Louisiana’s state parks and lush outdoor spaces offer some amazing opportunities for visitors to have an enjoyable outdoor experience. You can get up close with nature on the many biking and hiking trails or enjoy superb boating, fishing, and other water sports out on the water.
There are numerous waterways which go through the parks, from swamps and lagoons to bayous and lakes. And if you choose to stay in the parks overnight, almost all of the parks on our list offer primitive and modern camping sites for tents and RVs, as well as an array of cabins and lodges which are available for rent. No matter what you choose to do, you’re bound to have a great time exploring the Louisiana outdoors.
1.Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
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The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is one of the country’s most rich and mysterious landscapes. In addition to being home to America’s largest river swamp, it also has a number of twisting rivers and bayous. You can spend day exploring the heritage area and still wouldn’t be able to do it all but be sure you don’t miss out on its most popular feature: the Wetland Boat & Swamp Tour. You can also go on the Old Cyprus Tour where you will be able to see and appreciate the majestic state tree, the bald cypress. Other activities visitors can participate in include hiking, hiking, paddling, birding, camping, fishing, hunting, or playing a round of golf in one of the three golf courses in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.
Atchafalaya Welcome Center
Address: 2022 Atchafalaya River Hwy, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517, Phone: 337-228-1094
2.Bayou Segnette State Park
Just half an hour away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans, Bayou Segnette State Park has a number of recreational activities for visitors of all ages to participate in. You can spend your time there picnicking, playing in the playgrounds, hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, or camping. Anglers come from far and wide to catch trout, catfish, bass, redfish, and other species which are common in the area. The park also houses a wave pool which you can go swimming and cool off in during the hot summer months. There are tons of places throughout the park from which visitors can witness the abundant flora and fauna in the swamps and marshland.
Address: 7777 Westbank Expy, Westwego, LA 70094, Phone: 504-736-7140
3.Bogue Chitto State Park
At 1,786 acres, Bogue Chitto State Park is one of the most dynamic outdoor spaces to explore in the entire state of Louisiana. You’ll come across a multitude of diverse natural habitats and scenic river systems. These include hardwood forests, rolling landscapes, small streams, and gorgeous cypress tupelo swamps. One of the park’s main features is Fricke’s Cave, which is more of a gorge with sandstone spires created by erosion. For preservation reasons, visitors cannot walk among the formations but are able to see them from a number of boardwalks. Activities you can participate in while at the park include picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and camping.
Address: 17049 State Park Blvd, Franklinton, LA 70438, Phone: 985-839-5707
4.Cane River National Heritage Area
The Cane River National Heritage Area is a picturesque outdoor space that also has a rich history of being an important 18th century trade center. You’ll find more than 300 years of multi-cultural history etched into the designated landscape and come across several preserved architectural marvels such as colonial forts, churches, plantations, homes, and even cemeteries. You’ll find Cane River Creole National Historical Park within the heritage area as well. Visitors are able to take a self-guided tour of the grounds, though a guided tour is much more informational and includes access to the Oakland Slave/ Tenant Quarters and the Oakland Plantation Main House.
Address: 400 Rapids Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457, Phone: 318-356-5555
5.Chemin-A-Haut State Park
Chemin-A-Haut State Park is a must-visit park in Louisiana for nature lovers looking to explore places of natural, unspoiled beauty. The park, which was designed for the entire family to enjoy, is located on a high bluff which overlooks the gorgeous Bayou Bartholomew. Park amenities include two playgrounds and a swimming complex with a children’-only wading pool as well as a swimming pool for older guests. There are 35 designated family picnicking sites and five group picnicking sites each of which has grills and tables. Other aspects include a hard-surfaced trail, boat rentals, and opportunities to fish from the shore.
Address: 14656 State Park Rd, Bastrop, LA 71220, Phone: 318-283-0812
6.Chicot State Park
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Chicot State Park is a 6,400-acre space that is full of bodies of water and lush rolling hills in South Central Louisiana. It is most famed with anglers as a popular spot to go fishing for red-ear sunfish, bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and other species of freshwater fish. Amenities to assist fishermen include a fishing pier, three boat launches, boat rental facilities, and a convenient boathouse. Other activities you can participate in at Chicot State Park include enjoying the natural landscape while hiking, biking, or backpacking through its many trails, staying overnight in one of the primitive campsites, or renting out one of the many cabins scattered throughout the park. There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy during their stay.
Address: 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586, Phone: 337-363-2403
7.Cypremort Point State Park
There are so many unique and interesting things to do during a visit to Cypremort Point State Park. It is one of the few parks in such close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and has a half-mile stretch of beach for you to enjoy. You can spend your time there picnicking, relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the surroundings. Get more active and partake in fishing, crabbing, windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, and boating among other things. Some of the park’s features include a boat launch and a 100-foot fishing pier from which you can catch redfish, flounder, and several other species of fish.
Address: 306 Beach Ln, Cypremort Point, LA 70538, Phone: 337-867-4510
8.Fairview-Riverside State Park
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The Fairview-Riverside State Park is a wonderful outdoor space from which you can explore and experience so much of Louisiana’s natural beauty. One of the main features of the park is Otis House, which was originally built in the 1880s as a family home for sawmill owner William Theodore Jay; today, the marvelous structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some park amenities include a playground, a group pavilion, comfort stations, and a number of designated picnic sites under the canopy of huge oak trees. Some activities visitors enjoy are walking the nature trails, camping, crabbing, or freshwater fishing.
Address: 119 Fairview Dr, Madisonville, LA 70447, Phone: 985-845-3318
9.Fontainebleau State Park
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Fontainebleau State Park is one of the most historic outdoor spaces in the state of Louisiana. While exploring the space, you’ll come across the beautiful ruins of a sugar mill plantation which was built by town founder Marigny de Mandeville in 1829. Afterwards, adventure out to the 2,800-acre park where you can hike, bike, or in-line skate through the trails. The nature trails are extremely popular with visitors and have several interpretive signs along the way to help you identify the flora and fauna you may come across. The park’s sandy beach is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of sunbathing or a picnic while overlooking the multi-colored sailboats dotting the lake.
Address: 62883 LA-1089, Mandeville, LA 70471, Phone: 985-624-4443
10.Grand Isle State Park
Take a trip to the edge of Louisiana where you can take in the stunning, unadulterated beauty of Grand Isle State Park. There are so many activities that you can participate in while at the park such as hiking, sunning, boating, swimming, birding, fishing, and crabbing. Birding enthusiasts will love the varied species of birds they’ll come across because the unique environment of the lagoon and Gulf Shore houses several resident and migratory birds that can only be seen in the area. Fishermen come from far and wide to catch redfish, speckled trout, and other fish; there are even several fishing competitions held at the park throughout the year.
Address: Admiral Craik Drive, Grand Isle, LA 70358, Phone: 985-787-2559
11.Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve protects the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. The park comprises a park headquarters and six physically separate sites: Barataria Preserve, Chalmette Battlefield, French Quarter Visitor Center, Acadian Cultural Center, Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center. Altogether, it spans over 22,421 acres and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Start your visit at one of the Visitor Centers which is filled with exhibits, programs, films, and much more. You’ll be able to spend your time hiking the trails, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.
Address: 419 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-589-3882
12.Jimmie Davis State Park
Jimmie Davis State Park is located on a gorgeous peninsula on Caney Lake. It opened in 1996 and has been offering visitors an array of outdoor activities since then. There is a fishing pier which is renowned as a prime freshwater fishing spot in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in water sports like water skiing, canoeing, boating, and more on the crystal-clear lake. Walk through the many trails within the park to explore the beautiful mixed hardwood and pine forest and to get up close and personal with the array of flora and fauna that resides there.
Address: 1209 State Park Rd, Chatham, LA 71226, Phone: 318-249-2595
13.Lake Bistineau State Park
Lake Bistineau State Park has several features and amenities for visitors to enjoy, including its namesake lake which dates back to over 200 years ago. You can explore the enchanting hardwood forest, the cypress and tupelo trees, and the open waters which can be found in the park. Activities and features of the park include restrooms, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, hiking and biking trails, a 11-mile canoe trail, boat launches, cabins, and campsites. It is an extremely popular site with fishermen, and you can draw freshwater fish species such as largemouth bass, yellow bass, black crappie, bluegill, catfish, red-ear sunfish, and more.
Address: 103 State Park Rd, Doyline, LA 71023, Phone: 318-745-3503
14.Lake Bruin State Park
Lake Bruin State Park is home to a stunning lake of the same name; together, these environments provide you with a number of water and land activities that visitors of all ages can participate in. The 53-acre site was established in 1928 and was originally a dedicated fish hatchery. Today, there are many amenities and facilities scattered throughout the park such as a boat shed, a year-round boat launch, and three large fishing piers - all of which are dedicated to boaters and anglers looking to catch crappie, largemouth bass, and other species of fish. There are also picnic tables and barbecue grills as well as restrooms, a covered pavilion, and a playground.
Address: 201 State Park Rd, St Joseph, LA 71366, Phone: 318-766-3530
15.Lake Claiborne State Park
Lake Claiborne State Park is a large outdoor green space which houses a 6,400 acres reservoir lake. Due to the abundant water and land, there’s so much that you can do while you’re there. Take part in hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, birding, waterskiing, and camping. Fishermen head straight to the freshwater lake to catch a number of fish species such as largemouth bass, striped bass, white perch, channel catfish, bluegill sunfish, and much more. As you walk through the trails, you’ll come across a number of flora and fauna, especially the stunning pine trees surrounding the lake. The state park is also home to one of the best ranked disc golf courses in the entire state.
Address: 225 State Park Rd, Homer, LA 71040, Phone: 318-927-2976
16.Lake D'Arbonne State Park
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Lake D’Arbonne State Park is a 655-acre park that sits around the marvelous 15,250-acre Lake D’Arbonne. The beautiful lake, along with the rolling hills and piney forests, create an amazing atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. The entire focus of the park is for it to be as natural as possible, so many of the facilities offered by the park seamlessly blend with the natural landscape. Some of the facilities include a seasonal swimming pool, a disc golf course, four hiking and biking trails at various lengths, multiple tennis courts, boat and canoe rentals, several cabins and lodges for rent, and 58 campsites, all of which have electrical and water hookups.
Address: 3628 Par Rd 4410, Farmerville, LA 71241, Phone: 318-368-2086
17.Lake Fausse Pointe State Park
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Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is a 6,000-acre outdoor site that is located within the Atchafalaya Basin. The park has a rich history which dates to long ago when it was the home site of the Chitimacha Indians. There are so many opportunities for you to go fishing and enjoy boating and canoeing. There is a boat dock, boat rentals, and boat launch to provide visitors with easy access to the water, as well as a canoe trail and a hiking trail. You can also rent canoes and kayaks from the state park operated rental facility. If you want to stay in the park overnight, you can choose to rent one of their many lakefront cabins or really get in touch with nature by staying in the campground.
Address: 5400 Levee Rd, St Martinville, LA 70582, Phone: 337-229-4764
18.Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area
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The Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area was established in 1961 and was the first state-supported arboretum in the nation. Because the area is so well-preserved for future generations, camping and picnicking are not allowed on the site - but visitors are welcome to enjoy these facilities at the adjacent Chicot State Park. As you explore the 600 acres of land, you’ll come across several plant species that are natural and planted which are indigenous to the state. You’ll come across sycamores, maples, magnolias, and ferns as you walk the trails. It’s the perfect place for botanists and nature lovers to spend some time when in Louisiana.
Address: 1300 Sudie Lawton Lane, Ville Platte, LA 70586, Phone: 337-363-6289
19.North Toledo Bend State Park
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North Toledo Bend State Park is a 900-acre outdoor space that houses one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country. You can take part in tons of land and water based activities, with some of the most popular being hiking, picnicking, and camping. Some of the day-use facilities are a seasonal full-sized swimming pool, restrooms, picnic sites, hiking and biking trails, a boat launch, and boat rentals. Anglers have additional amenities such as a fish cleaning station; the park is a major sport for fishing competitions, many of which are hosted by the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Address: 2907 N Toledo Park Rd, Zwolle, LA 71486, Phone: 318-645-4715
20.Palmetto Island State Park
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Palmetto Island State Park is one of the best places to experience an authentic outdoors Louisiana experience. The state park is located alongside the Vermilion River and is filled with palmetto plants, after which the park is named. There is a boat launch which gives you access to the river for boating and fishing. You can also choose to go kayaking or canoeing through one of the interior lagoons. Camping at Palmetto Island State Park is an extraordinary experience; there are 96 RV camping sites, 20 tent camping sites, and six vacation cabins which are fitted with full kitchens, bathrooms, a screened-in porch and a fireplace to stay warm during the chilly winter evenings.
Address: 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville, LA 70510, Phone: 337-893-3930
The product of over five million hours of labor, Poverty Point is a highly sophisticated and important archaeological site in North America. It is an engineering marvel which was once, at its peak 3,000 years ago, a part of an enormous trading network which stretched across the continent. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a rare remnant of an exceptional culture that imported stone and ore over great distances to construct what is thought to be dwellings overlooking the Mississippi River flood plain. It is an exciting stretch of land to explore and there are several guided tours and special programs held there throughout the year.
Address: 6859 LA-577, Pioneer, LA 71266, Phone: 318-926-5492
22.Sam Houston Jones State Park
Sam Houston Jones State Park is named after a Texas folk hero, Sam Houston Jones. The 1,087-acre park has been preserved in its natural state, allowing you to take in some stunning undisturbed views of the hardwood forest, pine forest, and tree-filled lagoons which are found in the area. It’s an excellent place for ornithology aficionados to go bird watching as the park is home to over 200 species of birds. Another popular aspect of the park is that has over 70 acres of longleaf pines, the oldest living southern pine species. There are three hiking trails for you to enjoy hiking or biking on, alongside a number of water sports you can participate in.
Address: 107 Sutherland Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70611, Phone: 337-855-2665
23.South Toledo Bend State Park
South Toledo Bend State Park can be found on small bluffs which extend over the Toledo Bend Reservoir. While staying there, you’ll be able to take in some amazing waterfront views from several different vantage points. The park houses a reservoir which is extremely popular with anglers because it has a boat ramp and is home to a number of freshwater fishes such as white perch, catfish, and largemouth bass. There are several bass fishing tournaments held there throughout the year. Other outdoor recreational activities you can participate in including hiking, cycling, birding, wildlife viewing, and camping.
Address: 120 Bald Eagle, Anacoco, LA 71403, Phone: 337-286-9075
24.St. Bernard State Park
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St. Bernard State Park is an ideal outdoor space for visitors of all ages because it’s designed for families with younger kids. It’s great if you want to enjoy camping but don’t want to be far away from civilization. The park was established in 1971 and has been a popular recreation area for locals and visitors since then. You can walk around and take in the stunning views of the park, the Mississippi River, and the many lagoons which are available there. It is extremely peaceful and natural, perfect for visitors who want to focus on meditation and relaxation. Other park amenities include covered pavilions, picnicking sites with barbecue grills, restrooms, and a water playground for youngsters.
Address: 501 Saint Bernard Parkway, Braithwaite, LA 70040, Phone: 504-682-2101
25.Tickfaw State Park
One of the most interesting features of Tickfaw State Park is its array of boardwalks which go through the park. These provide an in-depth experience of the hardwood and pine forests, cypress/ tupelo swamp, and the Tickfaw River which surrounds you. You can take a walk, bike, or skate through the interconnecting park roadways. The park is one of the few in the state that allows visitors to go hiking in the night and to witness the fascinating swamp nightlife. Other activities you can participate in include canoeing or kayaking on the Tickfaw River. Be sure to stop by the Nature Center, where you can see an 800-gallon aquarium stocked with fish caught from the river.
Address: 27225 Patterson Rd, Springfield, LA 70462, Phone: 225-294-5020
25 Best Louisiana Parks
- Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Photo: BONNIE C. MARQUETTE/stock.adobe.com
- Bayou Segnette State Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Bogue Chitto State Park, Photo: Paul/stock.adobe.com
- Cane River National Heritage Area, Photo: WoodHunt/stock.adobe.com
- Chemin-A-Haut State Park, Photo: zaizev/stock.adobe.com
- Chicot State Park, Photo: Irina K./stock.adobe.com
- Cypremort Point State Park, Photo: Randy/stock.adobe.com
- Fairview-Riverside State Park, Photo: David Adams/stock.adobe.com
- Fontainebleau State Park, Photo: Robin T. Cowen/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Isle State Park, Photo: Mosto/stock.adobe.com
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Photo: dejavudesigns/stock.adobe.com
- Jimmie Davis State Park, Photo: Scottie/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Bistineau State Park, Photo: jbrown/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Bruin State Park, Photo: Christopher/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Claiborne State Park, Photo: Andrew/stock.adobe.com
- Lake D'Arbonne State Park, Photo: Swamp Frog/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area, Photo: Pablo Ortega Photos/stock.adobe.com
- North Toledo Bend State Park, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- Palmetto Island State Park, Photo: Brandy McKnight/stock.adobe.com
- Poverty Point, Photo: Kadmy/stock.adobe.com
- Sam Houston Jones State Park, Photo: niki_alex/stock.adobe.com
- South Toledo Bend State Park, Photo: st_matty/stock.adobe.com
- St. Bernard State Park, Photo: Anatoliy Sadovskiy/stock.adobe.com
- Tickfaw State Park, Photo: Amy/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Allen/stock.adobe.com