If this is your first time here – WELCOME! If not, welcome back!! As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Off The Beaten Path series where we explore the hidden treasures in every state. We love the big popular attractions like everyone else, however, there is just something incredible about discovering something unique and different. Our goals are to find the most unexplored places, and take those roads less traveled. We certainly can’t explore them all, so we’d love you to share your own off the beaten path stories with us. Each series will include at least one epic boondocking / free camping area, with GPS coordinates.
One of the things we loved about Louisiana was the history. I know we say that a lot in our blogs. Most of this blog will be filled with the history we found! The plantation houses and the “fort ruins” were just not something you can capture in a photograph. We visited down town Baton Rouge and got to see the old and the new capital buildings. Tip: If you go into the new capital building (pictured above), you can get to the very top and look out over the whole city. Unfortunately they were closed to the public the day we went due to Mardi Gras. Darn it! The old State Capitol looks like a true old castle. The new building is a little more modern but still pretty impressive!
Cypremort Point State Park
This 185-acre park is right on the edge of Vermillion Bay. It offers beautiful views and awesome places for you to take out your boat or kayak and enjoy the water. A very off the beaten path place, with not a lot of visitors. Sunset is amazing!
The Tree of Life
Located in New Orleans’ Audubon Park. The real secret when visiting the Tree of Life is realizing that it has a common boundary with one wall of the Audubon Zoo, specifically that of the giraffe cage. So if if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a giraffe! Happy giraffe spotting!
Named for the explorer soldier Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Fort Pike was built to defend the city of New Orleans from invasion by sea. It’s another fascinating piece of our history, not to mention how incredible the ruins are. Badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina, the site had been reopened to the public – but due to further damage incurred during Tropical Storm Isaac in 2012, the site is currently off limits. Tip: The site is located off US 90, approximately 23 miles east of downtown New Orleans. It is also accessible from I-10 via LA 11 South, and turning left on US 90. Permanently closed due to funding. At the boat ramp there is an area you can gain access. Locals do not mind, but please be respectful. We already see vandals have been in making their mark. So sad!
SPEAKING OF RUINS
This abandoned Civil War fortress is slowly being swallowed by the waters of Lake Borgne. Looks like the ruins of a castle. And I guess, it kind of was! It rises up out of the shallow waters of Lake Borgne, actually dating back only to between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. But rather than being a base that was abandoned after being routed, this stronghold was never even used. You gotta read the crazy history on this!
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Nothing too special about this other than it was just fun to cross! Depending on where you’re coming from or where you’re going to when you leave, you may find yourself driving across this massive causeway. The world-record holder for the longest bridge stretching continuously over water. FUN FACTS: The bridge is so long that motorists lose sight of land for an eight-mile stretch, and drivers have been known to freeze out of some kind of false seaborne fear, at which point the police have escorted them off the bridge. Babies have been born on the causeway when their mothers failed to make it to the hospital on the other side. And an airplane once ran out of gas over the lake, eventually landing safely on the bridge.
The Best Punch Buggy in All Of Louisiana
This folk art style car almost looks more like a painting than it does an automobile. The awesome little VW is privately owned, created and driven by local artist Kelly Israel. It is not on display and it is not up for sale, you just have to be lucky enough to spot it going down the road once in a while. We were not lucky enough! Will you be? Keep your eyes open and your cameras ready! PHOTO CREDIT TO HARROD BLANK. We hope to get our own photo one day!
The Myrtles Plantation
It is said to be one of the most haunted houses in the entire country that comes with a seriously dark past involving the poisoning of two children. It’s also said to be located right on top of an Indian burial ground. Talk about a double-whammy. The plantation is still open and functions as a bed and breakfast for paranormal enthusiasts. We did not stay here but it’s sure a beautiful home on the outside!
I wanted to mention this for more experienced hikers! The Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area. If you’re wanting to see waterfalls you’ll need to visit during the rainy season, and that varies! So we hear it’s a very beautiful area, with some pretty amazing pools and waterfalls. We aren’t skilled enough to consider ourselves experienced hikers.
Caddo Lake boarders Texas and Louisiana. We technically put our kayak in the water in Texas. But we stayed in Louisiana. So I wanted to mention it. Absolutely the best place to kayak if you’re wanting to kayak through Cypress trees. We saw not one person that day on the water! The best place to put your kayak in is the Caddo Lake WMA in Texas. But get your permit online. It was $12 and we were checked!
- This technically wasn’t boondocking but we wanted to mention it. We stayed at Earl Williamson Park in Oil City. It was $12 per night with water and electric. Very nice, spread out spots. And there was a dump station at the park. We were in site #1 right on the water. GREAT place to camp! GPS: 32.728805, -93.974796
- Hollywood Casino – GPS: 30.451536, -91.191433 // I know casinos aren’t the best place to stay but this place was great. You can stay up to 3 days (though they ask you how long you want to stay and lots of people stay longer than 3 days and they are ok with it). We went in to play our $10 free play they give you (we aren’t much into gambling) and we won’t $100, plus 2 free brunches the next day valued at $17 each. We loved it here! Go inside to the information desk and get your pass. Free and easy!
- Cloud Crossing – Goldonna, Louisiana – GPS: 32.083328, -92.90667 – Very clean! Open year round (but watch for flooding season) Easily accessible gravel road, restrooms, water spigots and trash bins. A lot of the RV sites have a level gravel pad. Good cell service is a bonus for us. We work remotely!
- There are Several places to boondock in the Kisatchie National Forest. Oak Camp – GPS: 31.515213, -93.060478 has trash and vault toilets. Also Curtis Camp – A great place for a big rig for sure!! GPS: 31.541697, -93.027016 located off Forest Road 341 Natchitoches, Louisiana
Thank you! We appreciate all the wonderful messages on our blogs. If you feel this brought you some value, please share it! Do you want to check out another state in our series? If you go to our main blog page, there is a search button to the right. You can put in the state you’re looking for, and it’ll come up. Thank you again and don’t forget to live simply, give more and expect less!