New Canal Lighthouse
Located on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, the New Canal Lighthouse has a long history, dating back to 1838. Damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it was rebuilt in 2012 with a mix of modern and historic materials, and today it’s the only working lighthouse containing a museum open to the public in Louisiana.
Find the New Canal Lighthouse Museum and Education Center on the first floor of the rebuilt lighthouse, which was also raised 19 feet (5.8 meters) above lake level to minimize future storm damage. Three different displays cover the history of the lighthouse and the region, as well as the environment and ecology of the Pontchartrain Basin; including restorative work and future challenges. Docent-led tours provide additional insights. Don’t miss the Fresnel lens believed to have been in the lighthouse since the early 1900s.
Visit the lighthouse independently, or in connection with a tour of Lake Pontchartrain. The lighthouse is also included in a few New Orleans sightseeing tours, such as tours focused on Hurricane Katrina.
Things to know before you go
- Don’t forget your camera; the lighthouse offers great lake views from its balcony.
- The cupola of the lighthouse is not open to the public.
- There’s a gift shop on-site.
- The lighthouse is wheelchair-accessible.
How to get there
The lighthouse is located in Lakefront Park, at the end of Lakeshore Drive. Take I-10 to the West End Blvd exit or I-610 to the Canal Blvd exit. Free parking is available across the street.
When to get there
The lighthouse is open regularly throughout the year, but may be closed on select days of the week, so it's advisable to check the latest opening hours before you visit. Note that the lighthouse and museum are fairly small and can be explored in 15 to 30 minutes. It’s best to book ahead if you want to take a guided tour.
Spanning 630 square miles (1,632 square kilometers), Lake Pontchartrain is one of the largest bodies of water in the country. It’s a popular destination with locals for fishing and sailing, and a large variety of wildlife and marine life reside in the lake, including blue crabs, stingrays, pelicans, and ospreys. There’s also a series of lakeside beaches and parks that run along the shore.
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