New Orleans City Park’s Couturie Forest
Well here we are with yet another in our new Life in New Orleans series. Today I’m taking you to what I consider to the be the best hidden gem in New Orleans – the Couturie Forest in City Park and its surrounding area in the park. The forest is a great place to explore and provides a relaxing respite from the craziness of city life.
One Sunday afternoon in late January, Jeremy and I headed out to the forest to hike around and check it out. We’d never actually hiked in the forest but had meant to for so long. I brought my camera along just in case I saw anything interesting. Once there I realized what a treasure the area was and decided it needed to be part of our new series. It is too beautiful not to share!
The Couturie Forest is located toward the middle of the park, just off Harrison Ave. – see map below. It’s really easy to get to from any part of New Orleans – just get to Carrollton Ave. and then head north toward Lake Ponchartrain. Harrison Ave. crosses Wisner Blvd. (which is what Carrollton turns into after Esplanande Ave.) and then it’s a straight shot over to the forest.
What follows now are our pictures from the forest and a couple of pictures we took as we walked through the park to the forest. We live very close to City Park – just off the map above actually – and we love to walk over to the park any chance we get.
Our first shot along with hiking path that runs through the forest just north of Harrison Avenue. Just a few steps into the trail area and the rest of the world disappears. This trail was so serene and peaceful it was hard to believe we were still in New Orleans. Very little of New Orleans looks just like this, which is what makes City Park so very special.
Not long after that lovely shot on the trail, I came upon a swing wistfully mounted on an old tree branch. Such a serene looking place.
Once around the north side of the trail, we encountered this sight – a small island in one of the numerous bayous in the park. Nature is indeed pure and interesting.
This is another view of the same bayou area….
Below is Jeremy standing next to a very large dead tree. From the looks of the ivy growth, we suspect it was a tree that fell back during Hurricane Katrina. Jeremy’s standing right next to the bottom root area. This tree was massive and at least 20 feet in height when it was alive.
So perhaps the best part about this forest is that we have an actual hill in the forest. It’s not natural and was most likely built out of soil dredged either for the golf course or from the bayous (not 100% sure). Below is a view down one of the paths off the hill. Each path is very different looking. I liked this stone path best.
When we were actually walking into the forest from Harrison Avenue, we came across this rooster below. He was so pretty but did not enjoy us trying to take his picture. Jeremy tried to corral him and he promptly took off running into the forest. Smart bird!
On our way back to the real world, we passed this lovely cyprus tree area. There are quite a few cyprus trees in the park, mainly near bodies of water like this one (I’m standing on a bridge taking the picture).
The view below is also from that same bridge, just a little more to the left. By this time the sun was really starting to set and the area just looked so beautiful. The sun was so thick and heavy it looked more like a fall afternoon than a late January afternoon.
So that’s it. If you ever get the chance to visit the Couturie Forest in City Park, you really should do it. It’s a unique part of our city’s landscape and worth visiting. You can get more info about the forest on the park’s website.