Louisiana’s parks and other recreational facilities attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to the state every year. A large number of the parks lie along water, and water sports are among the most popular forms of outdoor recreation in Louisiana. There is excellent fishing in Louisiana’s many freshwater streams and lakes and along the Gulf of Mexico. Wooded areas and coastal marshes offer fine opportunities to observe wildlife. Among the many interesting places to visit are the numerous units of the state park system. Privately owned sites open to the public include many of Louisiana’s beautiful mansions from what is called the antebellum period before the Civil War (1861-1865). The state’s chief tourist center, New Orleans, offers visitors many attractions of historic interest, as well as the atmosphere of a cosmopolitan city.
Kisatchie National Forest, the only national forest in Louisiana, covers 243,000 hectares (601,000 acres) in the north central part of the state. It has facilities for camping and a lake for swimming, fishing, and boating.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve was established to preserve the rich natural resources and culture of Louisiana’s delta region. The park consists of four separate units: Acadian, which interprets the Acadian and Native American cultures of the area; the Barataria Preserve, near Marrero, which focuses on the natural and cultural history of the swamp and marshlands of the region; the Chalmette, near New Orleans, site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans; and the New Orleans unit, which tells of the history of the city.
The Cane River Creole National Historical Park and Heritage Area, authorized in 1994, preserves buildings and landscapes associated with the development of Creole culture.
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, also authorized in 1994, educates visitors about jazz music as it evolved in New Orleans. Poverty Point National Monument, in northeast Louisiana, contains some of the largest Native American earthworks found on the continent, consisting of concentric ridges which may have been dwelling foundations surrounding a large central plaza. Arranged around the ridges are four ceremonial and burial mounds. Also in Louisiana is a portion of the Vicksburg National Military Park, site of the siege in 1863 that gave Union forces control of the Mississippi River during the Civil War. "Louisiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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