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The Wisner Trail sits sandwiched between two of New Orleans favorite recreation attractions: It's adjacent to Wisner Boulevard, which forms the east border of City Park, the city's flagship open space. The park is 1300 acres, bigger than New York's Central Park and boasts everything from athletic fields to botanical gardens; regular, mini and disc-golf courses, an amusement park and even the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden. The park also has it's own system of pathways which you can access via the Wisner Trail.
On the other side, the trail traces Bayou St. John,an old commercial waterway between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River that's now a popular recreation area. The Wisner Trail commands scenic views of the tranquil bayou and the rows of trees and houses that dot the opposite bank. The grassy bank of the bayou invites picnickers. Residents also use the watercourse for paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.
The Wisner Trail begins on Robert E. Lee Boulevard south to Moss Street. It is a two-lane concrete path with multiple street crossing points.
Park at City Park and then use one of the park trails to connect to the trail. For example, you can park at the Reunion Shelter, an in-park event venue (4 Frederich's Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124) and then ride on Friedrich's Avenue, and then north on the Festival Grounds Trail to Wisner Boulevard. See the map for parking options on the east end of the park.
Do you like waterways? Trees and greenery? Wide open spaces? Protected traffic crossings? The Wisner Trail rolls all these together in a relaxed park setting that affords cyclists a safe, well-shaded and fun winding path connecting the Esplanade Ridge with the New Orleans Lakefront.
Expect to pass very few (if any, especially while raining) other trail users on this relatively new two-way gem, but when you do, note the mix of roller bladers, walkers, joggers, and fellow bike riders. During inclement weather, be alert for low-hanging branches and possibly slipper conditions on the tighter turns.
Your only elevation happens along the newly constructed I-610 overpass, but it passes quickly and your traversal is 100% separated from moving vehicles. Enjoy the view as, at 20+ feet, you'll be atop one of the taller points for miles around.
Descending in either direction affords you the opportunity to branch off along minor trails leading into City Park, while the trail heads invite you onto roadside paths shooting out along Esplanade and points south, or via surface streets to Lakeshore Drive and points north/west.
Bring along a picnic lunch or fishing pole if you have time to sojourn along Bayou St. John, where boaters and paddle boarders frequent. If you're looking for more adventure, cruise the Big Lagoon next to the New Orleans Museum of Art and/or take a turn with the rented canoes or paddle boats. (They also offer cabana bikes by the hour.)
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