Louisiana may not be filled with mountains and waterfalls, but landscape and nature photographers can still find plenty to appreciate about the unique landscape of the state. The lakes and swamps make Louisiana’s landscape much different from what you will find throughout most of the United States. On this page we’ll take a look at several of the most significant locations throughout Louisiana for nature photographers. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.
This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.
Lake Martin is located in southern Louisiana, east of Lafayette. It is one of the best places to experience and photograph the amazing swamp lands that are so characteristic of Lousiana’s landscape. Lake Martin can be reached by car, and then you can explore the surrounding area by foot or by boat. This wildlife sanctuary is a great place to find many different types of birds, as well as alligators. Rookery Road leads around most of the lake, and boat rentals are also available if you want to explore the lake.
Chicot State Park
Chicot State Park is about a one-hour drive northwest from Lake Martin. It is one of the more popular state parks in Louisiana and a great place for photography. The park includes a man-made lake and wildlife. There is a 22-mile hiking trail that goes around the lake. Some campsites are also located around the lake.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Barataria Preserve
The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve consists of six separate sites/units in the Mississippi River Delta region. The Barataria Preserve is probably the most significant section for landscape and nature photographers. The preserve includes trials for hikers and for canoes to explore the forest, swamps, and marsh. With close proximity to New Orleans, this is a great option.
Toledo Bend Reservoir
The Toledo Bend Reservoir is located on the Sabine River between Louisiana and Texas. With 1,200 miles of shoreline, this is a popular area for recreation.
Black Lake is located in northern Louisiana. Highway 9 crosses the lake, and the area east of Highway 9 is known as Clear Lake. The cypress trees make it a great place to photograph.
Finch Lake in northern Louisiana is another great lake to photograph. The lake is ideal for exploring in a canoe or another small boat. A campground is also located here.
Honey Island Swamp
Honey Island Swamp is located northeast of New Orleans and is considered to be one of the most pristine swamp lands in the United States. Swamp tours are available for those who want to explore and experience the area.
Kisatchie National Forest
The Kisatchie National Forest in northern Louisiana includes more than 40 developed recreation sites and more than 100 miles of trails. It is broken into several different sections, with no roads in some areas.
Oak Alley Plantation
Located about a one-hour drive west of New Orleans, Oak Alley Plantation is a great place to visit. Two rows of oak tress dating back to the 18th century run from the house to the Mississippi River, about 800 feet. The rows of massive oaks make for great photos facing the house or away from the house. This is a popular location, so getting a photo without anyone on the walkway can take some patience (or take multiple photos and remove the people in Photoshop). Plantation tours are available and there are also some gardens on the property that are worth exploring. For more information see our Guide to Oak Alley Plantation.