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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve

Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve

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  • The visitor center at the Chalmette Battlefield offers exhibits and rangers ready to answer questions.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • Exhibits inside the Chalmette Battlefield Visitor Center offer history on the War of 1812 and the significance of the Battle of New Orleans in the war.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • An obelisk stands in tribute to the soldiers who fought at the Battle of New Orleans. Visitors are welcome to climb the 122 steps up the spiral staircase to the top of the obelisk.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • Informational signs placed around the historical battlefield.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • The historical Chalmette Cemetery is adjacent to the Chalmette Battlefield.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • The Barataria Preserve has a visitor center along with miles of boardwalk trail for visitors to see a swamp wildlife area.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • The visitor center at the Barataria Preserve has exhibits, a film, and rangers on hand to answer any questions that visitors may have.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • Boardwalk trail through the swamp at the Barataria Preserve. The most accessible trail begins immediately behind the visitor center. - Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • A picnic table in the Pecan Grove area near the Environmental Education Complex at the Barataria Preserve.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • The Marsh Overlook Trail at the Barataria Preserve gives visitors a chance to see alligators in the wild if the conditions are right.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • An alligator suns itself along the Marsh Overlook Trail at the Barataria Preserve.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
  • A boardwalk along the Ring Levee Trail near the Pecan Grove section of the Barataria Preserve.- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park + Preserve
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Variety of activities. Beautiful examples of swamp trails.
Cons: 
Multiple locations.
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Region:
Greater New Orleans, LA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is unlike most national parks; rather than occupying a single location, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve has six different locational components that make up the park and preserve. These locations are the Barataria Preserve, Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, French Quarter Visitor Center, Acadian Cultural Center, Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, and Prairie Acadian Cultural Center.

Jean Lafitte was a French pirate in the Gulf of Mexico during the early 19th century. He and his brother, Pierre Lafitte, smuggled and distributed goods from New Orleans before moving their operation to an island in Barataria Bay in the first decade of the 1800s. An American Naval force captured most of Lafitte's fleet in 1814, and ultimately it offered Lafitte and his men a pardon if they would help defend New Orleans against British attack in the War of 1812. 

Aside from the different locations, some of which are several hours away from the others, each site has a slightly unique feel and aim to it, yet the theme that connects all locations is an effort educate visitors on Cajun and Acadian culture.

Barataria Preserve (6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero LA 70072 | 504.689.3690): The preserve has a visitor center and 23,000 acres of marsh, swamp and hardwood forest with walking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities. The visitor center and parking lot gates are open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The preserve offers ranger-led walks and has over 200 species of birds and mammals throughout its area. Additional information can be found here.

Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery (8606 West St. Barnard Hwy, Chalmette LA 70043 | 504.281.0510): This was the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans, which many cite as a symbolically decisive moment in the British retreat of the war. Today the battlefield has a visitor center with displays and rangers and a 122-step obelisk tribute to soldiers. The cemetery is the final resting place for many soliders, though only a single person interred in the cemetery participated in the Battle of New Orleans. Battlefield and Cemetery hours are from about 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Additional information can be found here.

French Quarter Visitor Center (419 Decatur Street, New Orleans LA 70130 | 504.589.2636): Lying within the protected historic district of the New Orleans French Quarter, the visitor center shares the history, traditions and culture of the lower Mississippi River Delta through displays, film, and ranger-led talks and presentations. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information can be found here

Acadian Cultural Center (501 Fisher Road, Lafayette LA 70508 | 337.232.0789): The Acadian Cultural Center tells stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns). Exhibits, film, and events featuring cultural music, food and dance are presented by the cultural center. Open Tuesday through Saturday, varying hours. Additional information can be found here.

Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center (314 St. Mary Street, Thibodaux LA 70301 | 985.448.1375): Exhibits and film display information on Acadian cultural recreation, clothing, cuisine and furnishings. The Cultural Center also has a 200-seat theatre used for productions. Open Monday through Friday, varying hours. Additional information can be found here.

Prairie Acadian Cultural Center (250 W. Park Avenue, Eunice LA 70535 | 337.457.8499): Exhibits, artifacts and films display information on Acadian culture. Open Wednesday through Saturday, varying hours. Additional information can be found here.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve are managed by the National Park System. Information about the park as a whole can be found at www.nps.gov/jela.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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