Fairview-Riverside State Park
Spend a day hiking, biking and living the plantation life at this nature preserve and historical home.
Fairview-Riverside State Park occupies some of the prettiest real estate you’ll find on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. This is thanks in part to its dozens of crystal clear streams, of which the Tchefuncte River is arguably the most photogenic. The Tchefuncte runs through the park, offering scenic vistas that entice pro and amateur photographers alike.
The waterway has the kind of wildlife typical to the Northshore wetlands. You may see alligators and migratory birds while ambling down the boardwalk overlooking the swamp.
Fairview-Riverside State Park has more in store for outdoorsmen and day trippers alike. Fishermen frequently catch bass, bluegill, redfish, speckled trout and other species in the park, from shoreline or boat. Crabbing in the river is another popular pastime, and casual hikers will enjoy the trails overlooking the Tchefuncte.
One of the park’s main attractions isn’t a natural feature at all, but a historical home reminiscent of Louisiana’s heyday. Otis House was built in the 1880s for a sawmill owner, later purchased and renovated by house namesake Frank Otis, and, upon Mr. Otis’ death, it was bequeathed to the State of Louisiana with the request that it become part of a state park. Today, Otis House is open for tours, Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Fairview-Riverside State Park offers 101 RV campsites, with water and electrical hookups. Whether you stay the night or not, make time to visit nearby attractions such as the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery in Covington, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum and Research Center in Madisonville, or the Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall in Mandeville.
Entrance fee: $3 per person; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and younger.