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Fontainebleau is named after the forest of nobles in Paris, France. This Louisiana state park, famed for camping, used to be owned by a French-creole sugar mill owner who founded the nearby city of Mandeville. He found the area to be as beautiful as those gorgeous forests of his home country and insisted Fonainebleau be the name of his own little piece of paradise.

Fontainebleau State Park Glamping

It became a state park in 1942 and was originally called Tchefuncte State Park. A visitor center explains the history of this location. It’s great for families and schools alike to learn about some of Louisiana’s past. A 50-minute drive from New Orleans, 1 hour and 25 minutes from Baton Rouge, and around an hour from Gulfport, camping in this state park is easily accessible by anyone in the Greater New Orleans area.

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Things to do at Fontainebleau State Park

As it is so close to New Orleans, Fontainebleau is on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, and it comes with everything this magnificent lake has to offer. Sailboats cross the scenic lake, as do speedboats and fishing boats. And on the beaches of the state park there is plenty of room for visitors to dash between playing in the surf to sunbathing on their towels.

The park is actually bordered on three sides by water: Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou Cane and Bayou Castine. There in this convergence of ecosystems dwells more than 400 species of birds and wildlife, and nature trails, both short and long, allow you to get the blood pumping and see a little of Louisiana’s native animals.

A Historical Nature Getaway

The Fontainebleau State Park has over 400 species of animals, including deer, chipmunks, gazelles, raccoons, coyotes, sables, foxes, and otters.

When camping at Fontainebleau State Park and apart from the wildlife, you can learn the history of the former owner of this land, Bernard de Marigny, and the tales of the slaves in his sugar mill at the visitor center. It’s truly a historical lesson for anyone from Louisiana or even other states in the US.

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