Camping in Louisiana

      Must-knows for amazing camping adventures in Louisiana.

      Your Louisiana Camping Guide

      Louisiana isn’t your typical camping scene, but that’s exactly why it’s so special. Swap towering pines for sprawling bayous and sandy beaches, where Spanish moss drapes the trees. Whether you’re a kayak enthusiast paddling through cypress swamps or a beach bum soaking up the sun on Grand Isle, Louisiana’s got a campsite calling your name.

      Hike through hidden nature trails teeming with wildlife, cast a line for your dinner, or simply unwind under a sky thick with stars. Just be sure to pack your mosquito repellent and an adventurous spirit – Louisiana’s got a unique brand of magic waiting to be explored, campsite by campsite.

      Best Places To Camp In Louisiana

      Kisatchie National Forest

      Spanning over 600,000 acres, Kisatchie National Forest is the largest wilderness area in Louisiana. It offers diverse landscapes, including longleaf pine savannas, hardwood forests, and wetlands. Campers can choose from various developed campgrounds with amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms. Additionally, primitive camping is allowed in designated areas throughout the forest. Popular activities include hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

      Kisatchie National Forest Louisiana

      Lake Charles

      Situated near the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Charles offers a unique blend of beach and city life. Campers can enjoy beachfront camping at Grand Isle State Park, offering swimming, fishing, and kayaking opportunities. Alternatively, the Lake Charles KOA campground provides convenient access to the city’s attractions like casinos, museums, and the Golden Nugget amusement park.

      Lake Charles Louisiana

      Toledo Bend Reservoir

      Known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, Toledo Bend Reservoir attracts anglers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. North Toledo Bend State Park offers camping facilities with stunning lake views, boat launches, and fishing piers. Campers can also enjoy hiking, biking, and bird-watching in the surrounding forests.

      Toledo Bend Reservoir Louisiana

      Grand Isle

      Grand Isle is a barrier island known for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Grand Isle State Park provides campsites with direct beach access, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and shelling. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular activities in the calm waters around the island.

      Grand Isle Louisiana

      Baton Rouge

      Louisiana’s capital city offers a surprising variety of camping options. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center provides unique campsites nestled among cypress trees and waterways, perfect for nature lovers. Alternatively, Baton Rouge North Campground offers convenient access to city attractions like the LSU campus and the Capitol Building.

      Baton Rouge Louisiana

      Fontainebleau State Park

      This park is known for its towering live oak trees, Spanish moss-draped forests, and scenic lakes. Campers can choose from various campsites with amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms. Popular activities include hiking, biking, paddling on Lake Pontchartrain, and exploring the park’s historic features like the Fontainebleau State Park Arboretum.

      Fontainebleau State Park Louisiana

      Things To Do In Louisiana

      Atchafalaya Basin

      South-central Louisiana's crown jewel, Atchafalaya Basin, isn't just the largest swamp in the US, it's a labyrinth of towering cypress trees, teeming waterways, and diverse wildlife. Embark on a swamp tour and navigate moss-draped canals, spotting alligators, nutria, and vibrant birds in their natural habitat.

      Maurepas Swamp

      Located near New Orleans, the Maurepas Swamp offers a unique ecosystem with diverse plant and animal life. Take a swamp tour through serene waterways, encountering majestic bald cypress trees, vibrant birds, and even the occasional alligator. Boat tours with experienced guides reveal fascinating facts about the swamp's ecology and history.

      Oak Alley Plantation

      Vacherie, Louisiana, boasts the iconic Oak Alley Plantation, where time seems to stand still. Stroll beneath the mesmerizing 300-year-old oak alley, draped in Spanish moss, and explore the meticulously restored mansion. Guided tours unveil the fascinating stories of both enslaved and free people who shaped the plantation's history, offering a glimpse into the complex past of the antebellum South.

      Whitney Plantation

      Whitney Plantation provides a unique perspective on slavery in Louisiana, serving as a museum and memorial dedicated to the enslaved people who lived and worked there. Explore the grounds, reconstructed slave cabins, and exhibits that delve into the harsh realities of forced labor. This poignant experience offers a deeper understanding of the region's complex history.

      French Quarter, New Orleans

       A historic district known for its colorful architecture, lively jazz scene, and delectable cuisine - wander through narrow streets lined with wrought-iron balconies, explore art galleries and antique shops, and indulge in beignets and cafe au lait at iconic cafes. Don't miss the chance to experience the electrifying nightlife and street performers adding to the unique atmosphere.

      Downtown Lafayette

      Discover the heart of Cajun and Creole culture in downtown Lafayette. Immerse yourself in the friendly atmosphere as you explore art galleries, boutiques, and historic landmarks like the Alexandre Mouton House. Savor authentic Cajun cuisine at renowned restaurants, and catch live music performances at lively bars and clubs, experiencing the infectious energy of the city.

      Mardi Gras

      Witness the spectacle and revelry of Mardi Gras, a worldwide-renowned festival known for its extravagant parades, colorful costumes, and infectious music. Catch throws from elaborately decorated floats, join vibrant street parties, and experience the contagious energy that defines this iconic celebration.

      Avery Island

      Discover the fascinating landscape of Avery Island, home to Jungle Gardens, a bird sanctuary with diverse plant life, including the iconic Tabasco pepper plants. Explore winding paths, encounter exotic birds, and learn about the history of the McIlhenny family, founders of the Tabasco brand.

      Grand Isle State Park

      Perched on Louisiana's southernmost tip, Grand Isle State Park beckons with pristine beaches and a laid-back island vibe. Pitch your tent directly on the sand, waking up to the sound of crashing waves. Swim in the crystal-clear Gulf waters, kayak through tranquil lagoons, or simply relax on the sun-kissed shores, soaking in the island's charm.

      Lake Bistineau

      Nestled in northwestern Louisiana, Lake Bistineau offers a haven for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Paddle through cypress swamps teeming with wildlife, cast a line for renowned bass fishing, or hike through lush forests brimming with biodiversity. Camp under the starry sky at Bistineau State Park, and wake up to a chorus of birdsong, immersing yourself in the lake's tranquil beauty.

      Kisatchie National Forest

      Sprawling across central and northwestern Louisiana, Kisatchie National Forest boasts diverse landscapes, from towering longleaf pine savannas to hardwood forests and wetlands. Hike or bike along scenic trails, spot elusive wildlife, or camp under a canopy of stars at developed campgrounds. Explore hidden waterfalls, kayak through serene waterways, and discover the hidden gems tucked away within this vast natural wonderland.

      Baton Rouge Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

      In the heart of Louisiana's capital city, Baton Rouge Swamp National Wildlife Refuge offers a surprising escape into nature. Hike or bike along scenic trails, paddle through cypress swamps teeming with alligators and other wildlife, or simply relax and observe the diverse birdlife from the observation tower. This urban oasis provides a unique opportunity to experience Louisiana's natural wonders close to the city.

      Featured Louisiana Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Louisiana

      Ditch the ordinary Louisiana vacation and hit the road in your own castle on wheels! Cruise through vibrant cities, bask on hidden beaches, and delve into nature's wonders – all at your own pace and with the comforts of home close by. Don't miss out on the freedom and flexibility that only an RV adventure can offer!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Yes, you'll need a camping permit for most state parks and recreation areas. You can usually purchase them online or at the park entrance. Some private campgrounds have their own permit systems.

      Bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, sturdy shoes, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and plenty of water are essential. Depending on your camping style, you might also want to pack camp chairs, a cooler, and a camp stove.

      Black bears are present in some parts of Louisiana, but sightings are rare near campgrounds. Still, it's good practice to store food properly and avoid leaving scented items in your tent.

      No, dispersed camping is not allowed in most areas of Louisiana. Stick to designated campgrounds to avoid trespassing or safety hazards.

      Louisiana offers a variety of unique experiences for campers. You can go on swamp tours, kayak through bayous, visit historic plantations, or attend a Cajun music festival.

      Camping fees vary depending on the campground, location, and amenities offered. State park campsites typically range from $10-$30 per night, while private campgrounds can be more expensive.

      Yes, boondocking (dispersed camping) is legal in some areas of Louisiana, particularly in national forests and wildlife management areas. The Kisatchie National Forest is a popular spot for boondocking. However, it's essential to always:

      • Check the specific rules and regulations of the area you plan to camp in. Some areas may require permits, have time limits, or restrict activities like campfires.
      • Respect private property and avoid camping on land you don't have permission to use.
      • Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.

      The answer is generally no. Alcohol consumption is prohibited in most Louisiana state parks, including all developed campsites, cabins, picnic areas, and playgrounds. There may be designated exceptions for special events or specific areas within a park, so it's best to check the park's website or with a park ranger for the latest regulations.

      The maximum stay length at Louisiana state parks is generally 14 consecutive days within a 30-day period. However, this can vary depending on the park and season. Always check the park's website or ask a park ranger for the most up-to-date information.

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