After driving for five straight days from our starting point in Vermont, we landed at Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana on December 21st. It was such a relief to be stationary for a few days! What attracted me to this state park was, first of all, it’s proximity to New Orleans. We have never visited the Crescent City and decided it was about time! The other bonus is a rail trail that runs through the park and continues in both directions for a total of about 30 miles. Our first full day in the park, we opted to ride our bikes on the Tammany Trace rail-to-trail system heading east.
The Tammany Trace follows the old rail corridor for the Illinois Central Railroad. The bike/hike trail is paved and extends from the town of Covington to the town of Slidell – passing through Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe along the way. Our ride took us close to the terminus of the trail near Slidell and proved to be a 20-mile round trip affair! After 5 days of sitting in the truck, the exercise was welcome albeit tiresome! Our legs were screaming at us by the time we returned to our campsite!
It’s a pleasant, relatively flat ride through the low country along the coast of Lake Pontchartrain. We stopped for a snack at the bridge that spans the Bayou Lacombe and I took the opportunity to shoot some photographs.
Adjacent to the Bayou Lacombe Bridge is a very nicely maintained restroom and picnic shelter. The volunteers who patrol and maintain the Tammany Trace also have an office here. It was nice to see that the trace is monitored for both safety and for cleanliness.
After returning from our bike ride, we spent the evening planning out our day in New Orleans! Stay tuned for the adventures of a couple of country folk in the big city! 🙂