Saturday, April 14, 2012



Here is my list of the 22 Louisiana State Parks I visited (as well as one National Park) and the rank in order of my favorite down to my least favorite. 

1. Grand Isle State Park - Grand Isle, LA
2. Kisatchie National Forest - Kincaid Lake Campground - Pineville, LA
3. Bogue Chitto State Park - Franklinton, LA
4. Jimmie Davis State Park - Chatham, LA
5. Lake Claiborne State Park - Homer, LA
6. South Toledo Bend State Park - Anacoco, LA
7. Lake Bistineau State Park - Doyline, LA
8. Lake Bruin State Park - St. Joseph, LA
9. Lake D'Arbonne State Park - Farmerville, LA
10. North Toledo Bend State Park - Zwolle, LA
11. Fairview-Riverside State Park - Madisonville, LA
12. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park - St. Martinville, LA
13. Hodges Gardens State Park - Florien, LA
14. Sam Houston Jones State Park - Lake Charles, LA
15. Palmetto Island State Park - Abbeville, LA
16. Fontainebleau State Park - Mandeville, LA
17. Chicot State Park - Ville Platte, LA
18. Cypremort Point State Park - Cypremort, LA
19. Poverty Point Reservoir State Park - Delhi, LA
20. Tickfaw State Park - Springfield, LA
21. Chemin-A-Haut - Bastrop, LA
22. Bayou Segnette State Park - Westwego, LA
23. St. Bernard State Park - Braithwaite, LA

Although Kisatchie National Forest is not a State Park, I've included it in my list. And as you can see, I liked it very much.

I visited all 22 Louisiana State Parks within 6 weeks of travel.  I averaged a few days at each park and based my choices for favorites on the following:
~ proximity of site to a water view
~ was there a swimming beach
~ amount of site privacy
~ how level the site was
~ beauty of the park as a whole
~ did it cater to the RVer

All Louisiana State Parks are located near a body of water but not all RV sites are near water views.  Some parks have their RV campground far into their park and away from any recreational activities such as fishing and swimming, where others seem to cater to the RVer and have easy access to beautiful views, fishing piers, boat launches, and beaches.  And still other campgrounds have catered to the kids with water parks and playgrounds at many locations throughout the park. 

There were few parks that offered privacy between RV sites and a few parks that  placed the RV sites entirely too close together.  All parks offered picnic tables and fire rings.

Several parks allowed many park rules to be broken, sometimes infringing on other's rights.  For instance, I could not walk my dog on the beach but boats could be parked on the grass and pets could be left to roam off leash.  These situations are posted as a rule throughout the parks but park rangers did not enforce them.

Only two parks did not have trash receptacles at close locations within the campground but instead had large dumpsters located near the dump station and campers had to haul their trash completely out of the RV park and onto the main park road to reach the bins.  To me, this is totally unacceptable.

Out of 23 campgrounds I visited, only 5 were level sites.  Nine campgrounds offered beach areas for swimming.

Sometimes the beauty of a campground can compensate for it lacking in other areas.  In my opinion, Kincaid Lake Campground was the most beautiful and scenic, and as you can see it is 2nd on my list of favorites.  However, nothing can beat the beauty of the ocean and a beach so Grand Isle State Park remains at the top of the list.

On the first part of my journey to visit all of Louisiana State Parks I visited 5 parks.  On this last leg of my Louisiana State Parks trip I visited 18 parks.  I have not counted the Grand Isle State Park in these numbers because I have visited there many times and didn't go again during this journey.  So the total is 23 parks in a period of 43 days.

My expenses for this trip were as follows:

FUEL ~ $643.49 (I traveled 1180 miles)
FOOD ~ $ 237.08 (my coach was well stocked before departure which is not included in this price)
LODGING ~ $397.50
TOTAL ~ $1,278.07 for 33 nights on the road

I averaged spending $39 a day on fuel, food, and lodging.

Here are some photos of the top 10 campgrounds I've stayed in as well as my favorite campground sites, and campground beach areas.  Photos are shown starting with my favorite on down to least favorite.


Only a few steps over the dunes to the beach.

My favorite park is on the Grand Isle beach.

My Gulf










Thanks for following along and for the nice comments left.  I really appreciated them.

I'd like to end with a tribute to my state.


        • I may leave South Louisiana often and travel about but I will always come home again to Acadiana.
        • Here are 65 reasons - one for every year I've lived in the state.
        • We dance in the streets and don't need a partner. We talk with a "Yat" accent as well as a Cajun accent. We eat, drink, and dance at funerals. We talk too much and live too large and frankly, we're suspicious of others who don't. Can you say "N'Awlins... dawlin?"
        • We call everybody "baby" and "darlin" and will greet you with "Where y'at?"
        • We have Creole-Cajun cuisine ... widely imitated but never matched ... the best cuisine in the world giving you: jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo filé, turtle sauce piquante, crawfish bisque, andouille sausage, red beans and rice, Bananas Foster, beignets, shrimp Creole, crab merliton, chicken etouffé, catfish courtbouillon, muffalettas, Po-boys, thin-crusted French bread, and oysters - any way you like them. However, Cajun food and culture have no roots in New Orleans. You'll have to travel down to the bayou country to savor real Cajun cooking.
        • We have shared our talent with the world with the likes of: Dr. John, Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, Erni K-Doe, Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair, Pete Fountain, Al Hurt, Doug Kershaw, and the Neville Brothers.
        • We don't hate cause we got "Gris Gris."
        • We have the largest population of Cajuns.
        • We have the "Big Easy."
        • We're home to three million acres of wetlands, vital wildlife habitat and abundant hunting and fishing grounds.
        • If you don't like the way we talk, hang around for awhile and you'll start to sound just like us.
        • We have Native American tribes, the Houma Indians being the largest tribe in Louisiana, numbering about 10,000 and live in the marshes and along the bayous of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes.
        • Every day is a good day for a parade and we have lots of them.
        • We have Zydeco, a distinctly black Creole music known for its blending of French songs and African/Caribbean rhythms.
        • We have fresh seafood year round.
        • We have the worlds largest steel-constructed room called the Superdome.
        • We have "Cajun and Creole Folktales" which include our infamous monster "Loup Garu."
        • We are home of the alligator as watchdog and also provides good eating. The alligator is the last remaining cousin to the dinosaurs.
        • We have Café Au Lait with ground roasted chicory - the root of endive lettuce.
        • We have more fortune tellers than lawyers.
        • We're helping out the rest of the country by keeping an eye on Texas and Arkansas.
        • We drink beer with our lunch.
        • If you ain't quite right in the head you'll fit right in.
        • We have corner convenience stores which boast a colorful selection of Voodoo dolls.
        • Our politicians are crooked but at least they're honest about it.
        • We have Terrance Osborne's fabulous colorful artwork. My favorite is "Hurricane Solution #3."
        • The accordion never made a comeback here because it never went away.
        • We got us a big ole river to keep the Mississippians out.
        • Our climate allows us to wear shorts and a tee shirt almost year round.
        • We have a much used mantra, "Laissez les bon temps rouler."
        • We have the world's largest freshwater river basin, the Atchafalaya Basin which is in Saint Martin Parish.
        • We got bragging rights to the longest bridge in the world, the Pontchartrain Causeway.
        • All our roads lead to Jackson Square.
        • We have no need to leave home for a taste of French culture.
        • We have a dance called the Fais-Do-Do where children dance along side of their parents.
        • We have pirogues, swamps, pelicans, seagulls, egrets, whooping cranes, spanish moss, magnolia trees, and live oaks.
        • We have fishermen who still make a living "on the water."
        • We have no legal penalty for eccentricity.
        • We have the best boiled seafood in the world.
        • We have high humidity which eliminates the need for moisturizer.
        • We have flood waters often that also provide creative opportunities for boating.
        • We have the Saint Charles streetcar line in New Orleans whose cable cars are recognized by our nation as a mobile national monument.
        • We enjoy the smell of the sweet olives in spring.
        • We have drive-through daiquiri shops.
        • We have two kinds of hurricanes... both wet and wild.
        • We experience praline-induced comas.
        • We have the "Crawfish Capital of the World" which is in Breaux Bridge.
        • We have more than 400 annual festivals and often called the "Festival Capital of America." We have more festivals per capita than any other state.
        • We have swamp tours.
        • We have river boats floating down the Mississippi River.
        • We have over 100 bayous.
        • We have Swamp Pop music.
        • We speak Cajun French which is a distinct dialect difficult to understand for many speakers of conventional or Parisian French.
        • We have lots and lots of sugar cane and enjoy a good chew on the stalks.
        • We have names that end in "eaux."
        • We have Sunday after-church Pig Roasts.
        • Our Bourbon is so popular we named our most famous street after it.
        • We're not just Ante-Bellum we're ante-everything.
        • We have 20 beautiful Ante-Bellum sugar plantations.
        • We have Cayenne pepper, Louisiana Hot Sauce, and Tabasco sauce used to season food and also clears your sinuses.
        • We have rocking chairs on porches.
        • We have a state law that everyone has to know how to fish.
        • We have a great beach and the mighty Gulf of Mexico at the Grand Isle State Park.
        • We have the best Mardi Gras season in the country.  


  1. Nice summary. I have to agree about the food, It was exceptionally delicious when I was down there a few years ago.

    1. Hi Mary... Yes, we do have great food. My favorite is, of course, boiled crabs, crawfish, and shrimp - in that order. In fact, tonight we're having crawfish. Yummy.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Loree... Come on down! I'll cook you a Filé Gumbo.

  3. Joel here: A truly epic post. Great job!

    1. Hi Joel... Thanks for the compliment. It was a lot of hard work blogging every day and uploading all those photos with a weak Verizon signal but I do enjoy going back and reading about my trip. Sooooo glad to be home. Am leaving for a week at Grand Isle State Park next Monday. Can't wait. {{hugs}}

  4. Nice!! Lovely pictures, I don't know if I could choose. I bet you are glad to be home.

    1. Hi Chris... Yes, I'm very happy to be home once again. I am glad I made the trip and got to visit all of the state parks. It is one less item on my Bucket List. It will be nice to just hang around here for awhile and enjoy the beach. When the next cold weather comes my way I might want to get back on the road again. Right now, I just want to sit back and not have to think about driving to another destination, Further Down The Road.

  5. Nice rundown on the parks . Enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos.

    1. Hi Sierrasue... Glad you enjoyed my blog. Thanks for the compliment.

  6. Sorry I didn't get to meet you when you were at Palmetto Island but I was on my way to a get together with some friends at Stonewall, TX, the other side of Austin. I want to try some of the parks you visited. I'm not going to be making many more 500 mile trips into Texas this year. My Texas friends want to have another rally in Louisiana. I'm not sure what area they want to tour but they love our food.


    1. Hi Martha... At least you're traveling with other solo ladies. If they ever come down this way, let me know. I liked Palmetto Island State Park but it was spread out too far for me to walk to the water. I'd like to have an electric bike to be able to enjoy parks that are laid out like that. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. That's what I thought about Palmetto Island State Park, it's too spread out. I haven't camped there but have driven through it a couple of times. The only reason that park got finished is because it was contracted before the 2 hurricanes. The governor said there wasn't any money to open it so the local tourist commission had fund raisers to get it open. Being so close to Lafayette it is probably full most weekends. There is a long wait for the cabins.

    1. Hi Martha... Thanks for that info. I think I would enjoy a few days in one of those cabins but they don't allow pets inside any buildings including cabins in Louisiana state parks.

  8. Really enjoyed your tour of the Louisiana State Parks. I will definitely be referring to it as I travel back and forth from Texas to Florida to visit my son.

    1. Hi longdog2... I hope my ratings can help you in finding the right park for you on your travels to Florida. Glad you enjoyed the posts.

  9. Just found your blog - wonderful. Like how you did the summary of the parks. We are from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Just landed in Louisiana a few days ago and staying at Sam Houston Jones State Park. Very nice but sites are sooo close together. We are going to Palmetto in a few days and then onto Grand Isle. Just wondering why you picked site 29 at Grand Isle? Loving Louisiana!! This is truly a beautiful state. Melissa

  10. Glad you are enjoying Louisiana. I agree that the sites are too close together at SHJ State Park. Site #24 is spacious and has a view of the pond.

    Palmetto Island State Park is nice but spread out and if you have a car to ride around in I think you will enjoy it.

    I always stay in site #29 because it has a huge front yard which gives me lots of privacy from the next site. It is also close to the bath house and the entrance to the beach.

    Enjoy your stay.

  11. Thanks for the info. Think we will book #29. Any suggestions of different things to do and see down there. Would 5-7 days be too long? We really like the back roads, get the truly feeling of the people & country, so any places that you could suggest would be appreciated. After Grand Isle we are heading up to New Orleans, then hopefully if it warms up explore the north part of Louisiana. How are you enjoying Texas? Thanks again, Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa... Grand Isle is a very small island - only about 7 miles long. There are a couple of nice restaurants and snack shops but not sure what's open at this time of the year. The Starfish is a nice place to eat.

      There are 2 marinas - one at each end of the island. The one located at the beginning of the island - Bridge Side Marina - also has an RV park but it is $40 a night which is over my budget but I'd like to stay there as it is so close to the beach.

      I always go to the dock on Oak Street to get some fresh shrimp and bring it to the campground to boil. I very seldom eat out.

      There is a nice Visitor's Center and butterfly dome. The ladies at the center can suggest things to do while there. Ask for a walking tour of the over 100-year-old homes that have survived the many storms of Mother Nature.

      You might enjoy riding down some of the tree lined streets to the back end of the island near the bay. Many folks don't ever get to see the Oak Ridge part of the island which is so nice. I used to live on the Oak Ridge down Ludwig Street.

      During the summer there is a sailboat ride offered in exchange for a nice bottle of wine. Not sure they do that in the winter.

      There are a couple of souvenir shops on the island and the SureWay Supermarket also has a section of nice items with an island flare.

      My friend Pat Landry has a really nice Bed & Breakfast down Hector Lane. He enjoys telling of the history of the island and also carries some of my books that I have published about the area.

      I hope you enjoy your stay and try to imagine how it would be like during the summer months. The island has about 1500 residents in the winter but in the summer there are about 10,000 people on the island for the various fishing rodeos that take place every weekend.

  12. Thank you so much for taking time out of your, I'm sure, busy schedule to give us some highlights to tour. I can't imagine being there in the summer with all those people around. We seldom eat out - we have an 18 year old, yes that's right 18, Multi Poo, that needs babysitting!!! Suffers huge anxiety attacks if we are not around and barks and barks forever. Take care and thanks again!

    1. Hi Melissa... You're welcome. Glad I could be of some help. Right now I'm back home in Houma, LA. - but I'll be in Grand Isle in the next week or so. Would be nice to meet up but I'll be asking for site #29 also and won't go unless it is available. HA!

      Take care of that fur baby.

  13. Will do in taking care of fur baby. Perhaps we will see you in Grand Isle, if not we will continue to follow your blog. Yours is the only blog I can find that gives an insight to the parks, ie. likes & dislikes and a general feel for the area. Thanks

    1. Hi Melissa... If you do get to stay in site #29 be sure to look for one of my Peace Rocks. It should not be hard to find the last one I place there a couple of months ago. Clues are in the photos I posted at that time.

      If you stay in New Orleans and want to be close to the action there is a very nice RV park near the French Quarter. It is pricy but they will shuttle you back and forth the few blocks to the Market Place on the river. Here is the link to the French Quarter RV Resort. I'd love to stay there but can't handle the cost. When I go to the Quarter I go in my van and park in a parking lot behind the Cafe Du Monde. I love the Marketplace.

  14. Oh, how neat would that be to find one of your peace rocks!! Would love to have it as a keepsake. The RV near French Quarter is very rich for blood. Going to try and see if we can do it from Grand Isle on a few day trips - sound realistic? If not, we will try to find a state park near there (Bayou Signette). We are very much back roads people and looking forward to seeing New Orleans but not into the pubs and nightlife. Too old for that!! Got around to reading your whole blog today. We can relate to your RV issues. We to, fell in love with our rig only to find nightmares, but we have weathered through them and just love our little home (1999 30' Class C). We have only been on our journey since the end of October but these last few weeks, I have really looked around, met people and come to realize every one of us makes a decision and whatever they have, it works for them. It may not be what we would chose, nor what we have they would chose, but it works, it just works. Also, how much materialistic things we have in our life that we don't need. The kitchen in our s&b house was bigger than our motor home but I would never go back to that place again. We sold our house in Sept/12 and to this day neither one of look at each other say "I miss the house". Some people only dream about what we are doing, we are DOING IT, how awesome. Thanks again for the info re New Orleans.

    1. Hi Melissa... Bayou Segnette is near the city of New Orleans but don't expect much from the campground. It rated at the bottom of my list.

      There is another campground located in Mandeville. Fontainebleau State Park is across the lake and you'll have to cross the causeway which is 24 miles long to get to the city.

      If you stay in Grand Isle and drive into the city it should take about an hour or so depending on traffic.

      It's a good thing you are here at this time because in about 3 weeks the Mardi Gras Season begins and it will be almost impossible to find parking of any kind.

      Good luck to you in your travels.

  15. What do you think are the best parks if you have kids? We have 3 young kids and we'd like to take them (tent) camping several times this summer. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. I forgot to mention that we live in LA (Vidalia) already and do not mind a bit of a drive.

    2. Sorry, I can't help you there. I did not check out any of the tenting areas on my trips. However, there were several campgrounds that had nice playgrounds for the kids. You'll have to read my blog to find out which ones as I don't remember. I did post photos of the playgrounds as I found them during my trips around Louisiana State Parks. Try using the search box at the top of my blog.

  16. We're fulltimers, hoping to find a beautiful place to stay in Louisiana in the next week or two. This is a PERFECT guide. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ed and Cori... Glad the blog was helpfull. Hope you have nice weather while you are here in my state.

  17. Thank you so much for this review and the photos - It's just what I was looking for. I've been in LA for two years, but work in New Orleans, I am looking forward to a weekend getaway with my sweety to one of the locations on your list!

    1. Hi Markette... Glad you enjoyed my post. Hope you get to the Grand Isle State Park and enjoy the beach there. It's my favorite place in Louisiana.