Two Keys to a Relaxing Vacation are at Saint Tammany State Parks
Visitors and residents have long known the appeal of St.Tammany Parish’s two state parks. Each one gives you the chance to enjoy the wonderful Louisiana weather while partaking of the regional scenery. Both parks are conveniently located and a short drive from Northshore communities or downtown New Orleans. Yet, once you get there, you will not want to leave.
Fairview Riverside State Park
Fairview Riverside State Park is located on Highway 22, the park is across the river from the quaint, little town of Madisonville, Louisiana. Here, guests can rent any of the 100 RV and tent campsites spread across the park’s 100 acres of well-maintained grounds. After a few minutes there, you will see why the locals love to steal a few hours of peace in the park or just drop by for a quiet afternoon.
Visitors will find there is plenty to do inside the park. They can
-Do a bit of freshwater fishing from shore or boat in the Tchefuncta River
-Take a ride or paddle down river to the open, brackish waters of Lake Pontchartrain
-Stroll along the quarter mile swamp trail on a raised boardwalk with name plates identifying local species
-Explore the Otis House Museum which is the plantation-style home of the former owner and is also on the National Register of Historic Places
-Study the machine relics of an old saw mill that once operated on the property
-Let the children squeal with delight on the small, yet attractive playground
Of course, those who prefer things to flow at a slower pace can leisurely cook outdoors and picnic under the stately oak trees in shaded bliss. Everything is in one place. There are barbeque pits and fire rings for guest use conveniently alongside picnic tables. And, in case the need arises- as it always does- there is an impeccably clean comfort station with showers and restrooms, as well as laundry facilities. If you happen to have an America The Beautiful Pass, you can use it to cover the cost of admission at Fairview Riverside, just like in all state parks.
Fountainbleau State Park
Fountainbleau State Park is situated off Highway 190 in Mandeville, the park gives guests 2,800 acres of possibilities to get closer to nature. This idyllic setting, with its drooping oaks and sparkling waters, has been the location for many weddings and family reunions. However, campers love it equally as well.
Sitting right on Lake Pontchartrain, one of the first things visitors see is a string of cabins on the water’s edge and a lengthy fishing pier. They later discover that there is also access to a sand beach and nature trails for hiking or a casual stroll. The trails are dotted with informational plaques that designate native trees and shrubs, but keep your eyes peeled for any of the more than 400 different animal species that inhabit the park. Perhaps you will even stumble across the ruins of an old sugar mill from 1829 that is tucked away amidst the trees. It was originally part of the sugar plantation that started the town of Mandeville.
There is a lodge for hosting group events, 3 group campsites, and both improved and unimproved campsites for families. The fees to rent them are quite affordable and allow guests the use of the park’s swimming pool and clean restroom facilities. For years, locals have loved the ability to be on vacation but never far from home, while visitors have found Fountainbleau’s location perfectly suited for exploring the nearby shops and restaurants in Mandeville and Covington.
You will want to pack a camera to capture every moment of your time at these two lovely Saint Tammany State Parks, but be sure to give yourself an extra day or two to truly enjoy the experience of nature in all its splendor while in St. Tammany.