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Grand Isle State Park

Over 280 species of fish are known to make their home in the waters off the coast of Grand Isle.

Photo Credit - The Louisiana Office of Tourism

Grand Isle's Place in History
Since the days of Jean and Pierre Lafitte, who carried on their notorious smuggling business in these waters, Grand Isle has been on the route of commerce and industry. French exploration of the islands and subsequent settlement of sugar plantations occurred in the 1730's. Just before the Civil War, Fort Livingston was constructed across the Barataria Pass from Grand Isle State Park. It was part of a United States defense system begun by President James Monroe and protected the Barataria approach to New Orleans.

Today most business activity consists of shrimpers and other fishing boats carrying their cargo to New Orleans and markets throughout the area. And ever present are the offshore oil rigs dotting the horizon, busily extracting energy sources from below the Gulf, and incidentally providing superb fishing spots around their supporting structures.

A Fisherman's Paradise
Over 280 species of fish are known to make their home in the waters off the coast of Grand Isle. Brown pelicans--the state bird of Louisiana--dive into the water. Seagulls appear to float on the wind above the shore. Crabs nimbly scamper out of reach of the children chasing them with their nets.

This is Grand Isle State Park--a natural haven on the most popular barrier island off the coast of Louisiana. A beach ridge created by the action of the waves of the Gulf, Grand Isle serves as a breakwater between the Gulf and the network of inland channels that connect to the bayou tributaries of the Mississippi River. It is also the launching point for excellent deep-sea fishing adventures.

Every July, a Tarpon Rodeo attracts thousands of fishing competitors to these prolific waters offshore. Speckled trout can be caught by surf fishers year round, especially in the spring and summer. Redfish venture into the range of the surf fishermen in the fall and winter. Grand Isle State Park's 400-foot fishing pier is one of the highlights of the park, giving access to the waters of the surf fishermen without ever getting wet!

Recreation for the Whole Family
The warm Gulf waters are enjoyed by swimmers most of the year, and Grand Isle State Park offers an excellent location for splashing in the surf. A swimming area with a bathhouse and picnic tables is a wonderful place for families to spend the day on the shore. Near the fishing pier is the Visitor Center and another area popular for swimming and picnicking. At the Visitor Center, exhibits portray how man and nature have shaped the unique story of Grand Isle, and an observation tower gives a bird's-eye view of the coastline.

Peaceful lagoons and ponds provide more opportunities for fishing--in the water or from the lagoon's pier, equipped with a fish-cleaning station.

Birding enthusiasts will also delight in the beauty of the lagoons and the Gulf shore. This unique environment attracts numerous species of birds and other wildlife, so bring your binoculars or a camera to enjoy the opportunity to view nature unspoiled.

The camping area at Grand Isle State Park can accommodate 100 families. It's an outstanding spot for relaxing under the stars and cooking freshly caught seafood around an open campfire. A tasty batch of boiled crabs, just drawn from the Gulf, will please the group and make for a memorable time at Grand Isle. Sites with electrical and water hook-up are available, and a bathhouse provides the basic necessities for settling into the natural wonders of Grand Isle.

So take a trip to the edge of Louisiana. Fishing, birding, swimming,crabbing, sunning, boating, or just relaxing--Grand Isle State Park gives you the best of Grand Isle.

Nearby Attractions:
Charter Boats --Deep-sea fishing from snapper to marlin, along with coastal and marsh fishing for speckled trout, redfish, croaker and drum, are a fisherman's idea of heaven. For more information consult local guide services.

Historic Town of Grand Isle (On the Gulf of Mexico at the end of LA 1)--Reputed to be one of the top ten fishing spots in the world, the community offers sandy beaches, crabbing, boating, swimming,surfing, birdwatching, a lighted fishing pier and great seafood.

"Old Fishin' Bridge" (Grand Isle)--This public fishing bridge is great for trout, redfish, croaker and crabbing.

Fourchon Beach (West of LA 1 on LA 3090)--Enjoy camping and surf fishing along 4 miles of public beach with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Lafourche/Terrebonne Scenic Byway (Follows historic LA 1, US 90 and LA 24)--Linking the historic Cajun cultural areas of Houma and Thibodaux, with their sugar cane and fishing industries, historic LA 1 leads visitors down through numerous fishing communities to Grand Isle .

Wisner Wildlife Management Area (10 miles South of Leeville)--Accessible onlyby boat, this 21,621-acre area offers excellent fishing,crabbing, shrimping,birding and boating.

Fort Livingston The ruins of this historic fort, located on Grand Terre Island across Barataria Pass from Grand Isle,are visible from Grand Isle State Park.


Grand Isle State Park (P.O. Box 741, Grand Isle, LA 70358; 985-787-2559 or 1-888-787-2559) is located on the east end of Grand Isle, off LA 1 on Admiral Craik Drive.

It is approximately two hours south of New Orleans. The only state-owned and operated beach on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, Grand Isle State Park offers excellent opportunities for fishing, crabbing, sunning, camping and nature watching. To reserve a campsite, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA toll free (877-226-7652).

Email: grandisle@crt.state.la.us

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