Description - Site Update: Most of the nature trail at Grand Isle State Park has re-opened, thanks to all the volunteers from the Barataria/Terrebonne Estuary, the Primitives of America and to the Grand Isle SP staff who came to work on their days off. This section is now ready for the birders & nature buffs to walk along and enjoy!
FISHING ADVISORY: Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina completely demolished Grand Isle State Park's main fishing pier, and it will have to be rebuilt. OSP personnel are currently in the process of clearing away the old structure, including removing the pylons that were shifted during the storm. After all of the old pier has been removed, construction is expected to begin on the new pier, made of concrete. Completion of the new pier is anticipated sometime in the next 18 to 24 months.
Grand Isle's Place in History
Since the days of Jean and Pierre Lafitte, who carried on their notorious smuggling business in these waters, Grand Isle has been on the route of commerce and industry. French exploration of the islands and subsequent settlement of sugar plantations occurred in the 1730's. Just before the Civil War, Fort Livingston was constructed across the Barataria Pass from Grand Isle State Park. It was part of a United States defense system begun by President James Monroe and protected the Barataria approach to New Orleans.
Today most business activity consists of shrimpers and other fishing boats carrying their cargo to New Orleans and markets throughout the area. And ever present are the offshore oil rigs dotting the horizon, busily extracting energy sources from below the Gulf, and incidentally providing superb fishing spots around their supporting structures
- A Fisherman's Paradise
Over 280 species of fish are known to make their home in the waters off the coast of Grand Isle. Brown pelicans--the state bird of Louisiana--dive into the water. Seagulls appear to float on the wind above the shore. Crabs nimbly scamper out of reach of the children chasing them with their nets.
This is Grand Isle State Park--a natural haven on the most popular barrier island off the coast of Louisiana. A beach ridge created by the action of the waves of the Gulf, Grand Isle serves as a breakwater between the Gulf and the network of inland channels that connect to the bayou tributaries of the Mississippi River. It is also the launching point for excellent deep-sea fishing adventures.
Every July, a Tarpon Rodeo attracts thousands of fishing competitors to these prolific waters offshore. Speckled trout can be caught by surf fishers year round, especially in the spring and summer. Redfish venture into the range of the surf fishermen in the fall and winter. Grand Isle State Park's 400-foot fishing pier is one of the highlights of the park, giving access to the waters of the surf fishermen without ever getting wet!
Why Don't You Stay a While?
The camping area at Grand Isle State Park can accommodate 100 families. It's an outstanding spot for relaxing under the stars and cooking freshly caught seafood around an open campfire. A tasty batch of boiled crabs, just drawn from the Gulf, will please the group and make for a memorable time at Grand Isle. Sites with electrical and water hook-up are available, and a bathhouse provides the basic necessities for settling into the natural wonders of Grand Isle.
So take a trip to the edge of Louisiana. Fishing, birding, swimming,crabbing, sunning, boating, or just relaxing--Grand Isle State Park gives you the best of Grand Isle.
Recreation for the Whole Family
The warm Gulf waters are enjoyed by swimmers most of the year, and Grand Isle State Park offers an excellent location for splashing in the surf. A swimming area with a bathhouse and picnic tables is a wonderful place for families to spend the day on the shore. Near the fishing pier is the Visitor Center and another area popular for swimming and picnicking. At the Visitor Center, exhibits portray how man and nature have shaped the unique story of Grand Isle, and an observation tower gives a bird's-eye view of the coastline.
Peaceful lagoons and ponds provide more opportunities for fishing--in the water or from the lagoon's pier, equipped with a fish-cleaning station.
Birding enthusiasts will also delight in the beauty of the lagoons and the Gulf shore. This unique environment attracts numerous species of birds and other wildlife, so bring your binoculars or a camera to enjoy the opportunity to view nature unspoiled.
Recreation - fising, birding, camping
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.
located on the east end of Grand Isle, off LA 1 on Admiral Craig Drive. It is approximately two hours south of New Orleans. To reserve a campsite, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA toll free (877-226-7652).