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.

Nice trail. Stroller friendly. Made for a good run.

hiking
1 month ago

Watch for spider webs for the first half . There are gators to the left at the very end of the trail loop. Look for a road and a pier that walks you out to a small lake. They swam up to us from a pier expecting snacks. Saw one dead snake. No elevation changes. The trail is kept up.

trail running
1 month ago

Nice easy trail for running. A few roots you need to watch for. Most of the trail is hard packed sand when dry. A few areas with grass but pretty short. Hiker reported snake on trail but I didn’t see any.

Great spot but bring the bug spray! Trails are clearly marked and well-maintained. I was told a good time to visit is in April when the flowers are in bloom.

hiking
1 month ago

This is my first time to this site and first review. A friend of mine posted the other day on Facebook that she was on the hiking trail...something I hadn't thought about in years. I actually built it in the summer of 1999 as a 21 year old college intern. The nature trail was already there. It was a miserable task and I questioned my sanity multiple times (especially after finding ticks on my leg, swamping a four wheeler, and getting lost). There was no gps to go by then, just a measuring wheel, compass, machete, and flagging tape. After running into an impenetrable stand of kudzu, we decided the only way to do this was with heavy equipment. So for the rest of the summer I squeezed behind an operator in a cherry picker and we plowed our way through until two loops were made, complete with a path to area 3 and a path to Cane Bayou. Then it was bush hogged and cleared. I'm so glad that something I did then as a kid - part of a project that was though of on the fly - has brought so many people enjoyment. Hope you enjoy the pics.

watch out for numerous and big scary spiders! very pretty trail but if you have a fear of spiders, forget it!

hiking
3 months ago

Not sure why this is rated as 'moderate', there's nothing difficult with this trail. Same as all the other trails in the park. Very easy. Better during the cooler months, load up on bug spray as always.

Very easy trail, much like the Fontainebleau Trail, it's very flat and can have some puddles to navigate around when it's been raining. Better hiking when it's below 80 degrees, the thick cover and swampy area tend to be extremely hot and humid. There's several different paths around the area with several geocaching spots.

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy, all flat trail. If it has rained recently expect some puddles to navigate around but nothing major. During the summer months the trail receives little to no breeze so if it's 90+ out expect the trail to be 100+ and very humid. We find this is a better trail to walk during the winter months.

Did south and north loop. North loop less exciting, but both are fun. Will definitely return and do the other trail.

Simply beautiful, make sure and wear boots in summer. The swamp is picturesque and the boardwalks are nice, the trails are wide and much more extensive than shown here, I did not have my tracker on but there are at least three trails, again, all well trafficked and wide. We saw no Gators but plenty turtles and one snake.

Great views of Louisiana swamp land. dogs loved it

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Very swampy. If you love alligators this is the trail for you! Just kidding but you are definitely exposed to the elements out here. Beautiful views.

Nice easy walk! Don’t forget your bug spray!

Favorite place to go and think. You can bring cat food/ dog food and feed the turtles in spring and summer.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail, love the boardwalk into the marsh and huge Live Oak tree. Trail is marked and very well maintained.

No people and easy walk.

mountain biking
10 months ago

Beautiful! Rode through the woods and saw 3 Bald Eagles flying around just overhead, then rode out on the boardwalk in/on the big marsh...nice view over the water. Then we rode over to the pier at the day use area where there’s a spectacular view of Lake Ponchatrain and the 24-mile road bridge running across it. I would love to come back again when we have more time to hang around.

not really a Mtb trail, but so much fun

mountain biking
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Great easy ride for begginer MtB. love the hike as well

Sunday, September 03, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

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.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

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

Sunday, May 07, 2017

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.

on Cane Bayou Track

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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.

camping
Friday, April 14, 2017

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.

hiking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

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