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Sports & Recreation

New Orleans By Bike: Lake Pontchartrain

Utilize the new Esplanade Avenue bike path and use this New Orleans bike route from the French Quarter to Lake Pontchartrain.

If you take a look around New Orleans, you’ll see the modes of transportation are pretty diverse. Cars share the road with pedicabs, carriages, scooters and bikes. As for the latter, biking in New Orleans is progressively more prevalent with new bike lanes, a heightened awareness and growing culture. We’ve had a lovely spring in New Orleans, and before you know it, it’ll be summer.  So in preparation for the warmer months, we thought it’d be beneficial to highlight a few ways to get you out from under the Urban Heat Island Effect and back to nature.

This is the second article in a series highlighting bike routes available to you in New Orleans, with key destinations at the end of each.  The first installment provided an efficient and smooth route to Bayou St. John, to help you travel with ease to Bayou Boogaloo!

If you’re in the Quarter and would like to cool off after heating up on a bike ride and are looking for one heck of a cruise up to the lake, the latest street being resurfaced in our fair city is Esplanade Avenue.  Long in need of repair, it’s finally getting the TLC it deserves after serving New Orleans for so long.  And best of all, it’s getting a bike lane!

It’s nearly completed, and once the paint is down officially demarcating the bike lanes, you’ll be able to cruise right on out of downtown and make it all the way up to the lake where it’s traditionally 1,000 degrees cooler (give or take) and breezy with a great view.

Esplanade Avenue is one of the most beautiful streets in the city, with classic New Orleans architecture, plenty of trees, and a ton of history.  So how do you get all the way up to the lake to cool off?

Take the newly minted bike path up Esplanade “north,” or away from the river.  Continue pedaling until you arrive at the entrance to the New Orleans Museum of Art at Carrollton.  Now, crossing 610 can be tricky.  The safest and most enjoyable way is surely through City Park (instead of the potentially dangerous Wisner Boulevard overpass with no bike lane).  In order to do that, enter City Park, heading towards the New Orleans Museum of Art (you can’t miss it – the formidable building with large pillars) and go around the lake that will be to your right.

Keep heading north on the trail along Wisner Blvd, cross over Robert E Lee Blvd, continue a wee bit further on Beauregard Ave, and then you hit Lakeshore Drive.  You’re there.  You made it.  Go east or west along the lake, or sit down and take a load off. Congratulations, you’ve arrived at Lake Pontchartrain.

On your way up, you can always venture into the park.  It’s worth exploring. There are paths everywhere, and even opportunities for off-roading.  And, of course, there are plenty of cool, shady grassy knolls. Biking in New Orleans has never been better, so start pedaling!

If you’re visiting, find out the best places for New Orleans bike rentals to get you on the road. In addition, plan out what to do once you arrive at your destination, like jetski and kayak rentals, cruises and tours!

Thomas Rush is an entrepreneur and writer living in New Orleans in several capacities.  He currently serves as the Proprietor of Few and Far Company, an online retailer for adventurous gentlemen,  and COO of Yvelise Limoncello.

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