Tour de Tammany

IMG_0494.JPGMy mom and Aunt Nan have been training on their bikes for weeks to ride the Tammany Trace Trail. I was honored to be invited on their venture and hoped I could keep up with these biking beauties-slash-beasts!

They showed up wearing helmets, donning bike shorts and even purchased blinking lights. All I had was an old pink beach cruiser with a bell that no longer dinged and some stretchy pants.

So, I put my backpack on, sprayed downed my “Ole Pink Trusty” with WD-40 and got to pedaling.

A little background on the Trace……

It is located on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.  Made from an old train track, it was paved from Covington to Slidell, Louisiana, via Abita Springs, Old Mandeville and LaCombe, Louisiana.  It covers 31 miles and has four main trailheads, housing parks, bathrooms and usually near one of these towns.  Bikes, skates, horses, and hiking are allowed.

Let’s just say we covered 25 of the miles and my bum was pretty numb and my knees were creaky.  My Aunt Nan said she knew I was behind her as long as she could hear the squeak of my pedal.  (Apparently I didn’t apply enough WD-40 to the pedals.)

fullsizeoutput_34f3.jpegAll of the towns on the Trace are quaint and unique in their own way.  But, we started at the Abita Springs Trailhead, known for its brewery.fullsizeoutput_3502They have tours daily, which include tastings.fullsizeoutput_3503.jpegfullsizeoutput_3504.jpegWe actually ate at the Abita Springs Brew Pub right on the trailhead before heading out on our trek.IMG_0491.JPGfullsizeoutput_34fb.jpegfullsizeoutput_3508.jpegfullsizeoutput_3509.jpegfullsizeoutput_350a.jpegfullsizeoutput_350b.jpegfullsizeoutput_350c.jpegThey serve traditional Louisiana fare with lots of great seafood and Abita beer.

Other dining/lodging options in Abita Springs:fullsizeoutput_3506.jpegAbita Springs Cafefullsizeoutput_34f1.jpegfullsizeoutput_34f2.jpeg

Abita Springs Hotel

Fueled and ready for the ride, we set off.IMG_0492.JPGfullsizeoutput_358c.jpegNot intending to, we headed toward Covington.  When we got to Covington, we turned around, with me already wondering what I got myself into.  But, I put on my game face and kept pedaling, wishing I brought some t.p. for my booty.

We returned to the Abita Springs Trailhead and kept on going.  The scenery was beautiful, wildflowers blooming everywhere.  There was the occasional four-way stop where drivers were usually courteous and let us go first.

We finally arrived at the Old Mandeville Trailhead.  It houses an amphitheater and of course bathrooms, where we took a break.fullsizeoutput_358e.jpegIMG_0504.JPGWe then headed down Girod Street, which is the main drag, full of shops and restaurants and leads you to the lake.IMG_0676.JPGfullsizeoutput_351b.jpegWe stopped at the Rusty Pelican.  And then headed to the lake. We passed many cute lodging/dining options.fullsizeoutput_351e.jpegfullsizeoutput_3520.jpeg

The Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast (not pictured is also Fontainebleau State Park located right on Lake Pontchartrain.)fullsizeoutput_3528.jpegfullsizeoutput_3527.jpegMcClain’s Pizzeria (with rooftop)fullsizeoutput_3529.jpegfullsizeoutput_352a.jpegAnd, the Beach House.

Then a ride along the lake….beautiful!!!IMG_0683.JPGfullsizeoutput_3596IMG_0508.JPGThe houses and live oaks facing the lake were just as beautiful!!

Exhausted, we headed back with 8 more miles to go!  I had to psyche my backside up for this!

Feeling like a rock star after keeping up with these ladies, we arrived where we started and drove into Covington for the night.

We checked into The Camellia House Bed and Breakfast.  It was adorable!fullsizeoutput_3530.jpegfullsizeoutput_3531.jpegfullsizeoutput_352b.jpegfullsizeoutput_352dfullsizeoutput_352efullsizeoutput_352f.jpegWe ate at Ox Lot 9. for dinner, but there are so many dining options to choose from that we had a hard time making a decision.  Ox Lot 9 is located in The Southern Hotel, another lodging option in Covington and located to many shops and restaurants.fullsizeoutput_359e.jpegfullsizeoutput_35a5.jpegfullsizeoutput_35a1.jpegfullsizeoutput_35a9.jpegfullsizeoutput_35ab.jpegfullsizeoutput_35ad.jpegfullsizeoutput_3532Covington is another great town with plenty of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities.fullsizeoutput_3534.jpegfullsizeoutput_3535.jpegfullsizeoutput_3539.jpegfullsizeoutput_3536.jpegWe had a blast and got to burn off all the calories we consumed, too!  So, if you are looking for a different getaway with lots of small-town feels and plenty of reasons to get a move on, try the Northshore!





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