Monday, December 10, 2012

Fontainebleau State Park - Louisiana

Fontainebleau State Park is located near Mandeville, Louisiana. Lake Pontchartrain forms one of the boarders of this park and I imagine that the beach area along the lake is one of the park's most popular features during the summer. Since we visited the park during November, only a few brave souls were fishing in those chilly waters.

Main entrance to Fontainebleau State Park
The Lake Pontchartrain beach area
So, why would people want to camp in this park during the off-peak season? First, this park has wetlands, wooded areas, marshes and wildlife. We heard owls in the evenings and watched eagles fly overhead during the day. Fellow campers talked about the many deer in the park, but we always seemed to miss the deer sightings. In short, the lake is not the only draw for this park.

Looking towards the old camp area
The people in the park appear to mark time through hurricanes. Park staff prople showed us areas destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and, more recently, by Hurricane Isaac. We were looking forward to the boardwalk through one of the park's wetlands and marshes. Unfortunately, this feature along with the visitors center was destroyed by Hurricane Isaac.

Rosie in the newer camping area of this park
There are two camping sections to this park. The older section has many pull-thru sites. While this sounds attractive to some campers wanting to avoid the chore of backing into a site, the downside to this section is that the sites are close to each other. Very, very close! I wasn't sure that all campers in this area can open their awnings because their neighbors are right outside their doors. I don't think our 25 foot trailer and tow vehicle would fit in some of these tiny sites. I am sure there are some great reasons for camping in this area because it was packed. My family prefers the newer campground area.

The newer campground area is more traditional in design. It has larger sites and some can accommodate the big rigs. Having said that, you need to realize that the view from your site will probably be the campers around you. The sites are bigger, but closer together than in many of the other campgrounds we visit.

I mentioned that Fontainebleau State Park is close to Mandeville. Since we found ourselves in the heart of Cajun country, we decided to diligently search for the perfect gumbo and shrimp po-boy sandwich. Sadly, we failed to find the absolute best and our search continues.Some people would say that this is something to look forward to on our next visit to Louisiana.

 The park features:
  • 30 and 50 amp electrical service
  • Paved pads
  • Water and electrical hook-ups
  • One dump station
  • There are some good roads for riding your bicycles
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC from New Orleans in this park via antenna
  • There isn't wi-fi in the park, but AT&T's 3G and 4G service is adequate
  • The restrooms and showers in this park are modern, functional and clean.

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