National Parks / Natural World
Jean Lafitte National Park Marrero
Where are we going today?
A national park with nature, wildlife, historic sites, culture and education for kids? It can only be Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve! This amazing national park has 6 adjoining sites, each of which have their own incredible nature, wildlife and sites to experience.
The sites are miles apart, so it's good to have an idea before you arrive what you want to check out.
The Barataria Preserve is great for those hands-on displays and exhibits with 23,000 acres for amazing outdoor activities.
For those history buffs, the Calamette Battlefield is the place to be for talks and tours of that infamous 1812 Battle Of New Orleans - and if you're around in January you can even experience cannon firings, re-enactors, and exhibits about the battle and all about how it shaped the history of the USA. There is even the Cahalmette National Cemetery which is a fascinating journey.
The French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans is a place where you can look at the influences that shaped this great city, and the Acadian Cultural Center is the place to learn all about the history of the Acadian people who settled.
There are bayou boat tours and jam sessions, as well as history walks for the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, and there is music and dancing at the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center!
If it's nature you are looking for though, then it's the Barataria Preserve that you are looking for, with swamps, bayous, and wetlands. There are over 200 species of birds, as well as forests, alligators, and hiking and walking trails. An amazing immersion into nature!
For kids its a great way to learn about history, as well as fauna and flora - and gain an insight into some of the beautiful parts of the state that are so diverse.
Nature’s calling at the Jean Lafitte National Park!
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
Parks operate on differing schedules.
All year round
Each of the parks offer a learning opportunity, both on-line and on-site. Homeschooling programs are also available, and field trips are offered too! .
There isn't any food available in the park, but plenty of restaurants are available near the sites..
Why not take a picnic for the family and enjoy it in the park? Then you know it's healthy!.
Any Top Tips?
Get the kids involved in the Junior Ranger program - it's a great way to get them really take an interest in the sites and nature! .
Doing our bit
The park want to make sure that it looks after the nature and protects it, so why not help them by looking after the nature and picking up any trash that you may have. .
Need a little extra help?
Service animals are welcome at all sighs. Each of the sights have different accessibilities but all Visitor Centers are wheelchair accessible. .
It's great for kids to read up about the history of the war before they visit the site, then they can really relate when they see the battlefields and cemeteries. .
What people are saying?
by Neha Kaul
We enjoyed our short walk on a trail into the marsh. There are other (longer hikes) too. The park ranger at the visitor center was friendly and helpful. We saw a couple of small alligators and a few birds. Other than that, it was interesting to see the change in vegetation from swampland to marsh. It was useful to have bugspray and a hat. Would've been great to have binoculars.
NOTE: The only restroom is at the visitor center. It was pretty clean.
by Alex McCarthy
This was our favorite touristy thing to do. It's about 30 minutes southwest of French Quarter. And it is a bit confusing on where to park - there aren't very good signs. If you drive down to the curvy road, and enter the park at the only marked, south most entrance - there is a welcome center type thing, with bathrooms, and filtered water to fill up a nalgene bottle or whatever. Then you walk the path up to a second un-marked parking lot, and then to a final third final point. YOU NEED BUG SPRAY or long sleeves / long pants. There are weird biting...Read More
by Jules Dellinger
An excellent way to spend 15 minutes in downtown New Orleans if you're looking for something free to do which has information about the history of the area. Some of the displays are a little outdated or non-operational, but hey, it's free.
by Brian Olds
Amazing and beautiful.
by Joseph Zanders
Its fun to look at
by Alex McCarthy
This was our favorite touristy thing to do. It's about 30 minutes southwest of French Quarter. And it is a bit confusing on where to park - there aren't very good signs. If you drive down to the curvy road, and enter the park at the only marked, south most entrance - there is a welcome center type thing, with bathrooms, and filtered water to fill up a nalgene bottle or whatever. Then you walk the path up to a second un-marked parking lot, and then to a final third final point. YOU NEED BUG SPRAY or long sleeves / long pants. There are weird biting bug things that look like moths, but fly into your face/ears/arms/legs. My wife rolled her eyes when I was putting on long sleeves, in 90F weather, when we were approaching the entrance. HA! I won that one. (for once). There are well built wooden slat bridges the whole way - because you are over 2ft deep swamp water the whole time. There ARE live alligators along the paths, and snakes too. These can easily get onto the paths. And the park rangers..? Are there any? I don't know. So keep an eye our for "moving black logs". Leave your wallet in the car - this one is free.
Visited June 2014