Description - Setting Fit for Kings
From the time you stumble upon the ruins of the old sugar mill, drive past the historic oak grove and then discover the vast expanse of Lake Pontchartrain, you'll realize this park is something special.
The crumbling brick ruins of a sugar mill built in 1829 by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, founder of the nearby town of Mandeville, suggest an interesting history for this site, and indeed there is. The wealthy Marigny developed this area across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans as a sugar plantation until 1852. The plantation income helped support his lavish lifestyle.
He named his large land holding Fontainebleau after the beautiful forest near Paris, a favorite recreation area of the French kings.
- Along the Lakeshore
The day use area of the 2,800-acre park is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Numerous picnic sites, complete with tables and grills, and an adjacent pavilion are nestled under the oak trees in sight of the lake. On a clear day, visitors can see the lake dotted with multi-colored sailboats of all sizes and types. Fontainebleau contains an area accessible to Lake Pontchartrain from where wind surfers and small non-motorized boats may be launched.
The sandy beach is a delight for sunbathers, while the nearby swimming pool offers refreshment from the summer heat. Two pavilions are located along both sides of the pool's bathhouse. The pool is open six days a week during the summer. It is closed on Mondays, except on holidays.
Large cleared areas next to the picnic sections are handy for sporting events. An old railroad track that runs through the park has been converted into the Tammany Trace as a part of the Rails to Trails program. It is a wonderful route for cycling, hiking and in-line skating. The park's nature trail is a favorite of nature lovers. Interpretive signs along the trail will help you identify many of the common trees and shrubs. Always be on the lookout for birds and other animals. Over 400 different species live in and around Fontainebleau. Some species to look for include the endangered red cockaded woodpecker, turkey, opossum,squirrel and other native Louisiana creatures.
The Fontainebleau Birding Guide is a good resource for birding enthusiasts to identify the numerous species found in the area. Bordered on three sides by water--Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou Cane and Bayou Castine--and characterized by a convergence of diverse ecosystems, it has a multitude of habitats for birds. Fontainebleau offers an excellent opportunity for you to discover the wildlife of the marsh, pines, mixed hardwoods, open fields and lake. Join the park naturalist for a variety of programs or hikes which bring these resources to life.
Spend the Night
For the overnight visitor, Fontainebleau has several different types of accommodations.
In the camping area, there are 126 improved campsites with water, electricity, barbeque grills and picnic tables at each. An adjacent bathhouse and dump station are also provided. In addition, there are 37 unimproved campsites and a primitive camping area for those who want to "rough it." There are also 200 undesignated campsites.
The park also offers three group camps. Camp Number 1, which can sleep up to 150 people, and Camp Number 2, which sleeps 30, are located close together near the beachfront. A nearby swimming pool is available for guests at the three group camps and lodge. Camp Number 3 is located in another part of the park and can accommodate 65 people. A fishing pier with freshwater fishing is available at this camp. All group camps include dormitory sleeping areas and fully equipped kitchens.
There is also a primitive camping area, the Tepee area, which is used by Scouts and other organizations. Located near Camps Number 1 and 2, this area has access to running water and a bathhouse, but no other improvements are provided.
Just across U.S. Highway 190 from the main part of the park is the Fontainebleau State Park Lodge. The Lodge includes sleeping facilities for ten people, with a maximum capacity of twelve, as well as a kitchen and two baths.
This park, named after a place for kings, is truly fit for a king. Come visit us and receive the royal treatment at Fontainebleau State Park.
Recreation - fishing,swimming, bird watching
Climate - Southern Louisiana experiences a subtropical climate that's warm throughout the year. Winter months bring low temperatures near 40 degrees F and highs above 55 degrees F. During the summer expect high temperatures to reach 95 degrees F frequently, with mid-afternoon showers. Humidity is highest in August and September.
Northern regions of the state have cooler winters and somewhat warmer summers than the south. Low temperatures in the winter dip into the high 30s and highs reach 60 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months with average high temperatures reaching 100 degrees. Humidity is slightly lower in the northern uplands and the average rainfall in May is higher than any other month.
located southeast of Mandeville on US 190.
To reserve a campsite, group camp, picnic pavilion or the lodge, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA toll free (877-226-7652).