Amid the gently rolling hills and pastoral countryside of southeast Louisiana, just north of Abita Springs, is Pontchartrain Vineyards and Winery (see PontchartrainVineyards.com), Louisiana’s premier producer of fine table wines. Visit the Old World, French Provincial tasting room, visitor’s center and terrace overlooking hillside vineyards and taste a wonderful collection of distinctive, award-winning wines.
The Northshore town of Abita Springs is famous for its artesian waters and the Abita Brewery. It is also home to three easy to moderately easy Louisiana bike trails that take you from the charming town into the countryside, past beautiful horse farms, to a delightful winery and alongside Lake Pontchartrain. The 28-mile Tammany Trace, part of the National Rail-Trail Network, runs through the region. When an afternoon of cycling leaves you hungry, take a break at the Abita Brew Pub.
This ride combines the rural roads with a portion of the Tammany Trace, a nice biking, hiking and nature trail. A good place to start is the gazebo at the town center of Abita Springs. There you can pick up the Tammany Trace and head south to Mandeville. Be cautious at the many intersections. Here, you could veer off the trace for a while and head south on Gerard Street to visit “Old Mandeville” and the waterfront. You will find restaurants and other establishments in the area, and you’ll enjoy the view along Lake Pontchartrain.
This is a beautiful ride that passes many horse farms. There will be some roll to the land as you progress on the ride toward Folsom, and you may encounter some traffic as you leave Abita Springs, but most of the route will be quiet. Along with lovely scenery, you’ll find good dining spots along the way. Try Abita Brew Pub for some great microbrews and a casual lunch, or you might stop at Abita Springs Café. The route back from Folsom passes many ranches and beautiful homes. Folsom is the center of Louisiana’s multimillion-dollar horse industry.