Top 5 National Parks You Cannot Miss When in Louisiana (2023)
While we talk about history and serenity, Louisiana has a lot of it. Owning to the blessed geology and location, the Bayou State is blessed with high biological and geological diversity. There’s everything a nature enthusiast seeks, from swampland to woodlands, rivers, waterfalls, and longleaf pine forests. With that said, you know we are going to talk about the Louisiana National Parks. The Bayou State is home to five National Parks, of which every single one is a must-see. Perhaps most of them are an integral part of Louisiana’s history; one cannot deny their natural significance as well.
The National Parks in Louisiana helped the explorers learn how the terrain shaped the culture, art, and history. Whether you are a wilderness camper or not, the Louisiana National parks are one right stop for you. Unlike the other U.S. National Parks, nature here is quite diverse and takes you on a unique ride.
Top 5 National Parks you cannot miss when in Louisiana
So, without any further ado, let’s begin exploring Louisiana’s popular and must-visit National Parks.
1. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park And Preserve
The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park And Preserve in Louisiana is known for its rich cultural and natural resources. The Park encompasses 20,000-acres in Southern Louisiana within the Mississippi River Delta region. It is dedicated to Jean Lafitte, a French pirate and privateer. Back in his time, the region was known for silver and gold filled treasure chests, though today, it is all about places and memories.
This historical park and preserve is present over 6 locations. These include the history of the New Orleans French Quarter, wetland forests, historic battlefield, and three cultural centers. Though each Jean Lafitte’s site is located miles apart, one will require days to explore them all. But for visitors’ convenience, admission to most of the parts is free. While you are stuck about choosing your travel from Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery and Barataria Preserve are some top choices.
2. Cane River Creole National Historical Park
The Cane River Creole National Historical Park is one of the must-visit National Parks in Louisiana. With the determination to preserve the Creole plantation life of the Cane River region, it was established in 1994. Currently, this 62 acres National Historic park operates year around welcoming lakhs of visitors. One can visit the 18th-century grounds of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations. Or avail the opportunity to look closely upon the historic antebellum agricultural buildings.
Tours at the Cane river park region give insight into the entire plantation community. Not only how and when plantation takes place but also about enslaved workforces, landowners, and more. You can also take tours and learn how both plantations grew tobacco, cotton, and indigo. From free admissions to free parking, everything about this wonderful place is appreciable.
3. Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park serves two states, Delta, Louisiana, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. It is exclusive to the 1863 unforgettable Civil War Battle of Vicksburg. The Park today encompasses 1,850 acres, of which every single corner is enjoyable. Every component is explore-worthy from 1,325 historical monuments and markers to 20 miles of historic earthworks and trenches.
Visitors can drive through its 16-mile driving route and unwind the historic battlefield. You can stop at several places in between, and the tour will easily take 3 to 4 hours to complete. However, exploring the entire Park will easily take two days from your vacation. When here, do not miss the visitors center and looking at the U.S.S. Cairo, the Union ironclad gunboat that was sunk into the Yaz0o river in the 1800s. Vicksburg National Cemetery is also within the Park’s range and is a site worth exploring.
4. Poverty Point National & World Heritage Site
Poverty point is a beautiful blessing of nature and time, and one can reach here 40 miles east of Monroe. It is one of the popular National parks to visit in Louisiana and also a World Heritage Site. The site today is known as home to the largest prehistoric earthworks in the North American continent. Though nearly 3000 years ago, it was a site serving as a massive trading network within the continent. The heritage site is also an archaeological and engineering marvel of the Nation.
Visitors can tour the Poverty Point National & World Heritage Site all year round. You can choose from walking and tram tours and learn about earthworks that date from 1500 BC. The walking tour goes over 2.6 miles of hiking trails unfolding places that not many archaeologists even have been at. Before going back, do visit the visitors center/ museum, a spot full of information.
5. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Last, in the list but by far the best National Park in Louisiana, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a must-visit. The Park is located within the French Quarter of New Orleans and is an important part of the city’s tourism. To celebrate the origin and evolution of Jazz music, 1994 became the establishment year for the park. Despite it being only 4 acres, the entire space preserves the state’s musical tradition quite beautifully.
Visitors today can explore the Concert venue, the Louis Armstrong Park, and the visitors center. The Park also organizes several interpretive programs and live jazz concerts throughout the year. However, the only drawback is that there isn’t much to do at the Park without any event going on. Thus, before visiting, consider checking for a schedule for programs and events. It is only 4 minutes’ walk away from Jackson square.