The State Parks in St. Tammany Parish--Fontainebleau and Fairview-Riverside--provide ample space for visitors to explore the Northshore by hiking and biking, and in these tree-lined waterfront parks, boating. Visitors can get immersed in nature with an overnight stay in a lodge for a fun group camping getaway, in their own RV, or by tent for glamping or primitive camping.
Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville is Louisiana’s most visited, and for good reason. The picturesque 2800-acre park is bordered by Cane Bayou and Bayou Castine and draped along the northern shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The Tammany Trace, a 31-mile hike-and bike trail, ribbons through the park and a fishing pier, sandy beach and splash pad are among the amenities visitors enjoy. Deer grazing at dusk under the ancient alley of the oaks is a sight to behold, and a bathhouse with showers makes beach-going easy. There are all sorts of overnight options–a lodge, glamping, group camping, primitive camping, improved sites with water, electricity, grills and picnic tables. RVers appreciate the convenient dump station. Don’t forget your fishing license for catching fresh and salt water fish in the ponds, bayous and brackish water of Lake Pontchartrain.
Just two miles east of Madisonville, Fairview-Riverside State Park sprawls over 99 acres along the banks of the scenic Tchefuncte River. Campers and day visitors can bring their own boats and launch from the campground. Pontoon tours of the river with Louisiana Tours and Adventures launch directly from the park and are a great way to explore the area and Madisonville’s history, as well as see the 1837 lighthouse at sunset. There’s a designated area for tent camping with bathrooms nearby, as well as 81 RV sites with electricity and water hook-ups, nearby bathrooms and showers (as well as the necessary dump station). Trolling for crabs, fishing and wandering the park’s nature trail are leisurely ways to spend the day.
Fontainebleau State Park
62883 Hwy. 1089, Mandeville
Fairview-Riverside State Park
119 Fairview Dr., Madisonville
Reserve at reserveamerica.com.