Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Staying at Fountainbleau State Park

(yes, another catch up post from March)

We made a stopover at Fontainebleau on the way to New Orleans. Fountainbleau State Park is a large park that sits on the bank of Lake Pontchartrain. New Orleans, on the other side, can just be seen from the shoreline. Camping fees vary depending on the day of the week, but you can find rates here.

This park was part of the property of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, and the remains of his sugar mill are near the visitor information center. 

Dog Friendly: The park does not have off leash areas. There is a beach and walking trails, but we couldn't find a place to walk our dog that wasn't crowded. We're glad to see a park that is clearly well-loved by locals, but it was a little too packed for us!
Good to know: The RV spots are very tight, and too close together. There is also a large pavilion area and beach, so the park has continuous traffic from day visitors. We will also repeat that this park is too busy. We didn't see anyone enforcing the limit number of cars or people at a campsite, and we also saw tents pitched in areas not intended for camping. While we don't mind the occasional person wandering through our campsite, having ten cars at the next campsite and random children blithefully trooping through our campsite was a bit much!

Motorcycle Friendly: There are only a few pull through sites where you can load and unload a bike easily. The roads are paved and well-maintained, but we would recommend using caution because of the large number of day users on the park roads. 

Cell Service/Wifi: Verizon was 2-3 bars, without a booster. The park offers free wifi, but it was too slow to be usable.
Amenities: Campsites have water, electric, and a picnic table. There is also several bathhouses with toilets and showers. The showers were only lukewarm, and the water temperature cannot be adjusted. The park does have washers and dryers. When we stayed, the park had just put in new washers, which were free. The dryers still required quarters. The park does have an information center, but it was closed on the weekend we stayed there. 

Getting There: The park is right off of I-190, and well marked by signage.

Know Before You Go: This is a great park - if you like crowds and traffic! The park is expensive for a state park, and the tight, crowded spots do not offer the usual enjoyment of nature typical of these kind of parks. There seems to be a problem with enforcement; from speeding and traffic, to too many occupants and cars at RV spots
Local Stuff: There is both a Rouse's and a Walmart about 20 minutes from the park. The park is in St. Tammany Parish, and there are quite a few things to do on "the North Shore." The causeway across the lake to New Orleans is also nearby, so it's an quick drive to New Orleans!


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