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Old 11-22-2019, 06:57 PM
 
230 posts, read 200,223 times
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Hi everybody,
I’ll be visiting New Orleans, LA the week of December 4 and would like to do some dayhiking on nature trails.
Can anyone recommend sites (e.g., state parks, wildlife refuges) within a 2-hour drive of NOLA for seeing birds and other local wildlife? Also interested in seeing interesting southeastern trees & plants (bald cypress, Spanish moss, live oak, etc.). Can anyone recommend some places to do that?
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:49 AM
 
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I used to live in New Orleans. It is surrounded by marsh. Most wildlife areas are accessible only by water. When my parents came down to visit, we took a boat tour through the swamps... bald cypress everywhere. Since you are interested in hiking, however, your best bet would be the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, which is higher in elevation than points south of the lake.

In New Orleans itself, City Park is acres big and has plenty of areas for walking, lots of live oaks, although I wouldn't vouch for its safety (it's been years since I lived in the city). Audubon Park is a nice walk, as well, and safer... and has live oaks and bodies of water with some water birds. Both are what I would call "manicured"... but it gets you off New Orleans' auto-congested streets into a degree of nature. If I remember correctly, I think you would see Spanish moss hanging from live oaks in both parks.

Last edited by Schwartzmann; 11-23-2019 at 10:00 AM..
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,348 posts, read 2,249,101 times
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You could check out Jean Lafitte State Park, it wouldn't be too far of a drive and you'd see some amazing swamp landscape. Tunica Hills is farther out (past Baton Rouge) but still an option
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:59 PM
 
361 posts, read 310,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklineBiker View Post
Hi everybody,
I’ll be visiting New Orleans, LA the week of December 4 and would like to do some dayhiking on nature trails.
Can anyone recommend sites (e.g., state parks, wildlife refuges) within a 2-hour drive of NOLA for seeing birds and other local wildlife? Also interested in seeing interesting southeastern trees & plants (bald cypress, Spanish moss, live oak, etc.). Can anyone recommend some places to do that?

You are looking for Fontainebleau State Park.



TRAILS:

4.8 mile hiking trail
1.2 mile nature trail



WIKI HISTORY:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontainebleau_State_Park





Please note its hunting season right now in Louisiana (lots of hunters moving about public lands) and the alligators are not active due to the cold weather.





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Old 11-26-2019, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of TN, AL and FL
1,304 posts, read 909,907 times
Reputation: 1994
Not gonna be much hiking, man. Anywhere in the surrounding area. That's one thing I learned the hard way when I moved to Jackson, MS (just flat as can be). Look for the state parks with hiking trails, but for the most part, it's walking, not hiking. Wildlife is scenery is a different story, and Fontainebleau is good for that.

Got to get above the I-20 corridor to find much real hiking, unfortunately. And really even farther than that.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:43 PM
 
230 posts, read 200,223 times
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Hi folks,
Thanks for your replies. I'm ok with sea-level nature walks as long as they are at least a few miles in length, Longer is better
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Bowie but New Orleans born and bred
710 posts, read 883,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
You could check out Jean Lafitte State Park, it wouldn't be too far of a drive and you'd see some amazing swamp landscape. Tunica Hills is farther out (past Baton Rouge) but still an option
I also recommend Jean Lafitte State Park. A couple years ago I took my wife on one of its natural surface trails and we saw a nice selection of wildlife.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,065 posts, read 10,734,560 times
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Jean Lafitte National Park is the best hiking around New Orleans.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:39 PM
 
230 posts, read 200,223 times
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:14 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
8,865 posts, read 13,265,528 times
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Tickfaw State Park in Livingston Parish is nice. Some of the trails are boardwalks through the swamps and forest but there's a 3.5 mile long dirt trail that follows the Tickfaw River and then curves around through the forest.

Fountainbleau is also nice and has trails along the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline.
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