Although the rest of the country is still struggling to throw off winter’s grip, in Louisiana spring has arrived—and yet it’s still cool enough to happily spend a full, active day outside. So why not head across Lake Pontchartrain to ride the Tammany Trace? Sure, this rails-to-trails bike path is 31 miles long, but they’re 31 flat, gentle miles through the Northshore, mostly protected by the shade of live oaks and bald cypresses. (Remember, it was originally the route of the Illinois Central Railroad, and trains don’t like hills any more than most hikers and bikers do.)
Rent your steed ($30 for the full day) at Brooks’ Bike Shop, in Covington, and then either head out on your own towards the trail’s terminus in Slidell—along the way, you’ll pass through the towns of Abita Springs, Mandeville, and Lacombe—or sign up for a guided tour. No pretending it’s the Tour de France, though—you’ll be sharing the trail with pedestrians and, in parts, equestrians too.
Photos Courtesy of St. Tammany Parish