Corbitt's National Parks
     Jean Lafitte
              National Historical Park and Preserve


1932: Chalmette National Historical Park

1978: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Size: 20,005 acres

2008 visitors: 339,821

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

This Historical Park and Preserve highlights the Mississippi Delta region and its rich cultural and natural history. The huge river has long been a transportation thoroughfare, bringing streams of people and products from all parts of the globe to New Orleans and points upriver, as well as down into the Gulf of Mexico. The Park is names for Jean Lafitte, the colorful provateer whose men and munitions helped Andrew Jackson win the Barrle of New Orleans in 1815. The Park preserves six sites and a system of trails showing the diversity of this history. The main headquarters to the Park is located in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and each area has its own visitors center as well.

What You're Going to See

Acadian Cultural Center. This area, located at 501 Fisher Road, Lafayette, preserves cultural highlights of the Acadian people who were relocated to the Mississippi Delta regio from Nova Scotia, Canada, beginnin in 1765. Visitors can learn about and understand contemporary and traditional Acadian culture.

Barataria Preserve. Located about 12 miles south of New Orleans, this is an area rich in coastal wetleands, including bayous, live oak, and allgators. Visitors can wander over 9 miles of self-guided trails that access the wetlands, and twelve more miles of waterways are available for non-motorized craft, like canoes.

Chalmette Battlefield. This site preserves the battlefield where in 1815 Andrew Jackson's militia, with the help of Jean Lafitte, stopped a British force sent to attack New Orleans.

French Quarter Visitor Center. The visitor center has exhibits, audiovisual programs, and demonstration on the cultural diversity of the Mississippi Delta region. Rangers lead a variety of programs from the center located at 419 Decatur Stret in downtown New Orleans.

Prairie Acadian Cultural Center. This site highlights the heritage of the Prairie Acadians, including artifacts, demonstrations, and exhibits that portray this unique culture. In cooperation witht he city of Eunice, the National Park Service sponsors a live radio program in Cajun French every Saturday evening. The center is located at 250 West Park Avenue in Eunice, northwest of Lafayette.

Trails and Rails. Park rangers and volunteers, in partnership with Amtrak, provide weekly educational and interpretive programs during the summer on some of Amtrak's lines. They include the "Sunset Limited" between New Orleans and Lafayette, the "City of New Orleans" between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, and "Crescent" beteen New Orleans and Atlanta, Georgia.

Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center. This celebrates the water-based life of the Wetlands Acadians. Exhibits and artifacts depict a heritage of fishing, hunting, and trapping in the swamps, marshes and coastal waters. The Center is located at 313 St. Mary STreet, Thibodaux, southwest of New Orleans.

Personal Observations

Someday, I'll visit New Orleans ...

Getting There

To get to the Acadian Cultural Preserve: From New Orleans, take I-10 west 100 miles to Lafayette. Take US 167 (Evangeline Thwy.) south about 4 miles. The address is 501 Fisher Road.

To get to the Barataria Preserve: From New Orleans, take US 90 (Business) south of the river to state highway 45. Take that south for about 12 miles to Barataria (highway 45 becomes Barataria Blvd.). The address is 6588 Barataria Blvd., Marrerro, the site is directly to the west, bordering Lake Salvador.

To get to Chalmette Battlefield: It's pretty much in New Orleans, 6 miles east of the city on state highway 46. The address is 8606 St. Bernard Hwy, Chalmette. The Site is south and west of the visitor center.

The French Quarter Visitor Center is located at 419 Decatur Street in downtown New Orleans.

To get to Prairie Acadian Cultural Center: From New Orleans, take I-10 west for 100 miles to Lafayette. Go north on I-49 for 20 miles to Opelousas, and take US 190 west for 22 miles to Eunice. Cross the railroad tracks, go 100 feet and turn left at the first street, highway 13. Go south 300 feet to Park Avenue, and turn right. The address is 250 W. Park Av., Eunice.

To get to Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center: From New Orleans, take I-310 southwest to US 90, and continue southwest for about 14 miles to Raceland. Take state highway 1 west for about 17 miles to Thibodaux. It appears highway 1 is St. Mary Street in Thibodaux, and the address of the Center is 313 St. Mary Street.

Nearby Attractions

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is located in New Orleans as well.

Not visited yet.