The Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans is a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and green corridor connecting neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park that opened in November 2015. The Greenway transforms one of the city's most historic transportation corridors--originally a canal connecting to Bayou St. John to the edge of the French Quarter, and later a railroad right-of-way that has sat vacant since the mid-20th century--into a multi-use transportation corridor and linear park.
It’s called the Big Easy and the Crescent City, but it could also be known as a Pedaler’s Paradise. Biking in New Orleans offers a wonderful way to explore this historic city, so full of architectural gems, tucked-away gardens and delicious restaurants. Take in dramatic views of the Mississippi River as you ride on the Mississippi Levee-Top Trail. See Audubon Park and Tulane University along the Garden District Loop and enjoy the famous historic district of the Vieux Carré or French Quarter. The trails are easy enough for cycling novices, though in some areas you may be cycling alongside heavy traffic.
You will find much to see along this ride through a unique area of New Orleans, but you must use caution in the city traffic.
Esplanade Avenue is part of the oldest subdivision in the country, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful houses along this route. The ride takes you up Wisner Boulevard and along scenic Bayou St. John and City Park, and then along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
The opportunity to tour one of the most important historic districts in America is rare. Enjoy your ride through the 90-square-block Vieux Carré, more commonly known as the French Quarter. Bordered by Iberville Street, Esplanade Avenue, Rampart Street and the Mississippi River, this 300-year-old neighborhood is one of the country’s most important treasures.
While this route is flat and pedaling is easy, only very experienced cyclists should attempt it because of the difficult traffic conditions. You will encounter heavy traffic as you leave the French Quarter and cross Canal Street. The route takes you through the trendy Warehouse District, with its many art galleries and restaurants, and within a block of the National World War II Museum. When you get into the Garden District and Uptown, you will have to negotiate narrower, heavily traveled streets with much stop-and-go traffic.
The Garden District and Uptown New Orleans are filled with graceful mansions and raised cottages surrounded by magnolias and sprawling oaks. This lovely area, with its lush landscaping and extravagant gardens dotted with statuary and fountains, is an excellent place to tour by bike.
The Great River Road is your path out of Donaldsonville toward New Orleans. When you see the Sunshine Bridge looming off to your left, climb the levee for a view of the Mississippi River and the ocean-going vessels that ply its waters. At about the 16 mile point, see the historic St. James Cemetery, and a bit farther on, Oak Alley, one of the most beautiful plantations in the state. You could spend the night here, or continue a few more miles to Laura Plantation for a fascinating look into the world of the early Creoles.
Note: This route is currently closed about two miles into the trail, so bikers may need to choose an alternate route.
This paved levee top trail gives you an opportunity to bike, jog or skate without worrying about traffic. However, you do need to watch for cars and trucks crossing the trail at various places along the route. You begin at the Audubon Zoo, so you may want to build a zoo visit into your schedule first. The initial six miles of the trail run through a commercial area.