Louisiana August 07, 2019
This Abandoned Railway Hike In Louisiana Is A Historic Treasure
The railroad has a long history with Lousiana. But what do you do when a railroad track has been abandoned and no longer in use? As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that’s just what the folks in St. Tammany Parish did when they created Louisiana’s only rail-to-trail conversion that will take you through some of the most charming towns in Louisiana. Let’s check it out.
The Illinois Central Railroad was once a lifeline for St. Tammany Parish.
What was once a thriving industry for delivering goods and a popular method of transportation for people was eventually abandoned in the early 1990s.
With the help of federal aid, St. Tammany Parish purchased the abandoned railroad track with the intention of paving it and transforming it into a recreational path for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
The parish purchased a portion of the track in 1992 and in 1994, the first section of the trail — an 8.5-mile stretching running from Abita Springs to Mandeville — was opened.
Today the Tammany Trace stretches for 31 miles across five cities.
The Trace runs through Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and ends in Slidell.
It is the only rails-to-trails conversion in Louisiana.
And is continuously being updated. In fact, earlier this year they began work on adding a tunnel where it crosses a busy stretch of LA-59 just north of Mandeville. That project is slated to be completed in 2020.
The paved trail is great for cyclists and rollerbladers, but also perfect for a casual afternoon stroll.
You don’t have to do the entire 31 miles in one stretch, you can hop on and hop off at the different trailheads.
There are five trailheads at each town you come across.
Each trailhead features different attractions, such as splash pads, rest areas, etc. You can also hop off the trail to grab a bite to eat or explore these charming towns on foot before hopping back on the trail.
Along the way, you’ll cross over beautiful water views.
There are several remodeled railroad trestles that have been converted into pedestrian bridges.
Whether you’re looking for an epic adventure or just a leisurely scenic nature walk, the Tammany Trace has something for everyone.
Mandeville Trailhead Address: 675 Lafitte Street, Mandeville, LA, 70448
For more trails, check out our previous article
Have you ever been down the Tammany Trace? What’s your favorite part? Let us know in the comments below!