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
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.
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).
Lake Bistineau State Park