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.

Second time to this park. Just love the availability to walk through wooded trails, wood dock in the marsh and then walk out to the beach and pier. Tons more of deer at sunset. A few crocs in the marsh and love all the birds singing

Very nice trail. Lots of trails off main trails,but well marked. I wore out before hiking entire trail . Well maintained and easy.

Nice easy trail. Went in the morning and it was cool with plenty of tree overhangs for the shade. Watch out for the numerous big spider webs going across the trail - had to duck a good bit as a tall guy

mountain biking
3 months ago

great to hike or run. it was nice to be able to bring the dog (who loved swimming in the lake). the best view of the lake is past the sign that says wrong way at the back of the loop. the trail was much more accessible on that side rather than the other. just about the whole trail was grass with some muddy spots - a good trail to go barefoot if you like doing that. it's mostly shaded, but sunscreen and bug spray would be a great idea. theres lots to see. we even saw a deer.

Easy to run and good for beginners. Can do several loops to make a longer run.

Great trail for beginners. Plenty of opportunities to take pictures, but a portion of the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk was closed down. There is a massive Live Oak on the Sugar Mill Nature Trail. Plenty of shade along the hiking trail.

The trail is nice, but the stretch on the East side of the trail provides no shade. Great view of the wildlife, especially at the beginning of the trail.

6 months ago

Fun, easy stroll. Fine for kids. $2 per person (children over 3) cash only. The single trailhead is very close to a parking area. You can do the shorter Sugar Cane trail (1.7 mi) which lets out at a nice beach area on the Lake with a bathroom building nearby (may be locked sometimes I hear). There's also a detour to a boardwalk (Alligator something) that takes you over shallow marsh and cattails where you can fish, bait crabs, gator watch. You can loop back to the trailhead to finish the shorter trail or continue on to the longer trail (4.75 mile loop) that goes to Bayou Cane. Terrain is flat, mostly grass with lots of shade. Lots of critters too. Saw two deer prance across the trail 50 yards ahead of us. Saw many broad-head skinks (9 inch tan salamander w orange head), a large red eared turtle, king snake. Thought I would need bug spray but it wasn't a problem. Will definitely go back.

This is an ok little trail at the park. It is split into two parts, one goes to a boarded trail over the marsh, which is nice, however it is cut short by a constructed dead-end due to structural instability, which unfortunately has been that way for some time. The other way,"left" at the fork, it simply a trail in the woods that goes around for a couple miles. Just beware that there are snakes in theses woods, and even dangerous ones, just a heads up.

Great trail, with bathrooms, feed the turtles!