Sounds so French? Yes, indeed! Being declared a French territory colony by Louis XIV the king of France, the land crossed by Mississippi river became in translation “The country of Louis”.
But let’s see together what surprises reserves for us an adventurous cycling trip to the state strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, Asian and African cultures.
But, you know, you must be prepared for more than a culture trip, we will spend much of our time cycling and we will discover the best cycling places here.
1. Baton Rouge
Welcome to the capital of Louisiana! Ready? Of the roughly 2,655 miles of streets in Baton Rouge, there are 27.6 miles of bike lanes, according to the city-parish planning commission.
Get on the longest bike path exists on Goodwood Blvd. from South Flannery Rd. to Lobdell Ave, but if you want to cross over to Government Street, think again. There's no bike path to make the connection.
According to the map, the longest shared-use path exists along River Road from BREC's Farr Park Equestrian Center, north to Laurel Street in downtown Baton Rouge. If you take a turn on Gourrier Ave., it'll connect you to another shared-use path on Nicholson Drive, then either north to Tiger Stadium or as far south at Brightside Drive, which also turns into Lee Drove.
2. Mississippi River
One of the greatest rivers in the whole world, offers great views and very good bike trails to explore.
The Mississippi River Trail is a system of disconnected, paved trails on the levees along both banks of the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana.
Start your trip from Audubon Park in New Orleans to the Bonnet Carré Spillway in St. Charles Parish, the most popular segment for locals and visitors also. This marvelous trail along the entire length of the Mississippi River covers approximately 3,000 miles from Louisiana to Minnesota.
3. Horace Wilkinson Bridge
Louisiana is the land of massive continuous steel truss bridges. Of the large truss bridges over the lower Mississippi, Horace Wilkinson Bridge is the biggest of the big and the most impressive. Six lanes of traffic cross the bridge, which is named after three separate men named Horace Wilkinson who served in the Louisiana legislature. Ride over the New Bridge and admire the tumultuous river embracing the view.
Originally the region was settled by French and Spanish colonists who made their way south through Bayou Lafourche, and then later it was settled by Acadians (Cajuns).
If you want to visit the swampland of Louisiana, this is the place!
You will be amazed by the Annie Miller's Son's Swamp and Marsh Tours, but this means to leave your bike for at few hours. When you are back on the road, you must go to Crescent Park which is a 1.4 mile, 20 acre urban linear park that connects the community and visitors with the riverfront. This unparalleled public space provides breathtaking views of New Orleans, native landscaping, bike paths, a dog run and multi-use pavilions for all to enjoy.
Try also The Lafitte Greenway trail a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and green corridor connecting neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park. The Lafitte Greenway transforms one of the city's most historic transportation corridors into a multi-use transportation corridor and linear park.
The City of New Orleans broke ground on the $9.1 million project in March of 2014, and opened the Greenway in November of 2015.
5. Black Bayou Lake
Take your bike and walk on the wild side!
The Black Bayou Lake covers more than 1,600 acres and is a home to many different plants and animals that can be observed in their natural habitats including bald eagles and alligators.
You can use the longest rail which is Edgewater (7 miles) and say YES to the intense experience.
Be careful, you will meet deer, bobcats, rabbits, coyotes, and squirrels.
6. Avery Island
Spice up your trip and visit the Tabasco Factory, the home of the world’s most popular hot pepper!
Don’t miss for nothing in the world, the Jungle Gardens a 170-acre semitropical garden that stretches along Bayou Petite Anse on Avery Island.
It is wonderful for biking with the whole family, especially the kids will be delighted too see all the animals, birds and flowers here.
7. Kisatchie National Forest
Get lost in the woods!
With more than 600,000 acres, the forest shows a marvelous wildlife in its purest form.
You can choose the mountain biking or the road cycling, because here you have them both.
There are numerous trails throughout the Forest that are marked as multi-use trails. Distances vary from 1/2 mile to nearly 30 miles, most traverse across rolling hill terrain with many scenic areas scattered throughout. Yo
You can also ride from the East Boat Launch on the Lakeshore Trail, a moderately difficult hiking biking trail that meanders near and away from the shoreline of Kincaid Lake.
8. New Orleans The French Quarter
Eclectic, intimate and unique, New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood has exerted its magic over writers and artists since forever.
Take you bike and go for a bourgeois ride in French Quarter where the architecture blends Spanish, French, Creole and American styles together in an idyllic, enchanting setting.
You can have very insightful breaks to some of the most important cultural objectives, such as St. Louis Cathedral, considered to be one of the oldest continuously running Cathedrals in the United States and certainly tops the list of things to do in the French Quarter.
Can’t stay in just one place?
Have a drink in the Carousel Bar and Lounge the only revolving bar in New Orleans that has been spinning visitors and locals for 65 years. Are you a jazz lover? Preservation Hall is the place for “all that jazz” in New Orleans!
9. Atchafalaya Basin
If you are adventurous and open spaces lover you won’t mind a bit of a rough ride and you will take your mountain bike for a long stretch through the peaceful beauty of the Basin.
This trail offers all of the riding experience without the threat of getting lost.
If things get too rocky, too muddy, too hot, there is always the option to drop down to the paved road and turn around. You have 55 miles of greenness of the swamp’s and tree line sets the backdrop for the ride.
What we recommend: be well prepared for the trip!
Bring water, food, sunscreen, bike-repair equipment (spare tubing, pump, etc) and for the night a headlamp of at least 250 lumens.
Make it a ride for two with your best friend, because the sounds of the wildness in the night is a bit…profound. It worth every mile!
Maybe you will need the smart bike equipment for this demanding trip!
10. Audubon Park
There is no better place in New Orleans for recreational fun and relaxation!
People travel from near and far to marvel at and enjoy the ever-beautiful oak trees, lagoons, and expansive green space.
This is a beautiful trip to one of the most beautiful places in the whole in Louisiana!
See you soon, guys, for another 10 magic places in another state!