Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
Guided tours
ADA accessible
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Alligator Marsh Boardwalk is an area ideal for wildlife viewing at the edge of a wetlands marsh inside Fontainebleau State Park.

Located along the Sugar Mill Nature Trail, the wildlife viewing boardwalk heads out several hundred feet to a platform on the marsh's edge. This makes a great spot to try to see some of the over 400 species of birds and mammals that live and migrate through Fontainebleau. Binoculars are helpful here because many of the birds stick to the bare treetops on the forest's fringe or hide within the brush in the marsh. Waterfowl, nutria, and alligators all make their home in the marsh and may come out given the right conditions.

Access to the marsh is from a 0.66-mile flat walk in along the Sugar Mill Nature Trail beginning at the trailhead near the visitor center; it's also possible to shave 0.33 of this distance off if you park and begin near the large picnic pavilion at Lake Pontchartrain. Just east of the grassy area near the pavilion and the live oaks trees is a signed entrance to the trail.

It used to be possible to take a further boardwalk out to a viewing platform with a telescope, but this section of boardwalk is currently damaged and closed, leaving the marsh platform at the end of the boardwalk path.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Park entrance fee


Variety of wildlife. Scenic area.


Some of the boardwalk is damaged and closed.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Family friendly
Near lake or river
Bird watching


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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