Camp/sightsee in Louisiana
July 11, 2019 6:39 AM   Subscribe

I'll be traveling through Louisiana at the end of the month. The New Orleans / Baton Rouge area is a good stopping point along my drive. Where would you camp in that general area, and what would you see?

Here's an idea of what my route will be: Google Map.

I'd like to primitive/backpack camp if possible. I have a tent. I'm not opposed to hiking in a little ways to get to a clearing. Paying ten bucks for a semi-improved site is fine. I only need a flat surface to rest my head on for a night.

Is there a good camping spot in that area? I'm open to any suggestions about where to stay and what to see along the way. I'll have a few hours arriving there in the evening and a few in the morning before I need to get on the road.

If you'd like to grab a coffee for an hour, send me a Memail. New friends are fun.
posted by mr_bovis to Travel & Transportation around Baton Rouge, LA (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Based on your route (as well as the incredible heat & humidity in southern Louisiana this time of year) I would peel off from I-10 around Biloxi and get on Highway 90. (It's a little slower but the local color and feel of the coastal Deep South is amazing) You could camp on the Gulf Island National Seashore or continue heading east into coastal Alabama to Dauphin Island and hop the ferry (it takes plenty of cars and is pretty cheap) to the divine beachfront Gulf State Park (has plenty of camping) just past Gulf Shores, Alabama. Plenty of white sand beaches, dunes, coastal palm hammock forest. From there, you can hop on the Beach Express Tollway, skipping small town lights and head north to Montgomery to rejoin I-65 towards Atlanta. Nothing against Louisiana. It's quite beautiful in fall and spring but the summer humidity of the bayous and swamps there is deadening and the state's far-flung coastal islands are difficult to reach by car and often inundated during the summer rainy season.
posted by caveatz at 7:40 AM on July 11

It is SO HOT to camp in the region in late July/early August. One way to live with the heat and humidity is to stay close to the coast.

On your way into Louisiana, check out Greyton Beach State Park in Fl. I also successfully camped in Pensacola once, but damn is it sweaty. I am impressed with your initiative but personally would be looking for air conditioning at every stop.

Please be aware that depending how the next few days go, things may be a total mess in S. Louisiana for the next while. I am checking with my people in NOLA and worrying about everyone's ptsd.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:10 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]

Echoing Lawn Beaver to make sure you check the local warnings before you do this. There is going to be a lot of wildlife displaced by this weather, and you could potentially run into some very nasty creatures where they usually aren't. I would not do this, personally.
posted by backwards compatible at 10:40 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the heads up, Lawn Beaver and backwards compatible.

I knew this would be a touchy time of year regarding the weather. The current storm will have passed by the time I take my trip, but that doesn't mean people and wildlife won't still be displaced. And it doesn't bode well for the sturdiness of the ground I want to camp on.

I may look into changing my route to a bit further north.
posted by mr_bovis at 1:46 PM on July 11

Fontainebleau State Park is right along your route near Mandeville on Lake Ponchatrain.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:01 PM on July 11

Fairview State Park is in Madisonville, just down the road from Mandeville and smaller than Fontainebleau. It's on the Tchefuncte river rather than the lake so a little more picturesque. If you're on I-10 heading in from Mississippi just stay on I-12 to Highway 22.

Memail me if you need food recommendations, etc. I live just down the road.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:14 PM on July 11

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