Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bike Riding on the Tammany Trace in Louisiana…


Tammany Trace LA 002We left Breaux Bridge and headed east on Interstate 10 across the Atchafalaya swamp. The Atchafalaya is very full of water as can be imagined with all the rains that have fallen north of here thus feeding the watershed. About 110 miles later we left the interstate on 190 and drove through the town of Covington La before heading east to Abita Springs. Our destination for four days is Abita Springs Resort, a private membership park we wanted to check out.


After driving along some pretty tight roads just to get to the park we found a sharp right turn into it as well. Swinging wide into the other lane made this turn manageable but the very skinny entrance road required driving with one tire off the edge just so the encroaching vegetation wouldn’t drag down the passenger side possibly scratching its full length. After checking in we set up on a caliche pad in a nice wooded pine area with a slight peek  from our site to the large pond nearby.

We checked out the nearby community of Abita Springs on our first day here and found a small farmer’s market, although there was very little produce. There was a band playing 70-80’s music in the square where we noticed this park was also a trailhead to the Tammany Trace.

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The Tammany Trace was originally a corridor for the Illinois Central Railroad but is now an asphalted hike and bike trail spanning 31 miles from downtown Covington, through Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe and ending in Slidell. We made a plan for our next day to ride a part of this trail.

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With possible afternoon rain heading our way we decided to shorten our ride by departing from the Caboose Trailhead to ride down to the Covington Trailhead. An online map showed us that we would be close to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain so we would also ride to it. It was a steamy afternoon and we got on the trail shortly after 1:00 pm. After only about 1/2 a mile down the trail I noticed Sharon’s rear tire was losing air so we turned around and went back to the CRV.

Finding a nearby bike shop we bought a tube to replace hers and before we knew we were back on the trail after about  only a 45 minute delay. We were thankful that a lot of the trace is shaded but it was still pretty hot. Thankfully we carried plenty of water and took a break when needed at a shady covered picnic table alongside the trail.


The Trace crosses several roads but most are set up as four way stops Many of the cars were biker friendly and tended to stop to wave riders through. That is all but one who honked at a car that stopped to wave us on by.  He then proceeded to yell F%#$$K you at us and gave us the one fingered salute. I am guessing he doesn’t care much for the riders on the Tammany trace slowing down his drive home…

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When we reached Lake Pontchartrain we rode along the shoreline for a mile or so where we could see the causeway heading south to New Orleans. Then we returned the way we came and stopped to visit the Barley Oak Draught House for a cold frosty beverage. This is a nice spot as it looks out over Lake Pontchartrain and we would have stayed longer but still had a good 5 mile return to our starting point. Thankfully the rains never materialized and we very much enjoyed our 11 mile ride on Tammany Trace...



  1. The roads there are narrow, but we have done it so many times we are used to it. The Tammany is a wonderful trail, we have walked sections of it but no way to get our Bikes to it without the RV.
    We always find interesting quirky things to do in the area. The Abitba Springs Mystery house is always a interesting eclectic stop too. Enjoy your time there.

  2. Sounds like a tricky entrance to the park but a beautiful bike ride. I love Rails to Trails.

  3. We stayed at a campground with an entrance like that. It was evidently built back in the day when rv's were much smaller. I don't understand why they don't do upgrades to accommodate today's larger rv's. It looks like you are working your way back east again. Perhaps we'll see you in Key West this winter?

    1. we plan to winter in Florida this year and hope to make down to Key West at least once... maybe we will finally meet up...

  4. I grew up in Mandeville! The Tammany Trace didn't exist when I lived there, but we enjoyed it very much ourselves when we visited last year. Glad you are enjoying it there too!