This is a popular fishing area for locals and visitors with people regularly catching bass, crappie, bream and catfish.

Lake D’Arbonne State Park is at 3628 Evergreen Rd, Farmerville, LA 71241.

20- Poverty Point Reservoir State Park

timber overwater cottages in poverty point
Another Louisiana state park to escape to is Poverty Point State Park.

Poverty Point Reservoir State Park is in northeastern Louisiana.

The 2,700 acre man-made lake is the park’s centerpiece and it’s become a mecca for water sport activities.

The lake is open year-round for fishing and anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and black crappie.

If land-based activities are more your thing then you can wander along the nature trails that surround Bayou Macon.

You should also keep your eyes peeled and stay alert for black bear sightings!

Poverty Point Reservoir State Park is at 1500 Poverty Point Pkwy, Delhi, LA 71232.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!