Sugar Mill Nature Trail

Fontainebleau State Park

Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

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Sugar Mill Nature Trail


  • The Sugar Mill Nature Trail begins across the street from the park's visitor center.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • Portions of the Sugar Mill Nature Trail have interpretive signs providing information on flora along the path.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • At a quarter mile into the trail, a sign marks where the Nature Trail splits from the Bayou Cane Trail. - Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • The trail traces a route that passes through longleaf pine forest en route to a wildlife overlook boardwalk.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • The trail follows a scenic and easy walking path.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • A spur heads to Alligator Marsh Boardwalk, which is built for wildlife viewing.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • Alligator Marsh Boardwalk heads into the wetland marsh, where hikers may be able to observe birds, waterfowl, alligators and nutria amidst the wetlands.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • Alligator Marsh Boardwalk.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • A young bald eagle sits on a tree branch above Alligator Marsh Boardwalk.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • Spanish moss hangs from the trees along the final portion of the hike.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
  • Though not on the trail, the actual Sugar Mill ruins sit just steps away from the trailhead adjacent to the park's visitor center.- Sugar Mill Nature Trail
Overview + Weather
Easy terrain. Wildlife viewing.
Can be muddy.
Greater New Orleans, LA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Total elevation gain: 
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
38.00 ft (11.58 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Sugar Mill Nature Trail is the shorter, and more popular, of the two hiking trails inside Fontainebleau State Park; the Bayou Cane Trail shares a trailhead with this hike.

At 1.1 miles one-way, the trail doesn't quite form a complete loop, but it leads from the trailhead area directly across the street from the Fontainebleau visitor center through the woods and emerges in the grassy lawn area just east of the large picnic pavilion near the pier and beach area. From here hikers can retrace their path to the trailhead or head up the park road back to the trailhead and cut some distance off of the trail's circuitous path. Along the way the trail passes the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk, a popular wetlands boardwalk spot for wildlife viewing.

The first portion of the Sugar Cane Nature Trail has signs naming some of the trees and flora along the route. Eventually signage disappears and the wide path heads through the woods and beneath the picturesque strands of Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees. While the trail feels like it enters deep woods, it never actually gets too far from the core of the state park. To retrace the trail back to the trailhead, the total distance would be just over 2 miles if you choose to head over to the marsh boardwalk area.

There is no water along the way, but much of the path is beneath the shade of the tree canopy.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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