Ah, the great outdoors. There’s something magical about getting in touch with our natural sides and spending an evening or two outdoors. Maybe it’s the fresh air? The smell of trees? The swarms of mosquitoes? The one thing about camping we all can agree on is there is never a shortage of bonding moments, or stories to tell when you get back to civilization. So, unpack the tent, spark up the fire, and break out the marshmallows because #FrayLife is here with our guide to the best camping spots within a few hours of New Orleans.
Grand Isle State Park
Grand Isle, LA
Distance from the Dome: 109 miles (~ 2hr drive)
It is a camping trip and beach getaway all rolled into one! At Grand Isle you can swim, fish, crab, boat, sunbathe, hike, and relax, all in one day. It’s also a great launching point for deep-sea fishing. They have improved campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as beach tent campsites for the extra adventurous.
De Soto National Forest: Black Creek
Distance from the Dome: 116 miles (~2hr drive)
Black Creek runs 30 miles across the De Soto Forest, making it perfect for a full weekend of canoeing and camping. You can also enjoy over 60 miles of woodsy hiking trails, as well as ATV, horse, and bicycle trails. Primitive camping is allowed along the river, as well as in the Black Creek Wilderness Area.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park
St. Martinville, LA
Distance from the Dome: 140 miles (~2hr 20min drive)
Located in the incredibly diverse Atchafalaya Basin, The Lake Fausse area has housed Chitimachas, French, Acadians, Spaniards, and Isleños. Hike and canoe in the state park, then head over to St. Martinville for a tour of this historic area. Primitive, improved, and premium campsites are available, as well as cabins.
Homochitto National Forest: Clear Springs
Distance from the Dome: 150 miles (~2 hr 30min drive)
The pine-covered hills of Homochitto offer a big change of terrain from the flatlands of Southern Louisiana. Make camp at the 12-acre, spring-fed lake Clear Springs and from there you can hike our mountain bike on four different trails, as well as swim and fish. Primitive and improved campsites are available.
Chicot State Park
Ville Platte, LA
Distance from the Dome: 170 miles (~2hr 45min drive)
Scenic Lake Chicot lures outdoor enthusiasts and from all over the state. A 20-mile hiking trail circles the lake, and there’s also an 8-mile canoe trail. Stay in one of the primitive campsites all along the water, one of the many improved campsites, or indulge in one of the available cabins.
Palmetto Island State Park
Distance from the Dome: 160 miles (~3hr drive)
Canoe and kayak (rentals available) on the interior lagoons of the Vermilion River for an up-close view of native Louisiana wildlife, and hike the Cypress Nature Trail. There are plenty of improved and primitive campsites, as well as cabins for those not as keen on roughing it.
Lake Claiborne State Park
Distance from the Dome: 336 miles (~5 hr 15min drive)
Spend a weekend hiking the many, forested nature trails, swimming and boating on the 6400-acre lake, and sunbathing on the sandy beach. Make sure not to miss the two Frisbee Golf courses, which are ranked the top two in the whole state. Primitive campsites, improved campsites, premium campsites, and cabins are all available.
Where are your favorite spots to pitch your tent? Share with us in the comments, and make sure to tag #FrayLife and #NOLAFray in all your social camping adventure posts.
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