Louisiana's only inhabited barrier island! At the southern end of Highway 1, the seven magical miles of Grand Isle hold all the wonders that Louisiana nature can offer. Oleander and crepe myrtle, palms, ferns and windblown oak trees on Cheniere ridges welcome migrating birds in season. The marshes teem with aquatic life and water birds. On Grand Isle, time slows and the visitor can savor a unique Louisiana experience.
Europeans came to Grand Isle with Spanish land grants, and by the early 1800s there were active sugar and cotton plantations. But it was as a recreation spot that Grand Isle gained fame, as visitors from nearby New Orleans enjoyed the breezes and seawater while staying in hotels. Writers Kate Chopin of "The Awakening" and Lafcadio Hearn of "Chita" both used the atmosphere of Grand Isle as a setting for nineteenth century fiction. Today's visitors find a thriving seaside community with petroleum and seafood industries as well as everything the visiting sportsman, tourist or camper could want.
The State of Louisiana maintains a mile of beachfront at Grand Isle State Park on the easternmost end of the island. The park looks out toward nearby Grand Terre island, once the lair of the legendary pirate (or smuggler, if you choose) Jean Lafitte and site of the ruins of U.S. Army Fort Livingston. Grand Isle State Park has a 400-foot long public fishing pier with a nearby fish-cleaning station. State officials say that over 280 species of fish are known to live in the waters around this sandy spur. The camping area of the park can accommodate up to 100 families or groups with nearby bathhouses that include running water and an adjacent dump station.
Birding in Grand Isle
In addition to the great fishing, boating, crabbing and fun in the sun, Grand Isle hosts the Annual Migratory Birding Festival. Each spring (April) enjoy migration on the island as you spot songbirds in oak-hackberry woods, shorebirds and waders on beaches and marshes. Free videos and birding trail maps are available. Fun for families, new and experienced birders. Click here for more information on this annual event.
Wakeboarding in Grand Isle
Grand Isle's newest attraction - Wakeboard Park is located across LA 1 from Bridge Side Marina. Participants are pulled by rope attached to a cable system that provides a constant pulling speed, which is a big improvement over being pulled by a boat. It is easier to gain your balance and get up on the water. The run is about 600 feet and includes two jumps and a third water obstacle. Each ride lasts for as many laps as you can make in 10 minutes. The system can tow anything from skis, to wakeboards, to inner tubes.
Wakeboard Park is on the bay at Wake Side Marina. Call 985-309-6030 for details.
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