Renting an RV in Louisiana

Louisiana is a state full of fun characters, gorgeous sights, and diverse history. Because of the Mississippi River delta and the Gulf, the state has tons of marshland, as well as brackish (that’s a blend of fresh and saltwater) areas. This diverse geology makes it a gorgeous place to visit and enjoy their outdoors—and there’s no better way to do that than in an RV.

Outdoor recreation plays a big role in Louisiana, with many specific areas dedicated to outdoor preservation. These areas are perfect for visiting if you have an RV. When you rent an RV in Louisiana, you’re immersing yourself in a rich culture, experiencing hundreds of years of history, and seeing a biodiverse area that’s itching for you to get out there.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Wetland refuges are important to Louisiana, with so many seabirds and amphibians and reptiles that call the areas home. Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is one of these places. It plays home to various ducks, pelicans, herons, and other migratory waterfowl. If you’re not into birdwatching already, you might be after you come here.

Like many of the wild areas in Louisiana, it’s a popular fishing and hunting spot. But more than that, it’s a place for several endangered species to thrive. Leatherback turtles, green, and other sea turtles, Atlantic sturgeon, and the West Indian Manatee are all located here. You can also get a good look at alligators sunning themselves during the spring and summer.

Learn more about Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife refuges are the perfect place to see and enjoy nature—especially wildlife. Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge is a place for many migratory and other waterfowl to happily live, but other creatures call the refuge home as well. You’ll likely see gators, turtles, bobcats, and armadillos around. Keep an eye up and you may even spot a bald eagle.

Viewing birds is one of the refuge’s most popular activities, but its complex system of trails makes it a popular location to simply walk and enjoy nature. Boardwalks and observation decks make this easier. Otherwise, hunting and fishing (in season) are also enjoyed in the refuge. Even an occasional boat trip can be a way to see these creatures in their element.

Learn more about Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte was a notorious French pirate in and around the Gulf of Mexico. He’s become a kind of folklore hero in southern Louisiana, and this park pays tribute to him. But the park itself isn’t all about Lafitte. It actually looks at the history of Louisiana and its many unique cultures over time.

The Lafitte National Park and Preserve isn’t just one site: it’s made up of six places with a headquarters in New Orleans. The Barataria Preserve in the Mississippi River Delta region is one of the most outdoors-focused parts, with trails and canoe paths twisting through the area. For a history lesson, visit Chalmette Battlefield and the nearby cemetery. And to learn more about Cajun traditions, language, and culture, visit any of its three cultural centers. Admission to all of the Lafitte centers is free, and because they’re spread out, it’s an easy way to enjoy a lot of Louisiana while learning more about it.

Learn more about Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

4. Fontainebleau State Park

Louisiana is more than just its shrimping and fishing industry. Back in the day, it was a farming hotspot as well. Fontainebleau State Park is on the site of an old sugar plantation. And while the plantation is gone today, you can still see many of the original brick structures. Fontainebleau State Park sits on Lake Pontchartrain, a massive brackish estuary.

Fontainebleau is particularly well known for its canoeing and kayaking. Streams are full of native fish and cypress trees line the banks. On the mainland, the park has hundreds of old, moss-draped oak trees—a quintessential state park of the marshy south. Fontainebleau has over 130 campsites and is near New Orleans, making it a perfect place to set up camp. 

Learn more about Fontainebleau State Park

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Louisiana is a great place to easily immerse yourself in nature. Like at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where you can view a 1,700-acre lake, walk through a cypress marsh, see bottomland hardwood forests, and more. Throughout the park are observation decks, boardwalks, and a nature center to make the area very accessible to everyone.

Canoeing and kayaking on the lake are very popular, as is birdwatching. You’ll see other wildlife as well. Are you an angler? Then you’ll probably enjoy fishing on Black Bayou Lake, catching largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. Keep an eye peeled, and you may also spot an alligator.

Learn more about Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

At 23,000 acres and technically located inside New Orleans limits, Bayou Sauvage is the largest urban wildlife refuge in the country. Like most of the wildlife refuges in Louisiana, it’s made up of a diverse number of habitats making for great hiking and spotting wildlife.

From freshwater marshes to brackish marshes to hardwood forests, all of the habitats depend on refuge managers to maintain its wetlands. It sits behind man-made levees made to protect the area from hurricanes, meaning that natural water flow is interrupted. Take an educational tour of the area to learn about the complex way humans manage the area to keep it safe for over 340 species of bird, alligators, deer, and more.

Learn more about Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

7. Kisatchie National Forest

It’s the only national forest in Louisiana, but Kisatchie is a doozie. At over 600,000 acres, opportunities to explore are practically endless. You’ll find some of the best and most scenic views in all of Louisiana in this forest.

All of your favorite outdoor activities happen here: mountain biking, bird watching, swimming, boating, hunting, nature viewing, and of course, there are over 100 miles of hiking trails. There are five different ranger districts within the forest, and each of them offers a certain number of camping sites, each with plenty to enjoy all around it.

Learn more about Kisatchie National Forest

8. Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Louisiana is home to a unique culture not found in many other parts of the US: Creole. This land was their home for over 200 years, where they owned and worked the land (as both tenants and slaves). The park preserves their way of life and gives us a view into the Creole history in the area, and the importance of the Cane River.

 

Two plantations sit on the land: Oakland and Magnolia. Oakland is open to the public daily, for self-guided and guided tours, including one of the plantation houses. There are over 60 buildings still on the site that can be viewed. Magnolia is only open by reservation and features a blacksmith shop, tenant cabin, and gin barn.

Learn more about Cane River Creole National Historical Park

9. Bayou Segnette State Park

Louisiana is particularly proud of its bayous—it’s the marshy areas where rivers let out. There are many here, and they’re popular spots for wildlife to hang out. Bayou Segnette is a relatively small park, but a great one for overnight camping.

Not only will you find a multitude of wildlife, but you’ll also find a lot of other activities to keep you and your traveling companions entertained. Boating, fishing, canoeing, picnicking, and even swimming in the park’s unique wave pool. Avid angler? You can enjoy both fresh and saltwater fishing thanks to the park’s location. Stay the night: you’ll find 98 campsites with full hookups. 

Learn more about Bayou Segnette State Park

Caddo Lake

Technically straddling the state line between Louisiana and Texas, Caddo Lake is a massive body of water, a protected wetland, and contains one of the largest flooded cypress forests in the country.

Like any body of water, it’s important for wildlife, and you’ll spot things like alligators, snakes, otters, beavers, eagles, and owls in the area. Around the lake, you’ll find hiking trails, plus there’s plenty of recreation on the water itself: kayaking, canoeing, and fishing among the cypress trees are all great fun.

Learn more about Caddo Lake

Campgrounds and RV Parks in Louisiana

Many of the parks in Louisiana (except for some historical parks) offer some kind of camping or overnight stays, many of them including full RV hookups. These camps are the best way to experience the parks and see what nature is like not just during the day but at night as well.

Many campsites fill up quickly, and it’s increasingly rare to pull up to a park and expect to find a space available for you—especially during the height of the season. Many parks take reservations for their campsites. Check ahead and see if the park you intend to stay at requires them.

If you can’t stay in a particular park, you’ll still find many campgrounds and RV parks around the state parks that will be happy to have you and offer plenty of other amenities that the state parks themselves may not. Good Sam maintains a list of RV parks in Louisiana worth checking out.

Things to Note About Camping in Louisiana

Louisiana has a lot of swampland, and that means a lot of bugs—namely, mosquitoes. If you’re out hiking, you’ll likely be bothered by them. Pack bug spray and reapply frequently.

While it’s not common for alligators to bother humans, it’s not rare to come across them on occasion. Gators probably won’t have any interest in you. But if you’re traveling with small pets, keep a close watch on them if you’re camping near any type of swampy or marshy area.

 

Another reptilian nuisance in Louisiana is snakes. Copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes are all in Louisiana and love its forested and marshy areas. Keep an eye out when you’re hiking, and consider getting a pair of hiking boots that cover your ankles—just in case. 

In the summer, Louisiana can get hot. And not just hot, but humid too. If you’re out and about, bring lots of water with you. Pack and wear breathable, moisture-wicking clothes as well.

Dry Camping or Boondocking in Louisiana

Louisiana has acres upon acres of public land, which makes for great boondocking opportunities. Boondocking or dry camping is setting up camp in an RV without any hookups—you rely on your water tank and usually a generator for power.

Boondocking is fun, albeit a different experience than regular RVing. If you’re new to the rental RV game, it might not be for you. But if you’re looking for a way to get out of the packed camps, give it a shot. You can legally camp on public lands in Louisiana, and it’s encouraged. Be careful, though: you don’t want to find yourself stranded in a swamp, because your RV is not an off-road vehicle. 

Why Renting an RV in Louisiana Is the Way to Go

Louisiana has some of the most unique land features in the United States. Its deltas, river, marshes, swamps, and the gulf make it a perfect state to see from an RV. Not only are you able to see all of what Louisiana has to offer, but you can also stay right in the thick of it. Camping in nature, while still enjoying the comfort and safety of an RV, makes renting an RV an enjoyable way to take a vacation.

There are other benefits to renting an RV as well. If you’re not quite ready to buy one, or just want to dip your feet in the water, renting an RV is a nice way to get acquainted with one. Once you’re ready to buy, we’re here to help.

Limited vacation time? Or trying to plan a trip on the fly? Renting an RV is a sure way to get on the road quickly, so you can enjoy all of the sights and sounds Louisiana has to offer without wasting time on a sales lot beforehand.

10 Unforgettable Places to See in Louisiana in Your Rental RV

Louisiana is extremely biodiverse. And because it’s a large state that varies from the north to the south, it can be hard to plan your trip to take in everything you want to see. Areas along the river, wildlife refuges, the delta, swampland, and other places make Louisiana a popular place, and we’ve put together 10 spots that should be on the top of your list.

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