This 31-mile asphalted rail-to-trail conversion of a former segment of the Illinois Central Railroad connects five communities: Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell. A wildlife conservation corridor that links isolated parks, historic landmarks and wetlands, the trail affords close views of the natural habitat, providing unbroken access via 31 bridges built on the original railroad trestles. Trace rangers, who help ensure the safety of trail users, are available to answer questions and offer assistance daily from sunrise to sunset. They have the only authorized use of motorized vehicles on the trace.
The Covington trailhead resembles an old-fashioned railroad station and includes a covered waiting platform, a bandstand, a visitor center and small movie theater. In Abita Springs, the Abita Tourism Plaza, museum and children's playground are popular, as is the Abita Brew Pub and the unusual Abita Mystery House.
The Tammany Trace headquarters is in Mandeville, where you will find fun for kids, along with a cultural interpretative center, with restrooms, picnic tables and parking. Bike rentals are available nearby at the Kickstand Café. From there, the trace runs to Fontainebleau State Park, 2,800 acres of nature and hiking trails, with campsites, cabins, pavilions, sailboat and canoe launch, fishing and beach swimming. Then you’ll roll on to Lacombe, a quiet community where you’ll enjoy exploring scenic Bayou Lacombe amidst graceful oak trees and pines. In the final stretch you will move on toward Slidell and, ultimately, Camp Salmen, where you’ll find a nature park along peaceful Bayou Liberty. See TammanyTrace.org or call 985-867-9490.