LA-Fountainebleau State Park

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by jwsowell, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. jwsowell

    jwsowell New Member

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    Jun 13, 2011
    This state park is located 3 miles east of Mandeville LA, on Hwy 190, on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. We stayed here four nights between Christmas and New Years in 2011. Despite the time of the year and a driving rain storm at arrival, the park was surprisingly well-occupied, with over half of the enhanced sites taken. Many persons were from New Orleans, spending the holidays in the park.

    The park has abundant wildlife. We saw almost a dozen deer, and the occasional armadillo. Being there in December, we did not use the lakefront fishing piers or other facilities. Word of caution: Louisiana out-of-state fishing licenses are expensive, so plan ahead. The park is very large for a park so close to a large metro area. We took the Causeway Bridge into New Orleans (entrance about four miles west of the park). Traffic in the area was no problem.

    Pros: Big park with lots of wilderness and wildlife. Perhaps the cleanest restroom/shower facilities I have ever seen in a state facility. Beautiful live oaks of massive proportions. Comparatively inexpensive.

    Cons: Issues with campsites. As clean as the bathrooms were, the campsites were littered with old cigarette butts and small bits of trash. The campsites were oddly laid out as well. We had a small pull through site, but the paved pad was so small and curved we could not get a 12-foot popup (unexpanded) completely on it without driving into the mud beside the pad. The power and water pedestals were on the right side of the popup where they are almost universally on the left in other parks. The fire ring and picnic table were on opposite sides from the fixed grill. It made for an awkward campsite, but at least we had power and water, which we did reserve. Most of the "improved" campsites had only a paved pad, but no water or power.

    I would go back here, perhaps in the Spring to see a different season in the park.
     
  2. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

    682
    1
    Feb 22, 2011
    I know the campsight or area in the park you are talking about. Most of the pull-through sites are set up well but a few are awkward or small as you mentioned.

    We camp there regularly; but, we are local (about 15-20 miles away). We do wish they would add power and water to more of the sites. Many of the sites around the "new campground" loops are without power or water and remain empty frequently. It is way too hot (our opinion) to camp without hookups in the summer months.
     
  3. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

    3,105
    5
    Jul 13, 2011
    Stayed here for 10 nights during Spring Break. Nice park with gorgeous live oak trees that are dripping with Spanish Moss. Some of the lots are not real large and ours wasn't. We had water and electric hookups. We stayed on Lot 133. Here are some photos.

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    The view across the street from us
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    Our trailer

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    Front gate

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    Ruins of old Sugar Mill at park

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    My favorite tree

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    The DH standing under my favorite tree

    The weather while we were there, March 28th-April 7th was kind of a mixed bag. We had chilly days and some that were in the 70's. All in all a good experience.
     
  4. Indy

    Indy Member

    873
    4
    Jul 30, 2012
    Those trees are gorgeous. I had been eyeing this park, and will have to visit just for the live oaks and Spanish moss!
     
  5. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

    3,105
    5
    Jul 13, 2011
    The trees are almost worth the trip by themselves!! [8D]
     
  6. skysummit

    skysummit New Member

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    Jul 24, 2012
    Going to Fountainbleau next weekend for a short get away. The state park is only about 35 minutes away from where I live, but I've only been there once for a day trip. This will be our maiden voyage/guinea pig trip in our pop up.
     
  7. msuce99

    msuce99 New Member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    We just returned from a Memorial Day weekend trip to Fountainebleau State Park. The setting is beautiful as mentioned above. We stayed in campsite #77 (sorry, forgot to get pictures). Our friends stayed in I think #75. Many of these lots were small and close together, thankfully ours had a little breathing room.

    First the good: We saw lots of wildlife (including 3 deer, 3 snakes, a raccoon, too many squirrels to count, and some wild hogs) within and around the park. Much more than I normally see. The beach area was nice, and we caught a view of a spectacular sunset Sunday night over Lake Pontchartrain as we were driving around. The park seemed to be VERY popular this weekend. There is a bike trail that you can get to from within the park that takes you directly into Old Mandeville, which was having a reunion festival while we were there. Neat little downtown area with nice restaurants and shops. Very walkable/bikeable. And we also enjoyed the nature area about 1/2 mile west of the state park entrance.

    The bad: I'm not sure who exactly to chalk this up to, but the campground area was not very well maintained. Both our site and our friends' sites had knee-high grass upon our arrival. Not sure how you don't have everything mowed for Memorial Day weekend. Worse than that, though, the bathhouse closest to our campsite was disgusting more often than not. It had air conditioning and was seemingly nice, but the floors in the shower areas stayed wet with puddling (hard to change clothes without your feet getting your pants wet), and the only shower area with a place to set your stuff down was the handicapped shower. I don't think there was any toilet paper anywhere in the men's room any time I went all weekend (fortunately we had our own). When I stopped in on Sunday morning, the metal trash bin that normally hangs on the wall had been ripped out and was on the floor, with paper towels strewn everywhere. And there was vomit [:(O] on the floor of one of the stalls... I actually wondered if I was somehow in a college fraternity house.

    I wanted to like this campground. It has so much potential, with it being close to New Orleans, and with the wildlife area, the rails-to-trails bike path, the hiking trails, and the pretty oak trees. Part of me thinks, "if we ever get a travel trailer, where we don't need to use the bathhouses, it could be great". But I think only 5 or so sites in the entire campground have sewer hookups. If they had better maintenance staffing and diligent cleaning/restocking schedules for the bathhouses, I would enjoy this campground a lot more.
     

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