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How to bicycle into New Orleans

On the adventure cycling southern route, there isn't a spur into New Orleans. Since I'm not yet canoing / kayaking, this page is for information on bicycling into and out of New Orleans. Google searches did not help me find which bridges into New Orleans can be cycled, so perhaps this page will change that. (Another city that could use a page like this is NYC / Staten Island, though adventure cycling has a route for that)

Added by colin #442 on 2003-09-21. Last modified 2008-03-05 06:49. Originally created 2003-09-21. F0 License: Attribution
Location: World, United States, Louisiana, New Orleans
Topics: cycling, route information

Latest update:


I'm glad that you found the info helpful. I don't see any need for you to enter N.O. from the East. The route that I have proposed coming from the North on Highway 51 is quite doable, in fact we have hosted cross-country cyclists who have done this route. There is a paved shoulder (or breakdown lane) all the way down Hwy. 51. There is also an Amtrack station in Hammond, LA which checks baggage(i.e. you could box your bike and check it as baggage and ride the train into New Orleans). The Adventure Cycling Assoc. Southern Tier Cross Country route (CA to FL) crosses Highway 51 at the town of Tangipahoa, LA. Also St. Charles Parish has been extending the paved levee-top bicycle path up-river. To my knowledge it is open as far as Ormond, LA currently, which is not that far from LaPlace via the River Road (maybe 10-15 miles). This bike path will bring you past two colonial plantation homes which are open to visitors: Ormond Plantation Home and Destrehan.


Here's some initial information:

I noticed that the bike america route comes in from the west:


And I also found this trip report (arriving from the east):


So perhaps I can arrive from the east and leave from the west.

Subject:  RE: [ccc_online] Fwd: bike into New Orleans from the north?] Date:  Sat, 20 Sep 2003 22:12:09 -0500 From:  "Michael Hamner"


You cannot cross ANY of the bridges into New Orleans on a bicycle (legally), with the exception of the US Highway 90 bridge over "the Rigolets", which is a small water inlet between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne: essentially a bay of the Gulf of Mexico, and that wouldn't do you any good because that only works if you're coming from Mississippi to Louisiana, i.e. East to West! (Some of you may say that Highway 11 from Slidell is legal for a cyclist, but: number 1 - it's closed right now and, number 2 - you'd probably become roadkill during the crossing).

The solution: Don't cross any bridges. You're trying to get to New Orleans from Natchez Mississippi, the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace. You're much better off pedaling Mississippi back roads which take you east to U.S. Highway 51, near Osyka, MS and connect to U.S. Highway 51 which is a two-lane highway that once was a major Noth-South artery in SE Louisiana, but which now parallels a major Interstate Highway: I-55. You can take U.S. Highway 51 from the Mississippi/Louisiana border going south. This will lead you to the city of LaPlace, Louisiana from which you can pedal U.S.61 (locally known as Airline Highway) - a four-lane highway with a shoulder (or berm,to you, most probably) and much truck traffic, or you can ride the levee-top dirt/gravel road along the Mississippi River until you encounter the paved (bitumen) Mississippi River Levee Trail bicycle path near Destrehan, LA.

The Miss. River Bike Path will bring you to Audubon Park in "Uptown" New Orleans and it is a short cycle from there into the city and the French Quarter. Order the "Bicycle Map of New Orleans" from neworleansbikemap at yahoo.com or snail-mail to Student Bicycling Coordinator, 201D Alcee' Fortier Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118. This will give you good routes from Audubon Park to the Central Business District (CBD) or the French Quarter ( Vieux Carre')( sorry, my acce'nt acute ne function pas aujourdui!)

For cycling in Mississippi and Louisiana I recommend the following Map Books:

  1. The Roads of Louisiana by Shearer Publishing ( http://www.shearerpub.com/travel.htm )(MUCH better than the Delorme Guide for Louisiana)
  2. The Mississippi Atlas and Gazeteer from Delorme Publishing (http://www.delorme.com/atlasgaz) (because Shearer Publishing doesn't have a Map Book on Mississippi!)

If you need more info on roads in Mississippi I can probably find the highway numbers for you. I can also advise as to which towns along U.S. 51 in Louisiana have motels in case you're not camping.

I hope that this helps!

Michael Hamner

Louisiana Native 
Licensed New Orleans Tour Guide and Lecturer 
Owner- French Louisiana Bike Tours 
LAB Effective Cycling Instructor 
Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) Leadership Training Graduate 

m.hamner at att . net (504)488-7053  

-----Original Message----- From: Lynn Jacobs Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2003 1:31 PM To: CCC Online; BRBC - Wickert, Bruce L. Subject: [ccc_online] Fwd: bike into New Orleans from the north?]  

Maybe someone on either the CCC or the BRBC e-group has an answer to this man's dilemma.  Thanks for your help.  Lynn

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Fwd: bike into New Orleans from the north? Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 05:10:12 -0700 (PDT) From: Colin Leath

NOBC and CCC list owners,

I'm trying to find which bridges into New Orleans I can ride over. I'll be coming down the trace on the adventure cycling route. I've done many google searches, and checked with the DOT (nothing). Any suggestions you have or websites you can point me to I will appreciate.

Please CC eachother, so that if one of you has good advice the other doesn't need to reply also.

Thanks! Colin http://purl.oclc.org/net/cfu  

For more information on the Crescent City Cyslists Bicycle Touring Club go to: http://www.CrescentCityCyclists.org

Colin Leath <>    

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