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By the Numbers: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve


The town of Eunice, where the park's Prairie Acadian Cultural Center is located, hosts a Cajun-style Mardi Gras. NPS photo.

Numbers tell the story of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, a park that offers visitors an abundance of recreational choices spread among half a dozen cultural sites and natural areas in the river corridors and bayous of the New Orleans day-tripper zone.


Recreational visits* in 2010. Visitation peaked at 1,025,164 in 1989.

*The park reported the very same number of non-recreational visits (192,000) for years 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. You can make of this what you will.


Acreage of the park, including 5,530 acres of nonpulic land. This highly fragmented park has six separate units: a visitor center in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Barataria Preserve near Marrero, the Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery in Chalmette, and three separate units interpreting Cajun culture and history -- the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette, the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice, and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux.

3,500 square feet

Area of the visitor center that was opened on January 8, 2011 at the Chalmette Battlefield, site of the Battle of New Orleans. Twice the size of the old facility, the new VC displays, interactive exhibits, maps, and short films that address the War of 1812, the New Orleans campaign, the Battle of New Orleans (January 8, 1815), and the effect that the American victory had on Louisiana, the United States, and the world.

500 feet

Minimum distance that hunters must maintain from roadways, trails, waterways, levees, structures, or dwellings while hunting in the bottomland forest, swamp, and marsh habitats of Barataria Preserve. During the fall and winter seasons in Barataria, hunters may legally harvest deer, waterfowl, rabbits, squirrels, nutria, and feral hogs.

200 seats

Capacity of the theater at the park's Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux, which is used for Thibodaux Playhouse, Inc. productions and other programs. The Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center uses this facility as well as ranger-led tours, exhibits, artifact displays, videos, films, music jams, demonstrations, and special events to explore the lives and lifestyles of Acadians (Cajuns) and others who have left their cultural imprint on the Louisiana bayous.


Free tickets that the French Quarter Visitor Center issues each morning for a ranger-led walking tour along the Mississippi riverfront. The hour-long tour, which begins at 9:30 a.m. daily (except during Mardi Gras), tells the story of New Orleans' founding, early history, and ethnic populations.


Adult fare for a 90-minute, ranger-led cruise on Bayou Vermilion in an old-fashioned bayou "schoolboat." The tour, which is offered on certain days of the week in spring and fall, casts off from the Vermilionville Heritage & Folklife Park next the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette.

2.5 hours

Length of narrated cruise on the paddlewheeler Creole Queen from New Orleans to the Chalmette Battlefield, where passengers can disembark and visit the site of the Battle of New Orleans, the Malus-Beauregard House and the Chalmette Monument.

1 out of 6

Unit of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve that does not close down on Shrove Tuesday, the grand finale day of the New Orleans Mardi Gras festival. The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, which is situated next to the Liberty Theater in Eunice, remains open and invites visitors to explore Cajun culture through museum exhibits, musical workshops, videos, and demonstrations of Cajun cooking, crafts, and arts.


Oil from the Deep Horizon oil spill detected in the park as of February 2011. Although the park's Barataria Preserve is linked to the Gulf of Mexico via waterways, none of the park's six units is situated directly in the path of the spill.

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