There are Five National Parks in Louisiana to explore!
Also known as the Bayou State as they are well known for their extremely slow-moving bodies of water like rivers and streams that create a Bayou.
This creates a host of outdoor activities in their national park sites like taking swamp tours, wildlife viewing, and bird watching.
Louisiana National Parks
Did you know that Louisiana has more alligators than any other state in the US?
They thrive in the Bayou region as well as shrimp, crawfish, shellfish, turtles, crocodiles, snakes, birds, and more!
Louisiana National Parks also include multiple National Heritage Areas and National Historic Parks.
If you are in New Orleans, make sure to explore the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park as it is a must-visit!
We recently learned that the majority of the Park Rangers who work at this park are also jazz musicians.
I personally love learning about the unique culture and have spent time exploring each of the parks in Louisiana along with many areas along the Creole Nature Trail.
Many of Louisiana's original inhabitants were of French descent.
Today's French Creole/ Cajun Culture is associated with great food like gumbo, Zydeco music, and lively dancing. Perhaps the most famous person of Cajun/creole descent is Beyonce!
Top Things to do - Audio and Self-Guided Tours, Ranger Led Tours, join Family-Friendly Events, Become a Junior Ranger
Lodging - You can find lodging options near Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Consider hotels in the historic district, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals.
Camping - There are no National Park campgrounds within the park
Park Address - The park consists of two main units: the Oakland Plantation Unit and the Magnolia Plantation Unit. Here are the physical addresses for both units:
Oakland Plantation Unit: 4386 Highway 494, Natchez, LA 71456
Magnolia Plantation Unit: 5549 Highway 119, Derry, LA 71416
Cane River Creole National Historical Park is located 50 miles northwest of Alexandria in Northwestern Louisiana. The park encompasses 62 acres and is open year-round.
You have the opportunity to tour historic antebellum agricultural buildings. The park encompasses the grounds of Oakland and Magnolia plantations from the 18th century.
You can take a tour that explains the workings and legacy of the Creole cotton plantation system. These plantations grew tobacco, cotton, and indigo. You have the chance to visit slave and tenant cabins, overseer's houses, doctor offices, plantation stores, a blacksmith shop, a carpentry shop, and farm buildings.
Tours at this site give an overview of the entire plantation community including their enslaved workforces, landowners, and paid workers. The park lies within the Cane River National Heritage Area which is affiliated with the National Park Service.
Top Things to do - Wildlife Watching, visit the French Quarter Visitor Center, Walking the trails at the Barataria Preserve, visit the Acadian Cultural Center, Chalmette Battlefield, boat tours of Bayou Lafourche
Lodging - There are no lodging options within Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Camping - Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve doesn’t offer camping.
Park Address - 419 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA, 70130
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve has six locations in Southern Louisiana encompassing 20,000 acres.
If you are looking to see alligators and experience the swamps of Louisiana you can take a boat tour within the park.
Other sites include a historic battlefield, beautiful wetland forests, the history of the New Orleans French Quarter, and more. The Acadian Cultural Center is located in Lafayette and tells the story of the Acadian People.
The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center is located in Eunice and interprets the Prairie Cajuns.
The Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center is located in Thibodaux and focuses on Cajun life in the Bayous.
Barataria Preserve is located in Mattero and has a visitor center along with miles of trails to explore.
The Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery is located in Chalmette near New Orleans and commemorates the 1815 battle of New Orleans which General Andrew Jacksons' army defeated the British Troops.
Top Things to do - Junior Ranger Program, Ranger-Led Programs/Live Music Demonstrations, Self-Guided Walking Tour
Lodging - You'll find various lodging options near New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in the French Quarter, including hotels, historic inns, vacation rentals, and luxury options.
Camping - New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park doesn't offer camping facilities. If you're interested in camping, you'll need to look for campgrounds outside the city of New Orleans or in nearby state and national parks. There are several campgrounds in the surrounding areas where you can enjoy camping while visiting the city.
Park Address - 916 N Peters St, New Orleans 70116
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The park offers interpretive programs and live jazz concerts.
The park was created by Congress in 1994 to recognize the rich cultural influence of jazz and the role of New Orleans in the birth of jazz in North America.
Top Things to do - Guided tours/demonstrations/programs, 2.6-mile hiking trail, Museum/historic display, Picnic area
Lodging - There are no lodging options within the Poverty Point National Monument. Consider accommodations in nearby towns like Delhi or Monroe
Camping - There are no campgrounds within the park. You can find camping options at nearby state parks, such as Lake Bruin State Park and Poverty Point Reservoir State Park.
Park Address - 6859 Hwy. 577, Pioneer 71266
Poverty Point National Monument is located 40 miles east of Monroe, Louisiana. The park is also a World Heritage Site.
The park is open year-round and offers walking and tram tours of earthworks built around 1500 BC.
There is a lot that archaeologists don't know about Poverty Point and the community that created it. They have concluded that the earthworks were built by a hunter-gatherer society of people. It is believed that the earthworks were originally 6 feet high but are now gentle slopes in a field that was once planted with cotton.
The hunter-gatherers at Poverty Point were part of a trading network that was at its peak more than 3,000 years ago.
The largest mound measures 700 feet by 640 feet at its base and rises 70 feet tall.
Ranger-guided tram tours are offered or you can walk the 2.6 miles of hiking trails that wind through the earthworks. The park is administered as a Louisiana state historic site.
Top Things to do - Join Special Events ( Run through History, Memorial Day weekend, Battlefield Anniversaries), Self Guided Driving Tour, Hiking, Biking, Walking, Ranger Programs, Hire a Licensed Battlefield Guide, Living History Programs
Lodging - For lodging near Vicksburg National Military Park, consider options in the historic downtown area, chain hotels, or accommodations in Warren County. You can also explore lodging in nearby towns like Port Gibson, Mississippi, and Tallulah, Louisiana.
Camping - There are no camping options within the park
Park Address - 3201 Clay Street, Vicksburg 39183
Vicksburg National Military Park is located in West Central Mississippi and also in Louisiana. The park is 1,850 acres and is open year-round.
You can enjoy a driving tour, a visitor center, and guided tours.
President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg the "key" to the Confederate South during the Civil War and stated, "The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket".
The park includes a 16-mile driving route that winds through the battlefield and includes 1,330 monuments and markers.
Vicksburg ranks as one of the most accurately laid out battlefield memorial sites in the nation. Veterans of the actual battle helped mark the locations of the tranches and campaign actions.
Don't miss the Union ironclad gunboat U.S.S. Cairo that was sunk in the Yazoo River in 1862. The gunboat was located in 1956 and recovered in 1964.
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List of National Parks in Louisiana
- Cane River Creole National Historical Park
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
- New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
- Poverty Point National Monument
- Vicksburg National Military Park (Also in Mississippi)
- Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
- Cane River Creole National Heritage Area
- El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail ( Also in Texas)
Additional places to explore Louisiana's Natural Beauty
Grosse Savanne Eco Tours in Southwest Louisiana - Epic bird watching!
Louisiana National Parks receive an estimated 576K visitors a year producing over $47 million in economic benefits. The National Parks in Louisiana include 2 National Heritage Areas, 1 national trail managed by the park service, 1,443 national registers of historic place listings, and 54 National historic landmarks.
There is 1 World Heritage Site in Louisiana, Poverty Point! 713 places recorded by the Heritage Documentation Program and over 1.7 million objects in the Louisiana National Park museum collections.
If you have dreamed of working in the National Parks make sure and check out our article on How to Become a Park Ranger. Working in the parks is one of the most amazing jobs you can find. There is just something special about waking up and knowing you are going to work in a beautiful park
Additional National Park Travel Resources
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
For a fun adventure, check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built-in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
National Parks in the Neighboring States
For an entire list of US National Parks head over to our list of US National Parks in Alphabetical Order. We also have a printable checklist of all 417 National Park properties in the United States available.