Louisiana is known as Cajun country, where the land there was formed from sediment washed down by the Mississippi River, forming huge deltas and massive areas of coastal marsh and bayous with alligators and tree frogs and trees lined with spanish moss. Ibis and egrets fly through longleaf pine forests and wet savannas are filled with orchids, pitcher plants and sundews. Camping in Louisiana is an experience like no other. Whether it’s by RV, tent or just under the starlit sky, camping in Louisiana is an adventure unlike anywhere else in the United States.
But it’s not all wetlands and marshes. Enjoy the best of coastal camping in Louisiana’s beachside community of Grand Isle. Located where Highway 1 meets the Gulf of Mexico, it’s the closest Louisiana beach from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, making these destinations a convenient day trip while you’re camping.
Grand Isle is, in fact, an island and a town, with small, locally-owned shops and a state park just made for camping. With 63 sites available, Grand Isle State Park is a great place to camp on the beach and cook the seafood you just caught during July’s Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, an event that brings together the best saltwater fishermen in the world. Or, if you like bird watching, the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival offers plenty of opportunities to see a myriad of bird species return home from South America. Of course, there’s plenty of swimming, hiking, crabbing and boating in Grand Isle as well.
Another great place for camping in Louisiana is Tunica Hills, which belongs to the Bluff Hills portion of the Mississippi Valley Loess Plains and extends from the Natchez, Mississippi area to St. Francisville, Louisiana. Managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Tunica Hills Wildlife Area is northwest of St. Francisville and covers more than 5,900 acres of rolling hills and scenic beauty.
Remember when I talked about the wetland and marshes? Tunica Hills isn’t anything like that; in fact, it’s unlike any other area in Louisiana. In Tunica Hills, you’ll find springs and waterfalls, rugged terrain, cliffs 90 feet high, deep gorges and lush, diverse plant life and animals you won’t find anywhere else in the state.
And while Tunica Hills is known for hunting, a variety of other activities offer campers plenty to do such as horseback riding, hiking, ATV riding and sightseeing. And if you’re a birding enthusiast, then you’ve hit the jackpot because rare birds such as the Coopers hawk and worm-eating warbler live within the thick forests there. It’s no wonder John James Audubon was inspired to paint his famous bird series there in the early 1800s.
Louisiana is full of other places to go camping. Don’t worry, we’ve got more recommendations. And while you’re camping in Louisiana, you might as well cook like you’re in Louisiana.
Let us know how your experience in Louisiana was by leaving a review of your campground on The Dyrt.
This campground is one of the few full hookup campgrounds in the Lake Charles area that has paved sites. It is clean and well maintained. There are two bathrooms with showers that have keypad access. The laundry room is clean but expensive with small washers. Cable is available at all sites as well as WiFi. No other amenities.
This campground is nice because its super close to everything. I stayed there while I was doing some community service in New Orleans, and it was very convenient. It's about 25 minutes from the French Quarter.
If you're visiting the city, make sure to check out the parks, some cool cemeteries, Jackson square, coffee from Cafe Du Mond, and all the other random stuff there is to do in NOLA.
I also really recommend trying to do some community service if you're visiting. Some of the communities out there are still really devastated from the hurricane, even this many years later. Meeting people out there and hearing some of their stories was really eye opening for me.
This is a really nice state park and campground. It's located right on Lake Pontchartrain, which is really beautiful and nice for swimming, fishing, canoeing. They have some really nice tent sites, nice bathrooms, pavilions, picnic tables. There are also cabins that you can rent if you want. The beaches are cool, there are some nice hiking and biking trails.
Of course, being right near New Orleans, there is plenty to do. Taking a boat tour through some of the swamps is really cool. Plus, you get to find out a little about the history of the city. Taking a bike tour around the city is really cool as well. I learned so much about the history of New Orleans when I did it! Just a really awesome city full of culture and weirdly awesome stuff.
Beautiful is an understatement! We camped right on the beach. The beach was very clean, but the ocean was a little dirty from the flooding. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises. We saw baby dolphins and crabs. Only wish we could’ve drove up on the beach as well. Showers/bathrooms were spotless!
This was a great camp that was just off the main road outside New Orleans. We got there and realized we needed a permit. So we went to Walmart down the road and paid $3 for a wma permit for lousiana. Stayed one night with no problems. It was free but for the permit and lots of open space. Camped under the trees.
If you know about the Bayou and the beauty it has to offer, this can be a great place from which to explore. The friends who came out here with me were disappointed by the murky, swampy, okay just-plain-brown waters. I, on the other hand, was totally enchanted by the trees and the swamp. If I could do it again, I'd take kayaks in order to access the kayak-only campsites. Other than that, most of their offerings are overly developed for my taste (read RV). There are kayak rentals nearby and during the summer there is a splash pad area for keeping cool. I was here a few years ago, I hear it is still recovering from the floods that hit shortly after our visit. Would be worth checking in to make sure all infrastructure is back up. the bugs are gnarly, no getting around it.
Primitive camping along the 10mi Backbone trail. Took out the hammock and camped out around the halfway mark along the trail. You can set up shop around an old fire pit or make one of your own. I chose the latter. The backbone trail has to be the prettiest trail in the state of Louisiana. It's really the only place in the state to experience actual hills. It reached 23 degrees at night which was one of the coldest temperatures recorded in the state this year. A must do!
Chicot State Park is located near Ville Platte, Louisiana. It’s a nice place to hangout for the day. This park has bathrooms and showers, electrical outlets, and clean facilities. The campsites are a mixed bag - some are great, others are extremely unlevel, & close to one another.
The park itself is great. Awesome hiking trails, good fishing, and great scenery! There’s a decent sized lake with some good fishing. I recommend kayaking at this park!
You can not camp at the day use area. There is a path from the northshore campground to the day use area.
**See review of Valentine Lake Northshore campground **
This area does have vault toilets, trash recepticles, picnic table and a pier. Beautiful place.
**see Loran Complex campground **
This day use site is connected to the campground. There is no camping at the day use area. There are 4 multiuse trails that lead out of this area. There are vault toilets and trash recepticles but NO WATER! Huge parking area and also shaded grills and picnic tables.
This site is PERFECT for hiking or biking the multiuse trails. Inside the Kisatchie National Forest, Evangeline District. Well defined, marked sites with firepit, picnic table, lantern ring, but NO WATER. there are vault toilets available, but NO WATER. Also, be sure to check out Camp Claiborne while here. The sites are well shaded, even, spacious, and far enough away from your neighbors that you have the sense of privacy.
We were pleasantly surprised by the nice views, great tent campsites, cold river access, and access to restaurants even though camp feels remote. At night there was a lake nearby you could see the alligator’s eyes glowing - kids thought that was cool. Great swimming- but river had very strong current so kids wore Life jackets. This area is hilly and has a different appearance than most state parks I’ve been to in LA. The restrooms/shower access are a short walk and kept very clean.
Inside the Kisatchie National Forest, Evangeline District lies this peaceful little oasis. Water, flush toilets, seclusion, lake, and fishing. This was an amazing spot to stay for a few nights. The sites are either on the lake or not, no reservations, picnic table, fire ring, lantern pole and shade. The only complaint I have with this campground is that you can not put your tent on the grass. Make sure you have padding.
There is not much to this campground. Located inside the Kisatchie National Forest, Evangeline District. As soon as you enter the area, there is a small loopped grassy area with lots of trees. Nothing else to indicate a campground (other than the sign). If you follow the road/concrete path, you may lose a tire or axil bc the road is in BAD condition. Staying here gives you access to the forrest and multiuse trails.
This is probably my favorite place to visit in Louisiana. The primitive camping sites are on little peninsulas just big enough for you and your group, so it's truly private. The lake has always been calm when I go, with maybe 1 or 2 kind and considerate boaters.
The park is nice and quiet. Staff is nice. The grass and grounds are kept up very well. There’s picnic tables and fire pits. Laudromat is on site. RV spots are large. The playground and bathroom could use a little attention though.