Louisiana’s State Parks

Get out of the classroom and explore history

09/03/2009  | 
outdoor adventures

Louisiana’s 20 State Parks, 16 Historic Sites, and one Preservation Area offer you and your family a uniquely rewarding experience of our state’s natural beauty and historical riches.

Each one of the State Historic Sites was selected for its historical, cultural or archaeological significance. Museums, artifacts, outdoor displays and interpretive programs are some of the ways each area tells its remarkable story.

From exquisitely maintained plantation homes and historic forts to fascinating family graveyards, river locks and a wealth of outdoor activities and scenic beauty, the State Parks and Historic Sites of Louisiana. From historic Natchitoches, founded in 1714 as the oldest European settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, to the culturally diverse Cajun Country, visitors can find some of the state’s most fascinating history.

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinville highlights the life of French-speaking cultures along Bayou Teche – both Creole setters and the Acadians from Nova Scotia – giving visitors a taste of distinctly Louisiana culture.

As with all Southern states, the Civil War made quite an impact on Louisiana. Plantation life can be revisited at a number of Louisiana State Historic sites, while yearly re-enactments bring both the glory and the horror of some of the crucial battles fought within the state.

But long before the Civil War, settlers and colonialists spread westward to stake claims for European powers. From the authentically-reconstructed forts in the northwestern part of the state, to Fort Pike State Historic Site near New Orleans, visitors are reminded of the strategic importance of the Port of New Orleans to the emerging new country and the need to protect economic lines of supply.

Archaeology and socio-economic components of Louisiana’s history also can be studied at the State Historic sites, from the examination of Native American life through newly-discovered artifacts to an experience with the music and the geographically-driven boat culture of the southern part of the state.

In addition to our Historic Sites, the Louisiana State Arboretum in Ville Platte, a State Preservation Area, offers visitors a living botanical museum with natural growth and plantings grown for scientific or educational purposes. Trees, shrubs and flowers are labeled for observation along an extensive network of trails.

For more information, call the Office of State Parks at 888-677-1400; visit www.lastateparks.com.  For reservations, call 877-CAMP-N-LA (877-226-7652) or visit

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