The 2,800-acre park is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The park has two trails, including a 1.5-mile nature trail and a 4.8-mile hiking trail to Bayou Cane. The nature trail leads to a short boardwalk overlooking the marsh, then passes through the ruins of an old sugar mill. Over 400 different species of wildlife live in and around Fontainebleau. The Park is bordered on three sides by water--Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou Cane, and Bayou Castine--and characterized by a convergence of diverse ecosystems, it has a multitude of habitats for birds.
Trailhead is 1/4 mile past entrance station. $3 per vehicle
There are two trails in this park. The 1.5 mile Sugar Mill Nature Trail is a loop that has a nice boardwalk overlooking the marsh. The 4.8 mile Bayou Cane Trail is an out and back that leads to Bayou Cane.
Length: 6 Miles
Boardwalk over the marsh on the Sugar Mill Nature Trail
Both trails essentially share the trailhead, so go ahead and do the Sugar Mill Nature Trail first. The trail will loop around and bring you to a beautiful view of the marsh as you walk out on the boardwalk. You then have the option of several detours. The first one will take you out to the main road, near the playground. The next one will bring you through a beautiful old growth live oak grove. Walk through the trees and cross the road to walk past the sugar mill ruins and return to the trailhead.
Old growth live oaks near the end of the Sugar Mill trail
Back at the trailhead, take a break on the benches provided here. Continue on to the Bayou Cane Trail which is a 4.8 mile out and back. Along the trail, you will find picnic tables nestled in the trees a little off-trail. Near the middle of the trail, there is a loop so head to the right. At the top of the loop, you'll find a spur trail to the right that leads to Bayou Cane.
The trail ends with a beautiful view of Bayou Cane
If you have done both trails, you've hiked a good 6 miles. Not bad for a day-hike! The Nature trail is great for kids but they may get bored with the Bayou Cane trail. You'll find some great cabins right on Lake Ponchartrain, so consider making this a weekend getaway.