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Fontainebleau State Park

Fontainebleau State Park - BEST Places to Picnic

67825 Highway 190, Mandeville, LA 70448
985-624-4443 or 888-677-3668 toll free

Explore Fontainebleau 

Directions: From I-12, take US 190 (exit 63-A) south toward Mandeville. Continue east on US 190; the park is approximately 4 miles east of the city.

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. All park sites close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.

Picnic area

Trails at Fontainebleau State Park: 4.8-mile hiking trail 1-1/4 mile nature trail

History

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.

The 2,800-acre park is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. On a clear day, visitors can see the lake dotted with multi-colored sailboats of all sizes and types. The sandy beach also is a delight for sunbathers. 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. The Fontainebleau Birding Guide is a good resource for enthusiasts to identify the numerous species of birds 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.

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