We love New Orleans and several years ago, we had done a bike tour of the neighborhoods in the city. (This was two years after Hurricane Katrina and the 2-3 foot high water marks could still be seen on the homes where the water had crested.) We were excited to get to town, but first, we had to explore Louisiana’s first rail trail. We started at the west end of the 28.2-mile Tammany Trace Trail in the cute little town of Covington after driving several miles along Louisiana “highways” (known as two-lane country roads in other states) north of Lake Ponchartrain. The landscape along these highways mimicked that which the trail traversed: scruffy pines and other trees nestled among soft green underbrush – all rising out of the swampy forests and wetlands with turgid canals on either side of the road/trail.