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.

It was really fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was good seeing

Very muddy this go. Also there was a massive swarm of bees about 1 mile in on the Bayou Cane Trail. So large I heard them before I saw them. Please beware

Did the shorter Sugar Mill Trail due to the 90 degree weather. Looks like they are rebuilding the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk!

hiking
7 months ago

The trail is a very easy loop. The board walk is no longer there, I never had the chance to see it. If you follow the paved road the the lake, there is a small beach, and a pier. It was only a few dollars to get in.

Enough uncharted loops to get lost. Dry enough to not have to change shoes when you get back to the car. A jewel for those of us living in the swamps and floodplains.

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.

very nice and easy. great for kids. love how all of the trees and such are labeled. the Oaks are amazing and we always enjoy having a picnic there.

camping
10 months ago

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.

Nice trail. Brought my dog and hiked about 3.5 miles. We then went to the beach area and hiked around there. Seems like a good place to bring your kids. I look forward to going back and camping.

Nice trails. Probably would be better for a winter or late fall hike.

Brought all my friends and we went camping!

Great nature trail to do with kids. I would not call this hiking, but more walking in the woods. Good opportunity to see wildlife and fun for younger kids.

hiking
1 year ago

We went in late December. We enjoyed the trail, very pretty. On the downside, our dog was full of ticks after we left.