List of Louisiana state parks

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Political map of Louisiana
Map of state parks maintained by the Office of State Parks
(Each dot is linked to the corresponding park article)

The state of Louisiana has 22 state parks, which are governed by the Office of Lieutenant Governor, a division of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.[1] Louisiana's state park system began in 1934 when the state passed legislation that created the State Parks Commission of Louisiana.[2] In 1952, legislation broadened the role of the commission to include the development of outdoor recreation programs and resources. The commission was renamed to the Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission.[2] In 1977, the Office of State Parks was created in the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism.[2]

After the State Parks Commission of Louisiana was formed in 1934, 7 sites were acquired for use as state parks.[2] During World War II, the rate of new park acquisition declined with the addition of only one new site, Sam Houston Jones State Park in 1944. In 1966, the National Park Service reviewed Louisiana's state parks system and made many recommendations, which led to specific guidelines and requirements for state parks.[3] Over time, many state parks that did not meet these guidelines were either reclassified as state historic sites or were turned over to local or state agencies. Some of these parks include Lac des Allemands, Saline Bayou, and Black Lake.[4] During the 1970s, government management of the state parks was restructured. The Office of State Parks was created, and 2 new parks were acquired. From 1995 to 2009, $80 million were invested in creating new facilities, or updating existing facilities.[2]

Louisiana state parks are selected on the criteria that they must be natural areas of unique or exceptional scenic value.[3] Many of the state parks also have historic or scientific importance. For example, Chemin-A-Haut State Park served as a route used by Native Americans during seasonal migrations.[5] Louisiana state parks have many accommodations, including overnight cabins, boating rentals, guided daily tours, and fishing piers. In 2002, Louisiana state parks had more than 2 million visitors.[2] With the addition of Palmetto Island State Park in 2010, Louisiana state parks comprise more than 30,000 acres (12,000 ha) of land.

Current parks[edit]

Park name   Parish   Area   Date
founded
  
Remarks   Photo  
Bayou Segnette State Park Jefferson Parish 676 acres (274 ha)[6] 1987[7] Bayou Segnette State Park features a wave pool with a capacity of up to 400 people depending on lifeguard staffing.[8]
A grey tent set up on Bayou Segnette park grounds
Bogue Chitto State Park Washington Parish 1,786 acres (723 ha)[9] 2010[10] Bogue Chitto State Park, pronounced bo–guh chit–uh,[11] contains 14 miles (23 km) of equestrian trails with the trailhead located near Fricke's Cave.[9]
Beach cairs along the river at Bogue Chitto state park
Chemin-A-Haut State Park Morehouse Parish 503 acres (204 ha)[5] 1935[12] The park was designed with children in mind and has two playgrounds at the day use area.[5]
Canoes tied to a pole at Chemin-A-Haut state park
Chicot State Park Evangeline Parish 6,400 acres (2,590 ha)[13][14] 1939[12] Chicot State Park contains the Louisiana State Arboretum, which has a mature beechmagnolia forest.[14]
A fishing pier over the swamp
Cypremort Point State Park St. Mary Parish 185 acres (75 ha)[13][15] 1970[16] Most of the park is situated on a half-mile stretch of a man-made beach.[15]
An outside pavilion on the grass
Fairview-Riverside State Park St. Tammany Parish 98 acres (40 ha)[17] 1962[18] The Otis house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the park.[18]
A two story light yellow plantation home
Fontainebleau State Park St. Tammany Parish 2,800 acres (1,133 ha)[19] 1938[20] The park was once the site of a sugar plantation and brick yard operated by Bernard de Marigny.[19]
The sun setting over Lake Pontchartrain
Grand Isle State Park Jefferson Parish 140 acres (57 ha)[21] 1968[22][23] Grand Isle State Park is the only state-owned and -operated beach on the Louisiana gulf coast.[24]
A pier extending into the Gulf of Mexico
Hodges Gardens State Park Sabine Parish 700 acres (283 ha)[25] 1956[25] Originally a private area of A. J. Hodges, the park features a 225-acre man-made lake that was built in 1954.[25]
A small pond surrounded by greenery
Jimmie Davis State Park Jackson Parish 294 acres (119 ha)[26] 1996[27] Many of the largest bass caught in Louisiana have been in Caney Lake Reservoir which is in the park.[28] As of 2010, the largest bass from Louisiana was caught at Caney Lake.[29]
Two silhouetted people fishing on a boat
Lake Bistineau State Park Webster Parish 750 acres (304 ha)[30] 1938[31] Lake Bistineau State Park is the first state park in Louisiana to accommodate African Americans, starting in 1956. The two separated areas are an artifact of the segregated nature of the park at the time.[32]
Cypress trees covered in moss in reflective water
Lake Bruin State Park Tensas Parish 53 acres (21 ha)[33] 1956[34] Lake Bruin State Park was originally established in 1928 as a fish hatchery.[35]
A shaded area next to a small pier
Lake Claiborne State Park Claiborne Parish 643 acres (260 ha)[36] 1974[37] Lake Claiborne State Park is situated on, but does not include, Lake Claiborne, the park's main attraction. When at full reservoir level, Lake Claiborne has a surface area of 6,400 acres (2,590 ha).[38]
A pier extending out into the swamp
Lake D'Arbonne State Park Union Parish 655 acres (265 ha)[39] 1967[40] Lake D'Arbonne State Park offers disc golf. The course is located near the group camp.[39]
A lifeguard watching people swim in a pool
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park Iberia Parish and St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA 6,000 acres (2,428 ha)[13][41] 1987[7] The site was once part of the Atchafalaya Basin and the surrounding land was once the home of the Chitimacha Native Americans.[41]
A dried up swamp bed
North Toledo Bend State Park Sabine Parish 900 acres (364 ha)[42][43] 1987[44] The park is situated on Toledo Bend Reservoir,[42] the 5th largest in the nation by surface area.[45]
An motor home set up with party lights on the outside
Palmetto Island State Park Vermillion Parish 1,299 acres (526 ha)[46] 2010[46] The visitor center complex contains a water playground and a bathhouse.[47]
A picture of a lake with dormant trees in the back
Poverty Point Reservoir State Park Richland Parish 2,700 acres (1,093 ha)[48] 2005[49] Due to an active bear population, bear-proof containers are provided for waste disposal throughout the park.[50]
A truck backing a boat into the water
St. Bernard State Park St. Bernard Parish 358 acres (145 ha)[51] 1971[52] A local family business donated the land for the park to Louisiana in 1971.[52]
A brown brick welcome center building
Sam Houston Jones State Park Calcasieu Parish 1,087 acres (440 ha)[53] 1944[12] The park is located north of the most productive birding region of Louisiana. At certain times of year, nearly 200 species of birds can be seen within 30 miles (48 km) of the park.[53]
Cypress trees in a swamp.
South Toledo Bend State Park Vernon Parish 1,000 acres (405 ha)[54] 2004[54] South Toledo Bend State Park is a nesting ground for the bald eagle, which feeds from the supply of freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and white perch.[54]
Visitor center surrounded by pine trees.
Tickfaw State Park Livingston Parish 1,200 acres (486 ha)[55] 1999[55] Tickfaw State Park contains four distinct ecosystems: a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest,[56] and the Tickfaw River.
A small brook in a forest of cypress trees.

Other names of current parks[edit]

The following are significantly different former or alternate names for current Louisiana state parks.

Former or alternate name   Parish   Date name changed   Current park name    Remarks   
Caney Creek Lake State Park Jackson Parish 2003[57] Jimmie Davis State Park The park is located on Caney Lake Reservoir, which was created by damming Caney Creek in 1986.[57]
Lake Bruin Wayside Park Tensas Parish 1962 Lake Bruin State Park Originally only a park, but when made a state park it was renamed.
Sam Houston State Park Calcasieu Parish Sam Houston Jones State Park Originally named for Sam Houston, but was renamed in honor of Sam Houston Jones, 46th Governor of Louisiana.[53]
Tchefuncte State Park and Conservation Reservation St. Tammany Parish Fontainebleau State Park The land was originally owned by Bernard de Marigny who called the area Fontainebleau after a forest in Paris he admired.[20] When designated a state park, Governor Richard W. Leche named it Tchefuncte State Park and Conservation Reservation, which was later reverted to Fontainebleau.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Smith, Darren L. (May 30, 2007). Gill, Kay, ed. Parks Directory of the United States (5 ed.). Omnigraphics, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7808-0018-2. 
  • Herndon, Ernest (April 15, 2003). Canoeing Louisiana. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-426-7. 
  1. ^ "Louisiana State Parks". Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Historical Overview of LA State Parks System. Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Louisiana State Parks Plan, 1975-1990–Master Plan for Improvements to the State Parks System. Gulf South Research Institute. 1973. 
  4. ^ State of Louisiana comprehensive outdoor recreation plan–1970-1975. Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission. 1971. 
  5. ^ a b c "Chemin-A-Haut State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ Gorman, Carolyn Portier; Schultz, Deborah. Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program–Tour Guide (pdf). p. 20. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Louisiana Conservationist. 40–42. Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries Commission, Louisiana. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. 1988. Bayou Segnette State Park in Jefferson Parish and Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in Iberia Parish since the grand opening in 1987 have been very popular. 
  8. ^ "Bayou Segnette State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Bogue Chitto State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ Derry, Jim (August 4, 2010). "Bogue Chitto State Park near Franklinton set to open at the end of this month". The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana: Advance Publications). Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ Baca, Keith (June 1, 2007). Native American place names in Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-57806-955-2. 
  12. ^ a b c 2009 Wall Calendar–75 Years of Celebrating Louisiana's Treasures and Making Memories. Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c Louisiana State Parks Cajun Country Brochure. Louisiana State Parks. 2007. 
  14. ^ a b "Chicot State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Cypremort Point State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Weekend with Nick". January 19, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ DeHaan, Vici (April 1996). State Parks of the South: America's Historic Paradise : A Guide to Camping, Fishing, Hiking, & Sightseeing. Johnson Books. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-55566-167-0. 
  18. ^ a b "Fairview-Riverside State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Fontainebleau State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Adams, Nixon. "Northshore Conifer–It Is What It Was". Northshore Conifer. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  21. ^ Frois, Jeanne; Calhoun, Milburn (May 31, 2006). Louisiana Almanac: 2006-2007 (17 ed.). Pelican Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-58980-306-0. 
  22. ^ "Make a Weekend Stop to Grand Isle State Park". Houma, Louisiana: Gumbo Entertainment Guide. July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2012. Nestled in the northeastern portion of the only inhabited barrier island in the state, Louisiana purchased the 150-acre park in 1968. 
  23. ^ "Facebook–Grand Isle State Park". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 11, 2012. The park was purchased in 1968 by the State. 
  24. ^ "Portion of Grand Isle State Park Beach Reopens" (PDF) (Press release). Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  25. ^ a b c "Hodges Gardens State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  26. ^ Smith 2007, p. 499.
  27. ^ "Jimmie Davis State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  28. ^ Felsher, John N. (May 2006). "The Changing Face Of Caney Lake". Game & Fish Magazine. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  29. ^ Crawford, Andy (March 25, 2010). "16-pound bass caught on Caddo, Louisiana record at stake". Retrieved April 1, 2011. The current state record is a 15.97-pounder landed by Greg Wiggins in 1994 while fishing Caney Lake. 
  30. ^ Louisiana State Parks–A Guide to Louisiana's State Parks, State Historic Sites and Preservation Areas Brochure. Louisiana State Parks. 2007. 
  31. ^ "Lake Bistineau State Park". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Archived from the original on March 5, 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  32. ^ Otto, David (August 17, 2007). Insiders' Guide to Shreveport. Insiders' Guide. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-7627-5702-2. 
  33. ^ Fonseca, Mary (August 8, 1996). Weekend Getaways in Louisiana. Pelican Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-56554-096-5. 
  34. ^ "Wildernet.com–Lake Bruin State Park, Louisiana State Parks". Interactive Outdoors Inc. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Lake Bruin State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Claiborne Parish Lakes and Recreation Areas". Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  37. ^ Outdoor Recreation Action. United States. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. 1974. p. 67. 
  38. ^ "Lake Claiborne State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  39. ^ a b "Lake D'Arbonne State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Fall General Meeting at Lake D'Arbonne" (PDF). Pack & Paddle (Ozark Society) (Summer): 7. June 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  41. ^ a b "Lake Fausse Pointe State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b "North Toledo Bend State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  43. ^ Louisiana State Parks Crossroads Brochure. Louisiana State Parks. 2007. 
  44. ^ Louisiana statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan: Information base for executive decision, 1993-1998 1. Division of Outdoor Recreation. 1994. North Toledo Bend State Park has been developed and has been operational since 1987. 
  45. ^ "North Toledo Bend (WMA)". Austin, Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. April 21, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  46. ^ a b Bergeron, Judy (November 7, 2010). "Palmetto Island State Park opens in Abbeville". The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Palmetto Island State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  48. ^ Smith 2007, p. 502.
  49. ^ "Poverty Point Reservoir" (PDF). Louisiana Department of Public Works and Water Resources. 
  50. ^ "Poverty Point Reservoir State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  51. ^ Sternberg, Mary Ann. The Pelican Guide to Louisiana (2 ed.). Pelican Publishing Company Inc. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-88289-901-5. 
  52. ^ a b "St. Bernard State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  53. ^ a b c "Sam Houston State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  54. ^ a b c "South Toledo Bend State Park–Louisiana Office of State Parks". Louisiana: Office of State Parks, Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  55. ^ a b Herndon 2003, p. 165.
  56. ^ Gomez, Ms. Gay M. (October 9, 2008). The Louisiana Coast: Guide to an American Wetland. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-60344-033-2. 
  57. ^ a b "Office of State Parks–Jimmie Davis State Park". Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]