The Trace, as it’s known to locals, is so named because it traces 28 miles across St. Tammany Parish, connecting the communities of Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe, with an additional unconnected seven-mile stretch between Lacombe and Slidell. Most of the corridor is 200-feet wide, traversing lush woods that form a canopy overhead. There are 31 bridges in peppered throughout the Trace, and many of them are magnificent timber bridges, once railroad trestles, that are still structurally sound. The reuse of these original trestles has made the Trace a right-of-way into a wildlife conservation corridor that links isolated parks, creates greenways and preserves wetlands.
In the early days, the railroad was the lifeblood of St. Tammany Parish. Today, this spur is an extremely popular recreation, transportation and educational corridor. Now called The Tammany Trace, it is Louisiana's first and only rails-to-trails conversion. This multi-purpose public path, created from the Illinois Central Railroad corridor, meanders through loblolly pines, live oaks, and magnolias from Slidell to Covington, Louisiana.
"The White House Millennium Council chose The Tammany Trace as one of 50 Millennium Legacy Trails."
Like our first explorers, you can crisscross urban, suburban and rural St. Tammany on foot, skates, bicycles, and horses and in wheelchairs. This 31-mile asphalted trail and parallel equestrian trail connects five communities--Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe, and Slidell.
The Trace, as locals call it, also serves as a wildlife conservation corridor, linking isolated parks, creating greenways, and preserving historic landmarks and wetlands. You can observe the natural habitat, bayous, streams and rivers from the vantage point of 31 bridges built on the original railroad trestles.]]>