Jogging and Walking in New Orleans
Best Places to Go for a Run or Walk
Walkers and runners will find New Orleans a great place where trails and paths take visitors through charming neighborhoods, quite parks and along waterways.
The two-mile path at Audubon Park circles between Magazine St. and St. Charles Ave. and is perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the city for a morning run or walk. Wrapping around a well-maintained Par 62 golf course, the path travels underneath century-old, moss-draped oak trees and past a few quiet lagoons which are the top birding spots in the city. Audubon Park is also flanked by some of the city’s most beautiful homes and there are plenty of benches and shelters along the route.
The three-quarter-mile-long Zemurray Trail along Big Lake in City Park offers jogging, walking and biking opportunities in one of the most scenic settings in New Orleans. Easily accessible and within sight of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the trail is partially paved and partially a boardwalk that follows the circumference of the largest lake in the park.
All along the trail are such eye-friendly sights as large outdoor sculptures, a replica of a Venetian gondola, a large sculpted white pelican (the Louisiana State Bird) and even a live oak tree with large wind chimes that fill the air with sonorous notes when even a slight breeze is blowing. Out on the lake itself are many species of waterfowl, including ducks, geese and swans, and a fountain that shoots water about 30-40 feet in the air. Paddle boats can be rented when in season.
Bayou St. John
The 1.7 mile-long jogging and biking path alongside scenic Bayou St. John runs along the eastern boundary of City Park. The trail, a continuation of a bicycle path that begins several miles to the south and runs through the lower end of City Park, winds around live oak trees and marsh grasses that grow along the bayou. The 10-foot-wide, concrete-paved path runs between Milton Street, just above the I-610 overpass, and Robert E. Lee Boulevard.
From the trail, joggers and other users will see, on the opposite side of the bayou, some of the most exclusive homes in the city, including those on Park Island. Most of the houses have docking facilities for small boats and other watercraft.
Those looking for a path along the water can take in the warm breezes of Lake Pontchartrain along Lakeshore Drive. Pontchartrain is the second largest saltwater lake in the country and Lakeshore Drive has long been a picnic ground and recreation area for locals.
The path along Woldenberg Park and the Moonwalk is often popular with joggers and walkers. Here, visitors can stroll along the muddy waters of the Mississippi River and watch massive freighters make their way upriver.
The Levee Path
The 22 mile paved path atop the Mississippi River levee, officially called the Mississippi River Trail, is a great option for long distance runners who want to avoid vehicular traffic and intersections. The path begins at The Fly in the riverbend and winds through Kenner and the River Parishes.
St. Charles Avenue
Although it is not an official jogging path, the median along St. Charles Ave. has long been popular with walkers and runners. More commonly known as a “neutral ground” in New Orleans, the grassy median has enough space for visitors to walk or run between two streetcar lines and pass some of Uptown’s most notable mansions.