Set on the site of a former sugar plantation, Fontainebleau State Park combines centuries of history with stunning natural beauty. It occupies more than 2,800 acres on the northern shores of Lake Pontchartrain and is known for its scenic paddling routes and magnificent live oaks draped in Spanish moss.
At just three miles from Mandeville and 40 miles from New Orleans, you're close to urban amenities yet removed enough to enjoy the serenity. Fontainebleau is also a stone's throw from other popular state parks, including Bayou Segnette, Fairview-Riverside and St. Bernard. Planning a getaway to Fontainebleau State Park? Secure the best RV rentals in St. Tammany Parish with Outdoorsy.
In the summer months, sunseekers flock to the white sandy beach at Lake Pontchartrain. It's a fantastic place to catch some rays and cool off in the calm, shallow water. Kids love splashing in the water playground and jumping off the wooden pier. It's easy to spend an entire day relaxing at the beach so why not bring a picnic and stay for a fiery Louisiana sunset?
Thanks to the lakeside setting, watersports are a dime a dozen in Fontainebleau State Park. Rent kayaks and canoes from Bayou Adventure on the eastern end of the park and enjoy a scenic paddle around the shoreline or charter a fishing boat and cast a line for monster-sized trout, triple-tail and bull reds – perfect for a fish fry back at your RV rental.
At the northern end of the park, the Tammany Trace stretches for 31 miles along a decommissioned railway track. Keep an eye out for more than 400 species of birds that live in the park, including endangered cockaded woodpeckers. History buffs will savor the chance to wander around the crumbling brick structures of a Louisiana sugar mill built in 1829. You can also stop by the visitor center to learn more about sugar magnate Bernard de Marigny and check out the historic tools and antiques on display.
Camping at Fontainebleau State Park
After an action-packed day in Fontainebleau State Park there's nothing like a relaxing sundowner back at your RV site. The campground enjoys a beautiful setting surrounded by 600-year-old live oaks and offers more than 150 sites to choose from, including 19 premium pull-through sites, one with a sewerage hookup. Improved sites feature water and electrical hookups – choose from 20, 30 or 50 amp. For an off-the-grid camping experience keep things simple and budget-friendly with an unpowered site. Of course, you'll still enjoy access to hot showers and flushing toilets.
Feel free to bring your own golf cart and use it to zip around the campsite. Like many state park RV campgrounds, Fontainebleau allows a maximum of six guests per site so consider booking side-by-side sites if you're travelling with a larger group or family. Pets are allowed so why not bring along your pup on your next state park RV camping getaway? Stays are capped at a maximum of two weeks so don't be shy about planning an extended stay in Fontainebleau.
Exploring the Area
While New Orleans tends to steal the spotlight, St. Tammany Parish offers plenty of its own allure. For a taste of the Louisiana wilderness sign up for a kayaking tour of Cane Bayou, a wildlife-rich waterway that runs between Fontainebleau State Park and the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge. Watch for turtles and river otters, as well as alligators basking on the banks. If you can't get enough of the toothy reptiles don't miss Insta-Gator Ranch in Covington.
Of course, at just 40 miles from New Orleans, it's hard to resist the call of "The Big Easy" when motorhome camping at Fontainebleau State Park. Spend the day getting lost in the French Quarter and swap a night around the campfire for jazz bars and craft cocktails on Bourbon Street. If you're travelling with kids, the Abita Mystery House is guaranteed to please. It's packed with quirky exhibits, including psychedelic paintings, a taxidermy dog/alligator monster, and a "House of Shards" room clad in slivers of mirror and glass.
If you need supplies, you're a 10-minute drive from the lakeside city of Mandeville and 30 minutes from historic Covington. The latter offers some excellent drinking and dining options if you're craving a break from camp food. Not to mention the famous Abita Brewing Company, where you can tour the brewhouse behind Louisiana’s most popular local beer. Gulfport, Biloxi and Mobile are also popular hubs for filling up the gas tank, stocking up on supplies, or renting an RV.