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LA State Parks:

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Fontainebleau State Park

67825 Highway 190
Mandeville, LA 70448
985-624-4443 or 888-677-3668

October 22-28, 2009
Our family was celebrating my niece's wedding which actually took place in Oregon in August, but this was the "Southern Celebration" for those of us that could not make it there at that time. I hadn't been back to the state of my birth since my dad died in 2002, and it was really nice to reconnect with parts of the family I hadn't seen in longer than that. The dinner was at a very nice restaurant right on Lake Pontchartrain, and when I looked to see what was a good nearby campground, I saw that Fontainebleau State Park was less than 5 miles away and jumped at the chance to live among nature while there.

Here I am in Site #82, a pull through in what's designated as the "New Campground." This site had 30 amps and water, but no sewer. The only problem I had with this site is that the front yard filled up with water during the rain that came down during a couple of the days I was there. Site map of this area.

Sites 73, 74, 75 and 76 all have sewer hookups.

Looking down the road that starts with Site #78 on the left. Site map of this area.
After exploring around a bit, I think this row from Sites 4-22 would be my preference. All are large pull-throughs and the "front yard" side faces the woods. Here you see Site #16, with Site #12 ahead with a smoky campfire. In talking with one of the ladies at the office, she said #8 seems to be the favorite for reservations. Site map of this area.

The view past the flower bed shows the row containing sites starting with #5 on the right and #60 on the left.

The dump is to the left and I liked how it's set up to be able to dump from either side, coming in or out of the campground.

Sites 99-143 comprise what's called the Old Campground. However, all of these sites now have 50 amps, whereas it's still in the works getting that upgrade at the New Campground.

Site map of area. (I don't know why these are all marked with tents, because these sites accommodate even the largest RVs.)

I spoke with Frank Jones, Recreation Area Manager, and he said most groups prefer this area because they can be closer together, the ground sits higher up and is more open, affording better satellite TV reception.

There's a second dump in this area, also.

Reservations must be made through Reserve America. Note that there are reservation fees ranging from $3.00 (walk-in) to $9.00 (by phone) for each site, whether walk-in or reserved in advance. Golden Age/Golden Passport holders get 50% off. While stays are restricted to 14 consecutive days, during the winter months from October 15 - March 31, longer stays are permitted.

It was interesting to see the pictures of the campground following Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Gustav. Large parts of the park were covered with 4' of water with lots of huge, downed trees. I talked with LeRoy and Jessie, camp hosts here for the last four seasons. They say they love the park because of the natural beauty and the friendly people and rangers. They didn't have it with them, but they have a picture of an alligator floating by an RV site following Katrina! However, it was also the first affected park that was back online and while there is still evidence of the damage, particularly on the nature trail, I was amazed at how resilient we can be in the face of such destruction.
Free wi-fi is available throughout the campground. Even though my Verizon aircard worked fine, I checked out their system and could get online easily that way, also.

Links to what others have said about Fontainebleau:

Click arrow for a walk along the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk

Malia's 2 cents: Since I have been in an RV park for so long in the midst of downtown Austin (currently with construction going on at either side of me), the dark and quiet nights were particularly welcome to me at this point. I was reminded again of the things I really love about RVing - nature trails, friendly RVers and helpful rangers.

Location: 4 miles east of Mandeville; approximately 38 miles to New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

From I-12, exit at US 190; continue east approximately 5 miles to turnoff to park on LA 1089.

GPS coordinates: N 30.34523 / W 90.02269°

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