Fountainebleau State Park, Mandeville, Louisiana - A Review
Entering the Park
Fountainebleau State Park is located in St. Tammany Parish in Mandeville, Louisiana. There is a gate at the entrance that closes at night. Campers have access to the gate code so they are free to come and go. Near the entrance is a paved bike trail as well as foot trails, a small historical ruins area, and limited parking. Coming into the park is like driving through a forest. A long entrance surrounded by trees on both sides greets visitors driving through. Camping areas branch off to the right of the main entrance road, while continuing straight takes visitors to the day use area. The day use area is surrounded by beautiful old live oak trees laden with moss. Most of these trees are massive.
Day Use Area
The day use area is diverse and kid friendly. There are walking trails, plenty of shady picnic areas and pavilions, a playground area for younger and older children, a splash pad area, a pier going out over Lake Pontchartrain, and a sandy beach area to play on. The lake water is gentle and mostly shallow, so there are no worries about young children getting side swiped by a wave or stepping out into deep water. The only concern might be the little alligator that calls the park home. It lives in a small pond near the beach.
There are also large grassy spots in the day use area that are great for soccer or baseball.
Since the lake is usually calm, it is great for kayaking and paddle-boarding. The covered pier is a nice way for visitors to look out over the lake and beach area.
The beach and majestic old oak trees are great spots for picture taking. Photographers can often be seen in these locations.
Two restrooms are available in the day use area, one is located off to the right of the splash pad in a small brick building. The other is located in the large brick building in front of the pier. It provides both showers and bathrooms.
The camping area of the park is quiet and filled with trees. There are primitive, pull through, and full hook up sites available. The camping spaces are paved and do not encroach on neighboring campers. There is a playground located in this area too. You could ride a bike for days in this campground!
There is wildlife to see as well. Squirrel and raccoon are plentiful. There are rabbits and deer throughout the park. These animals are somewhat tame so it is possible to get just a few feet away from them for an up close experience.
If you left something behind, no worries. There are several big name stores right down the road from the park.
Although there is plenty to do in the park, there are also many interesting things to do nearby. The St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier is a short drive away. If you are looking for day activities, New Orleans has a zoo, aquarium, IMAX, and many delicious eateries. Some links for easy reference are as follows:
- New Orleans Tours
New Orleans French Quarter, riverboat, culinary, cemetery and historic home tour information for visitors to the Big Easy.
- Audubon Zoo - New Orleans | Audubon Nature Institute
Audubon Zoo offers a wide variety of family fun activities in New Orleans for the whole family to enjoy. Learn more about our pricing and hours.
- Fishing Pier - Slidell, LA - St. Tammany Parish Fishing Pier
Enjoy affordable family fun at our fishing pier. Bring your own snack and drinks and explore all day! Visit our website to see our rates and hours of operation.
- St. Tammany Fishing, Lures & Charters | Louisiana Northshore
Learn more about fishing in St. Tammany, Louisiana. Find fishing charters, piers for land fishing, local lures and seafood recipes for your big catch.
A Few Drawbacks
After visiting on several occasions, the few drawbacks witnessed were as follows:
- Main dump station has no option for thru traffic.
- Sometimes there are harmful bacteria levels in the lake water. This can be checked on the state park's main website.
- If the weather gets nasty, it is more than a little unnerving to be camped in a spot under giant pine trees.
- The day use area can become crowded on holidays and weekends.
Reservations can be made online at:
- Fontainebleau State Park | Louisiana Office of State Parks
Fontainebleau State Park includes ruins of an old sugar mill and an historic oak grove. Hiking, sailing, picnicking and camping also are available.