Louisiana is a popular place to retire due to its lower cost of living and warm weather. Seniors can make their dollars stretch further while enjoying a laidback lifestyle in a close-knit community. It is also a tax-friendly state for retirees.
If you or someone you know is of retirement age, you may wonder what fun, easy, and scenic walking trails are available in this southern state. Check out this list of the top 10 senior-friendly walking trails in Louisiana, including length, estimated time, and difficulty level.
1. Fontainebleau State Park – Cane Bayou Track
Sitting on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, Fontainebleau State Park is 2,800 acres and a historic place famous for its old sugar cane plantation. There’s a $3 entrance fee, and it’s popular for hiking, biking, and boating.
The Cane Bayou Track is an easy 4.4-mile out-and-back trail in Mandeville, popular for its casual hiking path. It takes around an hour and 20 minutes to complete, depending on ability level, and is also a great option for wheelchair users. The well-maintained trail is open year-round and allows dogs on leashes.
2. Driskill Mountain Trail
Located in Bienville Parish, Driskill Mountain is the highest natural summit in Louisiana. It features an elevation of 535 feet above sea level in the Northern region of the state and its summit is marked by a pile of rocks.
Despite its mountain title, Driskill Mountain Trail is an easy and steady climb to the summit, gaining about 167 feet in elevation. This 1.8-mile out-and-back trail takes about 40 to 45 minutes to complete, but you may want to tack on more time for exploring Louisiana’s highest point. It’s a popular hiking spot, so you are likely to encounter people on your hike. Dogs are also allowed off-leash in some areas.
3. Audobon Park – Audobon Park Loop
This municipal park is in Uptown New Orleans and covers about 350 acres, six miles from the city center. Audubon Park is an excellent place to unwind in a peaceful natural setting in the city. You can walk or jog the 1.9-mile jogging path among ancient live oaks or check out the tennis courts and golf club. The Audubon Park Loop trail takes around 35 minutes to complete and is excellent for those who need a smooth walking trail. The park can get busy occasionally because of its location. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash.
4. Woldenberg Riverfront Park – French Quarter River Walk
If you’re looking for a casual stroll along the water, you must check out Woldenberg Riverfront Park. This 16-acre green space stretches between the Mississippi River and New Orleans’s historic French Quarter. The French Quarter River Walk is an easy 1.3-mile out-and-back trail popular for running, walking, and biking. It takes around 25 minutes to complete and is less busy in the early mornings. Dogs are allowed but must be on leashes for most of the trail.
5. Acadiana Park Nature Station – Moon Seed Loop
This 150-acre facility is in Lafayette, Louisiana, where it’s been preserving undisturbed wild forests since 1978. The trail begins in the parking lot of the Acadiana Park Nature Station and loops its way across wooden walkways, marked paths, and bridges for a little more than four miles. While you don’t have to go the full way, it would likely take between an hour and 15 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on mobility. Early mornings are an excellent time to visit the Moon Seed Loop because there are fewer people.
6. Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge – Boy Scout Road
The Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is 15,000 acres of pine flatwoods and coastal marshes in Lacombe. It features diverse habitats along Lake Pontchartrain’s coastline that give visitors a glimpse into this unique wetland ecosystem. Boy Scout Road is the only trail that winds through the refuge, and it’s a five-mile out-and-back trail that is generally easy and smooth enough for people of all mobility types. It’s a popular spot for birding, walking, biking, and running. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
7. New Orleans City Park South Loop
This city park is 1,300 acres in New Orleans and is one of the most visited urban parks in the United States. It’s 50% larger than New York’s Central Park and offers visitors plenty of space and recreational opportunities. New Orleans City Park South Loop is a 4.2-mile loop trail that takes between an hour and 15 minutes and two hours to complete. This trail can get pretty busy during the day and is best enjoyed in the early mornings on weekdays. It’s a great place to stroll among towering oak trees close to the city.
8. Tammany Trace Trail
The Tammany Trace Trail, or “The Trace,” as the locals call it, is a walking rail trail perfect for people of all ages. It runs from Covington, Louisiana, to Slidell and winds through many exciting places, such as numerous parks and brew pubs. It’s a smooth, flat track perfect for biking, walking, and for those in wheelchairs. If you were to walk the entire trail, it would take just over 27 miles from point to point. Most people walk certain portions of the trail and turn around, so the miles and time are really up to you. If you were to walk the entire path, it would take nearly eight hours. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on this trail.
9. Bottomland Trail
Located near Belle Chasse, Louisiana, the Bottomland Trail is a 5.4-mile loop trail perfect for walking, birding, and horseback riding. On average, it takes an hour and 35 minutes to more than two hours to complete. It’s an excellent place for those wanting to find solace and quiet near the city. The trail leads deep into the woods and features abundant wildlife, like armadillos, deer, and swamp bunnies. Just look out for the bugs! You can bring dogs, but they must be on a leash.
10. Fontainebleau State Park – Sugarmill Nature Trail
Another easy trail in the Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville is the Sugarmill Nature Trail. This path is a 1.2-mile loop trail that takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. It’s great for those wanting a quiet stroll through nature, and it also offers spots for fishing and birders. Be sure to check out the old sugar cane refinery ruins but watch out for banana spiders! Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash.
A Summary of the Top 10 Senior-Friendly Walking Trails in Louisiana
|Senior-Friendly Walking Trails
|Senior-friendly walking trails
|Fontainebleau State Park – Cane Bayou Track
|1 hour 20 minutes
|Driskill Mountain Trail
|Audobon Park – Audubon Park Loop
|Woldenberg Riverfront Park – French Quarter River Walker
|Acadiana Park Nature Station – Moon Seed Loop
|1 hour 15 minutes
|Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge – Boy Scout Road
|1 hour 30 minutes
|New Orleans City Park South Loop
|1 hour 15 minutes
|Tammany Trace Trail
|1 hour 40 minutes
|Fontainebleau State Park – Sugarmill Nature Trail
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pattie Steib/Shutterstock.com
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