[Courtesy of Friends of Lafitte Greenway]

Bike the Big Easy on These Local Cycling Trails

07:00 March 28, 2024
By: Brooke Adams

Bike Trails in New Orleans

As the cold weather of late winter ends, many New Orleans locals are eager to embrace the brief but beautiful spring of the Big Easy. One delightful way to experience the city's beauty is by hopping on a bike.

However, safety concerns often dampen the desire to explore on two wheels. Fear not, we've compiled a list of the safest and most picturesque biking trails that weave through the heart of New Orleans, ensuring a delightful and worry-free ride. Each of the trails listed either begin or end in New Orleans, are clearly separated from traffic, and are paved (or mostly paved) for the entirety of the ride.

[Courtesy of Free Wheelin' Bikes]

Wisner Trail: Where City Park Meets Bayou Bliss

Nestled between two New Orleans favorites—City Park and Bayou St. John—the Wisner Trail is a two-lane concrete path that promises both tranquility and adventure. Begin your journey on Allen Toussaint Boulevard, winding your way south to Moss Street. The trail offers scenic views of the bayou. Its grassy banks are inviting to picnickers, and you can often find water enthusiasts in their canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. For a seamless start, park at City Park and connect to the trail through the park's pathways.

Mississippi River Trail (Louisiana): Levees and Legends

Embark on a journey along the mighty Mississippi with the Mississippi River Trail. This system of paved trails on the levees offers a well-loved segment extending from Audubon Park to the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Locals of all ages and physical abilities can enjoy this well paved and scenic trail. This family friendly route also gives locals a peek at the homes that were grandfathered in on the other side of the levee. Known by other names like the Levee Bike Path, this trail is part of a grand vision to create a biking and walking route along the entire length of the Mississippi River. Enjoy the ride, the river views, and the historical significance of this iconic trail.

St. Anthony Avenue Trail: A Grassy Median Adventure

In the heart of the Gentilly neighborhood, the St. Anthony Avenue Trail rides in a grassy median, providing a window into the famous Gentilly charm. Stretching from Mirabeau Avenue to Leon C. Simon Drive, this straight-shot trail not only serves as a commuter path to schools but also invites residents to step outside for some physical activity. Keep an eye out for street intersections, approach them with caution, and revel in the delightful simplicity of this neighborhood gem. On-street parking is available on St. Anthony Avenue—just be sure to follow posted parking rules.

Pontchartrain Lakefront Trail: Lakeside Bliss

For a gorgeous ride along the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, look no further than the Pontchartrain Lakefront Trail. Spanning 12.3 miles from Grand Lake Estates to Bucktown Harbor Marina, this multi-use trail boasts easy accessibility, with bridges over canals and underpasses beneath Causeway Boulevard. Not only does it offer recreational opportunities, but it also serves as an alternative transportation link for the surrounding communities. Take in the stunning views of the lake, watch out for wildlife sightings, and enjoy a trail accessible for all.

17th Street Canal Trail: A Local Connection

Situated along the 17th Street Canal, which forms the boundary between New Orleans and Metairie, this walking and biking path offers a 2.8-mile journey for locals. Running south from Metairie-Hammond Highway to N. I-10 Service Road E., this trail provides a picturesque route along the canal's levees. Many locals prefer to enjoy an unhurried, NOLA-paced stroll, taking in glimpses of the water and the proximity to the Pontchartrain Lakefront Trail. Convenient parking is available at the Bucktown Marina picnic area, making it easy for locals to stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors.

Lafitte Greenway: A Historical Connection

Trace the history of New Orleans through the Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6-mile linear park connecting the French Quarter to Mid-City. Originally a canal and later a rail line, this pathway now offers a pleasant neighborhood connection. Begin at Louis Armstrong Park, with its jazz-inspired surroundings, and journey northwest to end near City Park. With parking available at both ends, this trail provides a delightful mix of history, recreation, and a touch of local culture.

[Courtesy of NOLACityLights.com]

Crescent Park Trail: Riverside Serenity

Completing the biking tour is the Crescent Park Trail, a 1.4-mile linear park on the banks of the Mississippi River. Born out of post-Katrina revitalization, this park offers a smooth asphalt trail amid beautifully landscaped grounds. With convenient parking lots at Chartres Street and Mazant Street, residents can now safely access the river and revel in the scenic beauty of the French Quarter and Bywater neighborhoods.

Local Gems: For a Breezy Bike Ride

As you plan your biking adventures in New Orleans, don't forget to explore local gems like Audubon Park and City Park. Audubon Park, nestled along St. Charles Avenue, offers a picturesque oasis, perfect for a family-friendly bike ride. Meanwhile, City Park's four-mile stretch promises a plethora of activities, from wildflower sightings to routes leading to Gentilly, Lakeview, Mid-City, or Lakeshore Drive.

Get ready to pedal through the vibrant streets of New Orleans, exploring these charming trails that showcase the city's natural beauty, history, and community spirit. So grab your helmet, pump up those tires, and embark on a biking adventure that perfectly captures the essence of New Orleans. Happy cycling.

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