Plantation Tour on the Great River Road
This tour takes you along both sides of the Mississippi River, between Plaquemine and Donaldsonville, but to do the trip as a “loop” requires crossing the Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville. This is a tall, long bridge with intermittent grates, and it’s not for the feint of heart. So you may want to do an out-and-back trip from Plaquemine, using the ferry crossing there.
Prior to the Civil War, the River Road was home to the wealthiest planters in the South, and beautiful plantations still grace both sides of the river in this area. Some are occupied and not open to the public, but they worth seeing from the outside. Consider stopping for a tour at the spectacular Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, on the west side of the river, and at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, on the east side. You’ll find excellent dining and browsing at both places. Other grand homes along the way include Ashland-Belle Helene, L’Hermitage, Bocage, Mulberry Grove and Tally Ho plantations.
Start: Plaquemine Locks. Lots of parking available. From the Plaquemine Locks, take Seminary Road (the road alongside the levee).
0.4 Right on Fort Street. Cross Hwy.1 North.
0.7 Left on Hwy.1 South. Stay in the left lane on this one-way street.
1.1 Left on Hwy. 75. Follow signs to the ferry.
1.2 Cross Hwy.1 North and continue on Hwy.75 & 405 to the ferry.
1.2 Left on cutover road and take immediate right to Plaquemine & Sunshine Ferry. Take the ferry to the East Bank of the Mississippi River and follow Hwy.75 South.
3.3 Continue straight on Hwy.75.
8.6 Highway 141 & Highway 75 in St. Gabriel. Continue on Hwy.75.
10.6 Left on River Road (Hwy.75 S)
17.6 Ashland-Belle Helene Plantation. (not open for tours) This majestic Greek revival house was built in 1841 for Duncan Kenner who was one of the wealthiest, most prominent and influential men in the history of Louisiana.
23.0 Junction of Hwys. 75 & 22 & 942. Continue on Hwy. 942 following the levee.
24.5 L’Hermitage Plantation. (private)
25.5 Bocage Plantation. (private)
27.4 Houmas House (open for tours)
28.1 Junction of highways 942 and 44;. Take Hwy.44 to the right (south)
Note: You can do an out and back to the Plaquemine /Sunshine Ferry. Only very experienced cyclists should attempt to cross the Sunshine Bridge. This is a very tall, long bridge with intermittent grates. It’s not for the feint of heart.
To continue the loop by crossing the bridge, 31.4 Left to Donaldsonville on Hwy. 70 to cross bridge.
Note: After you cross the bridge, pull over to the shoulder at the traffic light.
33.4 You need to cross the four lane road and take the road that curves back under the bridge.
33.6 Left at T and Stop on Hwy.18 (River Road) to Donaldsonville.
41.0 Donaldsonville City Limits.
41.5 Railroad Ave. & Mississippi Street in Donaldsonville.
Donaldsonville to White Castle
Take Railroad Avenue. There are several unusual eating places on Railroad Avenue---Ruggerio’s, The Grapevine and Bittersweet.
0.5 Right on Hwy.1 at traffic light.
3.9 Right on Hwy. 405 following MRT sign.
10.6 Mulberry Grove.
16.2 White Castle Ferry. Runs weekdays only in the morning and afternoon.
18.0 White Castle at the Intersection of Hwy.405 & 69.
White Castle to Plaquemine
0.0 Right on Hwy. 405 in White Castle.
1.5 Nottoway Plantation.
2.8 Tally Ho Plantation.
5.9 Madonna Chapel (smallest Church in the world).
14.7 Right on Hwy. 1 (follow MRT sign) Plaquemine City Limits.
15.5 Right on Main Street. The Iberville Museum will be on the right and the Plaquemine Lock Museum will be on the left.