A visit to New Orleans in the Gulf State of Louisiana is a delightful sensory experience—from the unique Creole architectural style and festive feel of the French Quarter to the quiet beauty of the Garden District to the bustling energy of the many open-air markets.
Then there are the many festivals, events, and culinary experiences you can only partake in here in the Deep South.
With so much to see, taste, and do in the “Big Easy,” you may have trouble deciding where to begin.
The magic of New Orleans extends way beyond the city limits with bayous, nature preserves, rivers, lakes, and the shore.
The landscape here is shaped by the waterways—unique features here in southern Louisiana—if you’ve never explored marshes and bayous, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
There are many ways to experience these environments, from tours and cruises to hiking and kayaking.
Louisiana is known as “Sportsman’s Paradise” for its plethora of outdoor activities and the abundance of scenic areas.
Visiting any one of the state parks near New Orleans is a great way to get to know the landforms and waterways surrounding this southern city.
We’ve curated a list of those close to the Big Easy to make it easy for you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Map of State Parks Near New Orleans LA
Here is a map of the Louisiana state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near New Orleans
Here are each of those state parks with distance from New Orleans and what is special about each.
1. Bayou Segnette State Park
Location: 7777 Westbank Expy, Westwego, LA 70094
Swamp and marshland are features of Bayou Segnette State Park, located on the west bank of the Mississippi, 15 minutes from New Orleans.
The park is an angler’s haven for both freshwater and saltwater fishing—largemouth bass, trout, and red drum are targeted species.
Besides fishing, camping, paddling, boating, hiking, and bird watching are popular here, and there are activities geared towards youngsters, playgrounds, and a wave pool.
Bayou Segnette State Park has 16 deluxe floating cabins located on the waterways in the park for a unique bayou experience; you leave your boat right in the water next to the cabin.
Interesting fact: The original cabins were damaged by flooding in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina blew through the area. It was found that the old structures, made of wood, were structurally compromised by termites; new ones were built entirely of aluminum, concrete, steel, and fiberglass and are quite comfortable as they rise and lower with the tide.
2. Fontainebleau State Park
Location: 62883 LA-1089, Mandeville, LA 70448
Fontainebleau State Park, located 45 minutes north of the Big Easy, sits on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Sandy beaches delight sunbathers and youngsters alike, and boating, camping, and hiking are other activities at the park.
Old railroad tracks are now a trail called Tammany Trace, popular for skating, biking, and walking. There is a nature trek, complete with signage about the wildlife, especially birds that you can observe in the area.
Interesting fact: The park is a former sugar plantation (1852) built by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville; he named it after a forest in his homeland of France.
3. Fairview-Riverside State Park
Location: 119 Fairview Dr, Madisonville, LA 70447
The Fairview-Riverside State Park, along the banks of the picturesque Tchefuncte River, is a peaceful park with lush green vegetation and tall oak trees that provide shady spots for camping and picnicking.
There is a boardwalk, a nature trail, and a playground. Watersports and fishing are popular here and as are hiking and wildlife viewing. The park is 46 minutes north of New Orleans.
The park is home to the Otis House Museum, a building that dates back to the late 1800s and was the summer home of the Otis Family until 1962 when the property was gifted to the state.
Interesting facts: The Otis House, renovated in 2011, was used in the production of several horror movies, including the 1997 film “Eve’s Bayou.”
4. Bogue Chitto State Park
Location: 17049 State Park Blvd, Franklinton, LA 70438
Located on the northern edge of Lake Pontchartrain, about an hour and a half north of our featured city, Bogue Chitto State Park is situated in southern Louisianan’s hill county.
Activities in the park range from canoeing and kayaking to tubing, camping, and swimming. Fourteen miles of new mountain biking trails and 14 miles of equestrian trails traverse the diverse and dynamic landscape.
One of the most intriguing features of the park (and in the flat state of Louisiana) is Fricke’s Cave, which is more like a gorge than a cave made of fragile sandstone.
The gorge has been shaped into finger-like spirals of sandstone over time from weather and water erosion, the result is a desert-like landscape in the middle of the deep south.
Fricke’s has boardwalks for viewing the sandstone structures to protect them for everyone’s enjoyment.
Helpful tip: Bogue Chitto State Park, far to the north of New Orleans is an excellent site for stargazing. The Pontchartrain Astronomy Society has held star parties here in the past due to the lack of light pollution.
5. Cypremort Point State Park
Location: 306 Beach Ln, Cypremort Point, LA 70538
There are not many places along the Louisiana Gulf coastline with access to the water. Cypremort Point State Park is one of the closest to New Orleans (2.5 hours) since at the time of this writing Grand Isle State Park is closed due to damage from Hurricane Ida.
Cypremort Point on Vermillion Bay has a half a mile sandy beach with picnic site, a boat launch and a fishing pier. Swimming, camping, boating, paddling and fishing are all popular activities here.
Because of the surrounding marsh land, the area is flush with wildlife viewing and bird watching opportunities. Animals you might see are muskrats, bears, alligators, foxes, rabbits and nutria.
Interesting facts: It’s possible in Cypremort Point to see the Louisiana black bear, one of 16 sub-species of the American black bear, the nearby Atchafalaya River Basin is the bears southern-most range.