The crumbling brick ruins of a sugar mill built in 1829 by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, founder of the nearby town of Mandeville, suggest an interesting history for this site, and indeed there is. The wealthy Marigny developed this area across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans as a sugar plantation until 1852. The plantation income helped support his lavish lifestyle. He named his large land holding Fontainebleau after the beautiful forest near Paris, a favorite recreation area of the French kings. The 2,800-acre park is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. On a clear day, visitors can see the lake dotted with multi-colored sailboats of all sizes and types. The sandy beach also is a delight for sunbathers. An old railroad track that runs through the park has been converted into the Tammany Trace as a part of the Rails to Trails program. It is a wonderful route for cycling, hiking and in-line skating. The park's nature trail is a favorite of nature lovers. Interpretive signs along the trail will help you identify many of the common trees and shrubs. Always be on the lookout for birds and other animals. Over 400 different species live in and around Fontainebleau. The Fontainebleau Birding Guide is a good resource for enthusiasts to identify the numerous species of birds found in the area. Bordered on three sides by water--Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou Cane and Bayou Castine--and characterized by a convergence of diverse ecosystems, it has a multitude of habitats for birds.
Went a while back, I usually hike at tunica so this was very different. I felt like I could've done this in the woods behind my house. It wasn't the worst trail but def not the best. Very overgrown, kind of run down. Make sure you bring bug spray! Great if you are preparing for a big hike.
The trails were nice, a bit overgrown so I wish I had worn pants or tall socks and shoes. Saw one snake but it was gone as quick as it came. There was a tree down blocking the trail into the deepest part of the woods so I wasn't apply to hike the whole thing. I'll definitely be back but when the heat isn't so bad and all the creepy crawlies aren't out.
absolutely wonderful. the swamp is green and the turtles are basking in the sun. very nice learning experience for the kids. the 2 mi is nice but don't much like coming through the gas line area. the parking area is small but we'll shaded. I hope they get some of the buildings taken care of. the small amphitheater is great. a pleasant surprise in the middle of the woods.
Great park. Camping is good (can be loud on weekends). Tiny beach is a nice spot to relax and bring a cooler, although I wouldn't swim in the water. I would skip the hiking trails altogether. They are not kept up well and were kind of ruined since Katrina (although they may have fixed them within the last year or so). The Tammany Trace bike trail crosses through park. Def a nice day trip.
Flo P. on Northlake Nature Center South Loop
We went in late December. We enjoyed the trail, very pretty. On the downside, our dog was full of ticks after we left.