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Discounts for Days: Louisiana State Parks are offering a 15% discount on overnight stays in cabins Mondays – Thursdays, use code GETOUTSIDE; valid annually September 1 – January 31. Click here for more information on senior and military discounts. Picnic at a Park: Fall is fast approaching, so now is your opportunity to get some fresh air and cool down in the great outdoors! Plan a picnic, take in the scenery and enjoy the fall foliage that is unique to Louisiana nature. New and Improved: Louisiana’s State Parks continuously feature updated campsites in order to offer the best experience for their visitors. Renovated campsites have recently opened at Jimmie Davis State Park after being damaged by a tornado in early 2019. New cabins have also opened at Lake Bruin State Park, with amenities including dishes and cookware, linens, WiFi, and satellite television. They’ve Got the Hookup: Enjoy full campsite hookups at Chemin-A-Haut State Park near Bastrop. These campsites will include water, electricity, and sewer utilities for guests beginning on October 11. A Trek on the Trail: Bogue Chitto State Park, with the help of the Northshore Off-Road Biking Association (NORBA), now offers 4 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails for visitors to enjoy. Perfect for those visitors looking for a little adventure. Fall Fun at Louisiana State Parks: There’s never a shortage of activities offered at Louisiana’s State Parks and Historic Sites. Check out their calendar of events for more information on Dutch oven cooking, hikes, tours and more! It’s not too late to plan your trip! Reservations can be made online at www.ReserveLaStateParks.com or by calling 877-226-7652. For more information about Louisiana State Parks visit LaStateParks.com, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.
With all the greenery that covers Louisiana’s most popular state parks, and even throughout the 2000 acres of beauty on LSU’s campus–there’s a few plants, in particular, that stand out in the Bayou State. From delicate flowers, to robust evergreens, to cypress trees there seems to be a wide variety of plants that love the Louisiana environment. Here are five native plants that you will see everywhere in the great state of Louisiana: Louisiana Phlox - Phlox divaricata This delicate lavender colored wildflower can be seen all over the state including North Toledo Bend State Park. The Louisiana Phlox grows well in partially shaded to sunny areas and blooms in the spring. This plant can be commonly seen within rocky areas and are commonly used as ground cover around Louisiana homes. The oblong leaves turn a deep burgundy during fall and winter seasons. Hybrid Louisiana Iris - Iris ser. Hexagonae This beautiful flower blooms between March-May every year and enjoys boggy sites with standing water like Chemin-a-Haut State Park. It is a highly adaptable plant that has been cultivated within many parts of the world although it originated in the Southeastern region of the United States. The Louisiana iris can do well in just about any soil condition but need to be well watered if not in a wet region. Due to the plant’s hybrid nature, the Louisiana Iris can be a wide range of colors including white, orange, purple, and burgundy. Silverbell Tree - Halesia diptera Native to Northshore areas of Louisiana, this tree blooms white bell shaped flowers each spring that dangle from its delicate stems. The showy flowers grow in clusters that look like bunches of bells welcoming in the growing season. The Silverbell Tree can be seen in areas of partial to full shade and along riverbanks or wet swampy areas. The tree can grow to become 20-30 feet tall at maturity and the leaves of this beauty turn yellow in fall as well. Gulf Coast Yucca - Yucca Louisianensis This grassy native perennial is a staple in the warm Louisiana environment. The Gulf Coast Yucca is a reliable and tough plant that can withstand the humidity of the Bayou State, including the Lafayette Area. Clumps of this plant produce white flowers that sit on tall spikes each summer. The Gulf Coast Yucca can grow up to 8 feet fall and features leaves that mainly grow from the base of the plant. Bald Cypress - Taxodium distichum This stately tree can be commonly found within the swamps of southern Louisiana. This tree excels in poorly drained areas and can be seen within swampy areas like Sam Houston Jones State Park. The Bald Cypress is a staple in the Bayou environment and is a slow growing tree. Most Bald Cypress trees grow to heights of 120 feet and have a trunk diameter of 3-6 feet. The stoutest known Bald Cypress is in the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge near Baton Rouge with a diameter of 17 feet. For more information about native plants, gardening, and lawn care in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the rest of Louisiana, visit LawnStarter.com.
Summertime is the perfect season for heading outdoors to enjoy nature. Looking for breathtaking views and outdoor adventures off the beaten path? Look no further than Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Northeast Louisiana. Perfect for an outdoor weekend escape, we’ve gathered the most picturesque places in Northeast Louisiana for you to pass a good time. Poverty Point Trail The first stop on your weekend trip is Poverty Point! Poverty Point is comprised of mounds that were built by ancient peoples living in the area before the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Tours of the mounds are available by tram, but we recommend hiking the trail! Top of the Mound Once you’ve climbed all the stairs and reached the top of the mound, you’ll have much different perspective. Snap a pic to commemorate your accomplishment. If you’ve got a drone, an overhead shot of the mounds shows the bird-shaped layout of the area! Archaeologists have different opinions on why the mounds are arranged. For more insight into the lives of these ancient peoples, visit the museum on the grounds. Golf at Black Bear Golf Course Another great way to enjoy the day is to tee off at Black Bear Golf Club. As you play your way through the course, be on the lookout for some furry players. That’s right, bears have been known to join in on the golfing fun! Even if you don’t see a bear, you’ve still got a front-row seat to some scenic views. Fishing and Catching a Sunset over Poverty Point State Park Reservoir’s Cabins Spend the day on a boat trying your hand at catching some fish on Poverty Point State Park Reservoir. With catfish, bream, bass, and white perch, you can cast a line for a variety of fish. The finale of your trip will be a magical sunset and some lakefront porch sitting. Whether you fish, hike or golf, Northeast Louisiana has the most beautiful backdrop to enjoy the summer fun. Add these activities to your itinerary and share your photogenic adventures using #OnlyLouisiana!
Did you know Louisiana is a veritable hotspot for birds and therefore birders and bird enthusiasts? Grand Isle, Louisiana in Jefferson Parish is particularly famous for its bird-watching opportunities and springtime just so happens to be the perfect time to keep your eyes peeled and your ears open to spot or hear some of our feathered friends. This year, Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island is hosting the 20th Annual Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival on April 20-22. Whether you’re an expert ornithophile and or a novice needing to break in your binoculars, this is the perfect opportunity to spot flocks taking a much-needed rest on their way back from wintering in South and Central America. Share photos with #OnlyLouisiana on your social channels, we'd love to see which birds you spotted throughout your travels in the Pelican State! &nbs
There are many recreational boaters on Lake Pontchartrain. Sailboats, yachts and mid-sized boats run up and down the shore or head east to the Gulf, but man-powered kayaks and canoes are also a popular way to traverse the vast shoreline. Kayakers can paddle straight up to the shore to spot the various wildlife in and out of the water, go fishing or compete in races. One launch point on Bayou Cane—or “Cane Bayou” to locals—sits on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain east of the Causeway Bridge. The bayou lazily meanders from the highway to the lake, past osprey nests and alligator holes. This is a preferred area to launch your vessel and head out for a day on the water. If you find it difficult accessing this sliver of nature don’t worry, Fontainebleau State Park is close by with plenty of space to carry out a canoe or kayak and take to the seas, or actually the lake in this case! Immediately noticeable on the trip from land to lake are all the trees rising above the low brush. Louisiana is known for picturesque scenery, thanks to the plentiful cypress trees. Their visible roots are known as knees and jut above the water line showcasing the root system of this incredible flora. They protect the shoreline and create fantastic imagery for pictures. Out here you can see and hear swallows, alligators, an invasive avian species called cat bird (due to its high-pitched call), turtles, Gulf sturgeon and lilies—the actual list continues far past my knowledge. Native Americans used to eat the mussels found in the lake. FUN FACT: Mussels were also known to filter the entire body of water in only 2 1/2 days. Native Americans also created middens—raised areas made of discarded shells, rocks and other natural substances along the shoreline used as trading posts. Some were small enough to only accommodate a couple of canoes while others encompassed vast areas for major trading times. Look for piles of whitewashed stones and shells piled up near the base of large trees—as if they are part of a kids’ quarry. It was here that the area around New Orleans gained its first foray into being an area of trade and cultural infusion. At times, the wind and waves on the lake can be quite cruel. The best days to kayak are those when the wind is coming off the land and make sure to plan on paddling out and back in. As always wear sun protection and bring lots of water, even if it’s overcast.