Tag Archives: Louisiana

Poverty Point National Monument

Overview

Mound builders historically settled near major rivers, especially the Ohio and Mississippi, because the floodplains provided fertile soil for farming.  However, Poverty Point was settled 3,700 years ago by hunter-gatherers so efficient they did not need agriculture to provide leisure time.  They built a city with a population estimated at 1,500 along Bayou Macon in northeast Louisiana. 

Highlights

72-foot tall Mound A, film, tram tour

Must-Do Activity

A guided tram ride with a State Park ranger is included in your admission fee, which in addition to the film shown in the State Park visitor center is the best way to learn about this site.  The tram tour does not stop to allow visitors to climb Mound A, so you will have to return in your own vehicle.

Best Trail

A stairway leads to the top of Mound A, the most impressive mound at 72-feet tall in the shape of a bird with a 70-foot wide base.  It required approximately 15-million basketloads of soil to complete.  They had no wheelbarrows or domesticated animals for assistance, so each basket was carried by hand to form the largest manmade structure in North America at the time.  No wonder this site was chosen in 2014 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Instagram-worthy Photo

The inhabitants constructed other mounds and built their houses atop concentric rings in a semi-circle D-shape facing towards Bayou Macon.  This pattern is best seen from atop Mound A.

Peak Season

The tram tour operates March through October.

Hours

https://www.nps.gov/popo/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Fees

$4 per adult or America The Beautiful pass

Road Conditions

All roads paved

Camping

There are private campgrounds nearby or 40 miles away is Chemin-A-Haut State Park.

Explore More – Why will you not find any National Park Service logos at this National Monument?

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Overview

Jean Lafitte was a New Orleans “privateer” (a.k.a. pirate) who assisted General Andrew Jackson in the fight with the British after the War of 1812 had officially ended.  In addition to three Acadian Cultural Centers spread throughout southwestern Louisiana and a small visitor center in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the NPS also offers trails and boat tours (fee) through the bayou.

Lafitte

Highlights

Barataria Preserve, Chalmette Battlefield, French Quarter, boat tours

Must-Do Activity

Every American needs to visit the French Quarter at least once in their life, but also make sure you visit the 24,000-acre Barataria Preserve to experience the bayous of Louisiana, whether you hike or take a boat.

Best Trail

South of downtown New Orleans off Highway 45 in the Barataria Preserve, keep your feet dry by hiking the boardwalks on the Bayou Coquille Trail.

Instagram-worthy Photo

Look up when hiking in the bayou to find huge spiders, like this golden silk orb-weaver.

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Peak Season

Summers are muggy and buggy, but the park’s many visitor centers are closed only two days per year: Christmas and Mardi Gras.

Hours

https://www.nps.gov/jela/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Fees

None

Road Conditions

All roads paved

Camping

None in the park, but in 2016 we camped at Bayou Segnette State Park in the suburbs of New Orleans.

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Learn about the region’s music, food, and culture at the French Quarter visitor center in downtown New Orleans.

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Exhibits in the Old U.S. Mint are free

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Hiking the boardwalks on the Bayou Coquille Trail.

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Spanish moss drapes from the trees in the humid climate of the Mississippi River delta.

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The bayou stretches for miles in the undeveloped areas around New Orleans, Louisiana.

Explore More – Which president is mounted horseback on a statue in Jackson Square?

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