The Northlake Museum and Nature Center, Inc. was established in 1982 by as a project of the Greater Covington Junior Service League as an independent non-profit corporation directed to preserve, study, and publicly exhibit the natural and cultural resources of the Florida Parishes in southeastern Louisiana.
In 1985, the Northlake Nature Center, Inc. entered into a 50-year lease with the State of Louisiana for a 52 acre tract of land situated along Bayou Castine on Highway 190 east of Mandeville across from Fontainebleau State Park, subsequently expanded to 400 ac, just 45 minutes from New Orleans. Situated in the heart of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, it is also adjacent to Pelican Park Sports Complex and the 31-mile Tammany Trace Rails-to-Trails path.
The Center offers visitors the opportunity to experience three different ecosystems: hardwood forest, pine-hardwood forest and pond-swamp. The ponds in the cypress swamp area are the result of beaver dams and a beaver lodge is visible from one of the centers raised boardwalks. Interpretive signs and outdoor classrooms enhance the visitors experience. Click Here to see a detailed map of the 400 acre Center.
In addition to the outstanding natural features of the site, areas of cultural interest include the site of an archaeological survey yielding evidence of a 700-year-old Acolapissa Native American population and the ruins of a clubhouse for the never-finished golf course of Louisiana Governor Richard W. Leche, who went to prison in the sensational scandals of 1939.
The site is used for environmental education programs, hiking, and other nature activities by members and the public. Completed in April 1998 is a 20′ X 30′ open-air pavilion overlooking the Beaver Pond. The pavilion is available for group activities, picnics and individual relaxation.