Louisiana State Park Series: Lake Fausse Pointe and Cypremort Point

Pass a good time with loads of family fun, south Louisiana style

Family vacations are on everybody’s bucket list for this time of year and you don’t have to go far for a special group vacation that doesn’t involve long lines and loud crowds. Who needs roller coasters and shuttle buses and nothing but pavement, right?

It’s an ideal time to get back to nature and slow down from the busy pace of life. It’s a great time to visit two of Louisiana’s finest southern state parks — Lake Fausse Pointe in St. Martinville and Cypremort Point south of New Iberia.

These two parks are an easy drive from anywhere in south Louisiana and not a long trip at all from the northern part of the state. When you get there, you’ll find lots of things to do and the beauty and intrigue of Louisiana that can only be experienced up close and personal. It’s a great place to camp, fish or enjoy the vast expanse of all things good about south Louisiana. There are swamp and marsh sights, peace and quiet and a get-away vacation without having to really get away that far.

Life at Fausse Pointe epitomizes the slogan, “life, eat, fish”, all in the same place.

Lake Fausse Pointe

The massive Atchafalaya Basin is considered a wild and untamed area. For the most part, it is. But the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park that occupies a 6,000-acre site in the Basin is not. It’s no trip to the city, mind you, but it’s loaded with outdoor opportunities galore.

Fishing, boating and canoeing opportunities abound. A boat launch gives visitors easy access to the labyrinth of waterways that winds through the Basin. Overnight visitors can “rough it” in the campground or stay in lake-front cabins. A visitor center complex features a boat dock with rentals; and three hiking trails and a canoe trail offer an “up close” view of the area’s plant and wildlife, as well.

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, at the edge of a beautiful water wilderness, is also a perfect point from which to explore the natural and cultural heritage of South Louisiana. Combine your wilderness adventure with a tour of nearby historic areas such as the city of St. Martinville and Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site. A stay at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park will remind you of the remarkable diversity of South Louisiana.

There are all kinds of fish around Fausse Pointe, including big largemouth like this one

Hiking and camping

If you like hiking, there are several trails like Armadillo Ridge, Cardinal Run and Barred Owl Trek, the longest at 3.3 miles. This trail has many footbridges over the wettest areas. There are also numerous canoe trails which follow well marked waterways and include access to several primitive canoe only campsites. 

There are 50 units for camping in tents or trailers, each equipped with water and electricity. Primitive group and canoe campsites are also available. Eighteen waterfront vacation cabins featuring screened porches, air conditioning and piers are enormously popular throughout the year.

Exploring the park is all about the boardwalks. Keep your boots dry as you hike the elevated walkways through healthy stands of cypress trees, taking in views of the park’s namesake waterway or neighboring Dauterive Lake. To better understand the sights and sounds of Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, park naturalists are on hand to help orient visitors, with programs that explain the history, ecology and biology of the Atchafalaya Basin.

Cypremort Point

You might feel like you are about to drive off into Vermillion Bay and if you look at this site on the map, it will confirm that. So slow down when you get close. This park between Grand Isle and Cameron is one of the very few locations near the Gulf of Mexico that can be reached by car. After that, you can head out in any direction in boat, heading for protected inland waters or the wide-open Gulf. 

Part of it might remind you of other famous summer destinations. It does have a half-mile stretch of a man-made beach that provides a delightful area for relaxing, picnicking and enjoying the water. It also affords an opportunity for fishing of all kinds, crabbing, water skiing, windsurfing and sailing.

A boat launch just outside the park’s entrance is only a few miles from the Gulf. Catches of flounder and redfish are not uncommon in the area. You don’t even have to bring a boat to catch supper. Fresh water from the Atchafalaya and Vermilion rivers invites speckled trout and redfish to the grassy shallows. For those interested in fishing from the shore, a 100-foot fishing pier is situated on the Bay. Overnight visitors also have access to adjacent boat docks and a fish cleaning station. You can even catch your own bait with a cast net off the bank or one of the piers or walkways.

Other activities

In addition to excellent water facilities, the 185-acre park also holds a special attraction for nature enthusiasts. Located in the heart of a Louisiana marsh, the site contains an abundance of wildlife. The quiet observer may happen upon nutria, muskrat, alligator or a number of bird species native to the state. Deer, black bear, rabbits, opossum and red fox also make their home in this area, so stay aware of your surroundings and you may discover more of the natural charm of Cypremort Point.

Cypremort Point State Park is a popular spot for wind surfing. Thanks to its unique geography, it’s perfect for that. The waterway is synonymous with quality seafood — just look for the Vermilion Bay Sweet brand of shrimp found in grocery stores throughout the state — and every spring, Cypremort Point State Park brings scores of fishermen into Vermilion Bay. Fresh water from the Atchafalaya and Vermilion rivers invites spotted sea trout and red drum close to shore. Redfish and speckled trout also swim the grassy shallows near Cypremort Point, so anglers can set out from the nearby boat launch and overnight fishermen have access to the park’s boat docks. 

A half-mile-long beach runs the length of the park, offering opportunities for swimming, kitesurfing, windsurfing and just plain old hanging out. The marshes near the beach give hikers a chance to spot some of south Louisiana’s most famous residents — alligators — as well as deer, red foxes and even black bears.

While you’re in the area, be sure to see some of the nearby sites. Avery Island (where TABASCO brand hot sauce is headquartered) and nature preserve Jungle Gardens are a short ride away. And in Morgan City, check out the International Petroleum Museum and Exposition and see the Mr. Charlie Oil Rig — the first moveable and reusable offshore drilling rig in the world.

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About Kinny Haddox 507 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.

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