July 25, 2002 - "Florida Getaway"

Summer's winding down, and you might be in need of a last minute getaway. Here's a little known gem just an hour from the state capital.

Your eyes and ears, maybe even your attitude, might tell you that this is Florida, but Rand McNally tells you that this is the Florida Parishes.  It's good place to set your watch back about 170 years and explore the ruins of a sugar mill built in 1829.  And who knows what adventures might be in store down the nature trail?

Bob Jenkins beamed as he watched granddaughter Sara pet a deer so tame that it just walked up to the family campsite. "We seen a big owl right over here, as we seen the deer at the same time. Last night a raccoon came up. Raccoons like Dr. Pepper, believe it or not!"

All of this is at Fontainebleau State Park, 2,800 acres on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Little Josh Owen stopped frolicking in the surf long enough to explain, "I'm playing in the water and on my bike and running around. That's about all."

But if you're 6 1/2 years old from Meadville, Mississippi, enjoying your last full summer before starting the first grade, that's plenty!  Fontainebleau State Park is a Florida kind of place and a family kind of place.

To learn more about the park, follow this link to the Fontainebleau website. <http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/parks/fontaine/fontaine.htm>