Every New Orleans area neighborhood has a personality of its own. Residents born and raised in one part of town express extreme allegiance to that geographic spot. Madisonville, LA—a rustic bedroom community on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and on the banks of the Tchefuncte River, is no exception. Mention Madisonville and you will hear a wonderful mixture of memories and personal likes.
The city sits just south and southeast of the fast-growing cities of Covington and Mandeville, and is close enough to the big-city wonders of New Orleans that residents can enjoy the complete cultural calendar there via a quick jog across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Nearby swamps and lakes also make Madisonville a perfect spot for residents who want to enjoy the pleasures of Louisiana's hunting, fishing, boating, hiking and camping meccas.
The architecture in Madisonville is equally diverse. Potential homeowners will find restored mansions near the historic downtown area as easily as they will find cottages, traditional ranch-style homes and a patchwork of styles from grand to modest, traditional to contemporary.
Newer planned communities are taking advantage of open acreage throughout Madisonville to create ecological destinations, where homeowners enjoy not only the impressive architecture of new construction, but parks, green space and wildlife preserves within their own neighborhoods. A large selection of vacant land, available for welcome development can also be found throughout Madisonville.
What continues to make Madisonville so unique among New Orleans-area neighborhoods is its close-knit community where the crime rate is especially low, the weather is lovely year-round and where residents take pride in their historic and peaceful surroundings. Local property owners know the value of their part of the north shore and will promote it and defend it as often as possible.
Madisonville—about 2.5 square miles—is generally mapped from I-12 on the north, Lake Pontchartrain on the south, west of Highway 1085 on the west, and Main Street and Highway 1077 (and a stretch eastward in some areas) on the east.
Just north of Lake Pontchartrain, the community is about an hour's commute across the lake via Highway 21 and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway to New Orleans. Downtown Covington and nearby Mandeville are just a few minutes to the north and northwest of Madisonville. All of West St. Tammany, including Lacombe and Slidell are also within a half hour of Madisonville along the I-12 and Highway 190 corridors.
New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport is easily accessed from Madisonville through the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway route or further west via I-12, I-55, and I-10 around the west and south side of the lake. A mass transit system, plus major bus and rail lines also traverse Madisonville.
Homebuyers looking for properties in Madisonville will find a gamut of choices, from the rustic to the pristine, from traditional homes to restored historic mansions and replicas thereof. The Tchefuncte River glides through the center of Madisonville and is the calling card for the city's popular Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, the annual Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival and other special events. The Fairview Riverside State Park here includes boat launches, fishing from piers, a preserved saw mill and the Otis House (on the National Register of Historic Places). A swamp trail also gives visitors and residents a chance to enjoy the cypress and palmetto groves in Madisonville.
The city, originally settled by Indians and then by the French, was eventually named after President James Madison. Its history is also reflected in the popular antiques and arts markets and the Madisonville Museum (housed in the city's original circa 1911 courthouse). Locals also enjoy the annual Dragon Boat Festival, Cruisin' On the River Car Show, and other special events. The Madisonville Lighthouse, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain has also been preserved by local historians and was originally built in 1837. Seafood restaurants, coffee shops and fine dining establishments are all available in Madisonville.
In close proximity is Fontainebleau State Park with its miles of walking and hiking trails, cabins and campgrounds. Fishing and boating have always been and continue to be among the most important draws in this part of Southeast Louisiana. Those who live here will tell you of the incomparable weather, recreational and cultural activities and many other amenities that have given Madisonville its distinction of being among the most popular cities in one of Louisiana's fastest growing and safest areas.