Louisiana: RVing in the Bayou

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Louisiana is one state that has become synonymous with spicy foods because these are the kinds that the locals have become fond of. A typical spicy Louisiana menu will almost always be a mix of one or two pieces of blackened chicken, gumbo, trout, jambalaya, redfish, and crawfish. Yet, food is not the only staple that Louisiana can offer the average tourist. It also has its unique brand of music often called the blues, a slow and jazzy melody that is a mixture of Creole, Cajun, Spanish, and African musical influences.

Then, there are the natural attractions consisting of majestic lakes, mysterious swamps, and exotic wildlife contrasted by a host of magnificent and historic landmarks that make up the Louisiana landscape. These attractions offer various opportunities for outdoor fun, including camping, an activity that Louisiana may not be exactly famous for but is nevertheless a venture that camping enthusiasts should definitely try exploring.

Louisiana and its Regions

There are at least a thousand hiking trails scattered all across the five distinct and largely unexplored regions of Louisiana state. These trails include biking trails, fishing grounds, and bird-watching areas that collectively make up the vast outdoor potentials of this particular US state that has been appropriately nicknamed Sportsman's Paradise. The five Louisiana regions are as diverse as the culture of Louisiana itself and add to the magic and mystery that has shrouded the state through much of its history. They include Greater New Orleans, Plantation Country, Cajun Country, Crossroads, and Sportsman's Paradise.

Greater New Orleans

Found on the southeastern side of Louisiana, Greater New Orleans is a region where RV travelers will helplessly get attracted to. It offers numerous attractions that are easily accessible via motor vehicles including the Audubon Zoo and Jackson and Vieux Carre Square where antique shops abound and surrounded by a bevy of mysterious personalities like street performers, fortune tellers, and portrait artists.

Alternatively, one can try walking through the many cities of the region and spend an enjoyable time passing by several museums such as the National D-day Museum, the New Orleans Children's Museum, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art where a comprehensive and possibly the largest selection of distinctive Southern art can be seen. Additionally, there is one other museum, the New Orleans Art Museum, where a collection of rare Faberge eggs is permanently displayed.

Outdoor adventure, meanwhile, can be experienced in Northshore where thick pine trees adorn the forest landscape, and in the towns of Covington and Mandeville where rented bikes are available for cycling around St. Tammany Trace.

Plantation Country

The region is set along the southeastern tip of Louisiana and features some well-known outdoor attractions that only Louisiana is known to offer. These include the captivating Atchafalaya Basin, the Great River Road, and the grand St. Francisville hills.

Of course, driving past Plantation Country aboard an RV will not be complete without a stopover at the many plantation homes that are found all throughout the region. These homes provide significant glimpses into life during the 1800s, a particularly defining period in Louisiana history.

Plantation Country is home to Baton Rouge, the state capital, where natural swamps abound with Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center being the most prominent. Together with Prairieville, it provides the needed opportunity to explore the potential of the region for outdoor attraction.

Cajun Country

Cajun Country, a region on the southern central side of Louisiana, is perhaps the best area for RV owners to settle in and enjoy the nearby scenery. This is essential because the region boasts of several outdoor attractions that RV travelers will find quite interesting. There is the Jungles Garden with its over a thousand different species of the camellia plant, and the Bird City, considered as among the biggest egret rookeries worldwide.

Other outdoor activities that RV campers can try engaging in are fishing, specifically along the waters of the Mexican Gulf where one can also take a dip during particularly warm afternoons. For a more extensive ocean adventure, though, Lake Charles is a definite must as it perfectly combines sand, sun, and sea enjoyment. As an alternative, watching an alligator going to action ought to be fun, especially when viewed from the vast wilderness that sits just across the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.


Hiking is the prime attraction of this particular region that is appropriately located in central Louisiana. Aside from being the hometown of renowned book writer Robert Harling, what makes Crossroads an excellent area for outdoor fun is its numerous hiking trails spread out among three prominent places namely the Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail, the Kincaid Lake Recreation Area, and the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area.

The vast grounds of the Kisachie National Forest is likewise an eye-catching attraction for many RV travelers since its incredible 800,000-acre premises are suitable parking spaces. Add to that its large potential for a hiking adventure destination although RV owners should always keep an eye out for several extremely wild animals like wolves and bears.

Equally vast is the Toledo Bend Reservoir covering all of 185,000 acres which serves as a good fishing and canoeing ground. Other activities regularly engaged in at the Crossroads region are bird-watching and hunting. Collectively, they offer the best outdoor adventure for many RV-boarded family tourists.

Sportsman's Paradise

Just like Crossroads, the northern part of Louisiana has ample outdoor attractions that make it not only the ultimate paradise for many sportsmen but also a good place to park in an RV and let the wonders of nature take over the consciousness. As a start, one can try a simple boat ride across the Ouachita River with its many scenic spots. Caney Lake, meanwhile, is a popular fishing ground where trouts and bass, some of which can weigh as much as 16 pounds, are quite abundant.

Many campers are known to converge around this particular region of Louisiana, along with other nature lovers like birdwatchers and photographers. Even garden enthusiasts can find themselves absorbed in the activities at the American Rose Center where the rarest and the loveliest roses are housed amidst winding paths and sparkling brooks.

The Cities of Louisiana

Many of the major cities in Louisiana offer some very significant local attractions that every curious RV traveler should take time out to visit and explore.

New Orleans

New Orleans is admittedly among the most prominent cities in Louisiana and has many districts that cater to every particular need, making it a truly enchanting place. Part of that charm has to do with its laid-back attitude towards life in general, and this is ostensibly where most RV travelers can most benefit from.

This relaxed attitude is prevalent in many parts of New Orleans which makes RV driving fun and exciting. One can simply explore many sights in totally relaxed fashion, particularly the lower canal region which happens to be the chief shopping area in New Orleans where various department stores led by the Riverwalk Market Place can be seen.

For the average RV tourist, though, the preferred area is the Mid-City district with the City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art as main attractions although above-ground memorial parks like St. Louis Cemetery #3, Oddfellow's Rest, and Metairie Cemetery should prove to be quite interesting as well.


Lafayette city offers a unique and diverse mix of both natural and artificial attractions that should make RV driving particularly exciting. Along its southeast border, swamps can be found at the Atchafalaya Basin where tours can be arranged for a chance to see swift-moving egrets and blue herons playing games against the sun-drenched sky.

In addition, two history museums, namely, the Acadian Village and the Mississippi Mud Museum, can be seen in Lafayette town. The former features a small ancient chapel, a medical museum, and a blacksmith corner while the latter is home to an ancient dugout canoe that is said to be at least 400 years old.


This is the largest city in the Crossroads region of Louisiana and is the premiere spot for many outdoor activities since it is an area surrounded by wildlife. Camp sites litter the area since wooded sites like the Kisatche National Forest are popular hiking grounds. Additionally, it is not surprising to see people going on canoe rides in and around the nearby Kisatchie Bayou with its wild but wonderful flows.

Alexandria also happens to be a city in the Crossroads region of Louisiana that has a rich historic past. RV riders will most definitely appreciate the lessons that Hotel Bentley can provide them once they get to visit the site. The hotel, often called the Bittmore on the Bayous, is the very place where three war generals, namely, Patton, Eisenhower, and Marshall made preparations for the historic Louisiana Maneuvers, commonly considered as the practice drill for the Second World War.

Another historic Alexandrian site that is worth visiting is the Lewis Family Museum, home of many memorabilia items of the legendary 60's rock 'n roll singer Jerry Lee Lewis. The place is under the supervision of his sister, Frankie Jean Lewis.


The city boasts of the famed Ouachita River with its many fascinating scenery that literally surround its pristine waters and where boating is a highly popular activity. RV travelers, though, have the option to drive through the Biedenham Museum and Gardens where Joseph Biedenham, the Monroe pharmacist who is the original Coca-Cola bottler, officially resides. Guided tours are regularly conducted around his palatial home adorned with numerous Coca Cola souvenir items and a unique bible museum known for featuring a rare Guttenberg bible.

Visiting Time in Louisiana

The many outdoor activities found within Louisiana state are not exactly seasonal in nature. They are actually available all throughout the year since they happen to make use of a significant portion of Louisiana land. For example, Louisiana coastal wetlands are said to be the largest in the whole North American continent, making several sports activities like canoeing, fishing, and boating a year-round experience.

Louisiana also happens to have a significantly large game preserve area that has become the official home of many highly endangered bird species for years. As a result, bird watchers regularly troop to Louisiana to engage in bird watching activities with many of them opting to camp out in nearby RV park areas.

In essence, therefore, visiting Louisiana is not exactly dependent on seasons. Anytime is a best time to visit the state, with the outdoors naturally as the preferred place to see.

Land-O-Pines Family Campground

Located along Million Dollar Road in Covington, Louisiana, Land-O-Pines Family Campground is a totally RV-friendly park area as it features a huge total of some 270 RV sites where large travel trailers measuring as much as 50 feet can be accommodated. It is typically a fully hooked-up, wireless Internet accessible camping ground that also features other amenities like pools, bath houses, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic areas, a snack bar, fishing ponds, and countless others.

Nearby attractions include various antique and specialty shops in addition to numerous restaurants. What RV travelers will find highly interesting, however, are the swamp tours held at nearby Honey Island Swamp and the canoeing activities at equally near Bogue Chitto River. Alternatively, one can try visiting New Orleans which is separated from the area by a mere 45 miles of Louisiana land and the Global Wildlife Center based in Folsom town located about six miles away.

Poches Fish-N-Camp

Poches Fish-N-Camp is a pull-through RV site nestled along Sawmill Highway in Breaux Bridge Louisiana. It features 90 RV sites that it claims can accommodated all known sizes of RVs and powered by 30 to 50 amp electrical services.

Among the many features that interested RV travelers can avail of at the Poches Fish-N-Camp are a swimming pool, a laundry room, rental cabins, pavilions, and fish ponds. In addition, nearby local attractions are easily accessible since two major Louisiana cities, namely, Breau Bridge and Lafayette, are six miles and ten miles away respectively.

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