Greetings, Bicycle Tourists!
If you're in the area and wondering how to get from Baton Rouge to New Orleans we'd like to suggest the following routes. All three start in the vicinity of Louisiana State University. There are three main options:
Below are links and embedded maps of the routes created on the Map My Ride Website. Please let us know if the links are not working by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, you may ride these routes in the opposite direction to get from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
Please note: If for some reason you need to get to New Orleans in a real hurry, just want to take a day off, or for some reason can't ride, consider the LA Swift bus. This bus costs $5.00 one-way, cash only, no change made so you won't get on if you don't have EXACTLY $5.00 on you. Buses leave Baton Rouge weekdays as early as 4.30 AM and as late as 6.00 PM. See one of the links above for details.
Have a great ride! We'd love it if you would let us know how the routes work for you. Any feedback received will be used to fine tune the routes.
"Fast and Furious" - 86.26 miles / 138.822 kilometers - takes you out of Baton Rouge from the vicinity of the Louisiana State University campus going south and east on Nicholson Drive / LA 30. There is a bicycle path on the River / west side of Nicholson Drive / LA 30 beginning at Skip Bertman Drive / South Stadium Drive on the LSU campus. The path ends at the intersection of Nicholson Drive / LA 30 with Brightside Drive / West Lee Drive.
Following LA 30 will take you to Airline Highway / US 61 a few miles above Sorrento. From there you pretty much stay on Airline Highway / US 61 into New Orleans. This route does, however, take you to the Levee Path - a paved bicycle facility completely separated from motor vehicle traffic - in Norco so that the last 25 miles / 40 kilometers of the route can be motor vehicle free. The Levee Path will take you into Audubon Park in uptown New Orleans near Tulane University and is mapped out, below, to take you directly to Magazine Street.
Your attention please (1): LA 30 has a shoulder except for just east of Interstate 10 on the span between South Burnside Avenue / LA 44 and Airline Highway / US 61, a distance of 2.35 miles / 3.8 kilometers. There can be fairly high volume motor vehicle traffic on this stretch of road so use your own judgement as to whether you will pull over occasionally to let the traffic through or not.
Your attention please (2): The shoulder on Airline Highway / US 61 is badly broken up from the intersection with LA 30 to a few miles below the intersection with Interstate 10, approximately 10 miles / 16 kilometers. Motor traffic is fairly moderate on this stretch of highway allowing you to ride in the travel lane when possible.
East Bank of the Mississippi River - 106.17 miles / 170.86 kilometers - takes you out of Baton Rouge from the vicinity of the Louisiana State University campus going south and east on Nicholson Drive / LA 30. The first segment along Nicholson Drive / LA 30 reduces the route mileage a bit by bypassing the first few bends of the Mississippi River downstream of Baton Rouge.
Your attention please: There is a bicycle path on the west side of Nicholson Drive / LA 30. When coming into Baton Rouge from the south, the path begins at the intersection with Brightside Drive / West Lee Drive, the first traffic signal controlled intersection you reach.
When headed south out of town the path begins at Skip Bertman Drive / South Stadium Drive at the LSU campus.
N.B.: Beginning November 5, 2012, the Mississippi River levee multi-purpose access path between the Jefferson Parish line and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Headquarters will be closed to residential use. This closure is a part of the Carrollton Mississippi River Levee enlargement project. The closure of the path, locally referred to as the bike path, is anticipated to last until May 2013.
West Bank of the Mississippi River - 132.06 miles - takes you out of Baton Rouge from the vicinity of the Louisiana State University campus going south along Nicholson Drive / LA 30. The first segment along Nicholson Drive / LA 30 reduces the route mileage a bit by bypassing the first few bends of the Mississippi River downstream of Baton Rouge.
You will have to take the Plaquemine - Sunshine Ferry across the Mississippi River to reach the west bank of the river when heading south from Baton Rouge. As you near New Orleans you will first come to the Gretna - Canal Street Ferry to cross back across the River; the map below takes you to this ferry. This ferry is designated "pedestrian only" but bicycles are allowed.
You may continue through Gretna to Algiers Point to take the Algiers - Canal Street ferry if you wish; that segment is not included in the map below.
To check on Ferry status and schedules please follow this link http://www.dotd.la.gov/ferry/
Your attention please: On the east side of the River: to reach the Plaquemine / Sunshine Ferry you will have to ride down Nicholson Drive / LA 30 to Ben Hur Road. At the intersection with Ben Hur Road you will turn right and follow Ben Hur to River Road / LA 327. At the intersection, turn left on to River Road / LA 327.
Once on River Road / LA 327 you will reach a point where River Road / LA 327 splits with LA 327 going left and the Ferry road - LA 991 - turning right. Follow LA 991 looking for signs providing directions to the Ferry. LA 991 changes numbers in the vicinity of the Ferry to become LA 75. As you near the ferry crossing you will see signs indicating the direction of the landing.
On the west side of the River: to reach the Plaquemine / Sunshine Ferry you will stay on River Road as you approach Plaquemine. There doesn't seem to be much signage announcing the ferry but, when the River Road turns left and becomes Belleview Drive, you will see a short drive going up and over the levee. That's the access point.
Updated - 2012 November 12