"Summit" selfie!

Couturie Forest | 52 Hike Challenge 2017 | Hike 5

Elevation

New Orleans is known for its below sea level status, so naturally we had to go find the highest point in the city. This point happens to be in City Park, a can’t miss sight in the Crescent City. NOLA’s highest elevation (43′) is the summit of Laborde Mountain on the Couturie Forest Trail.

The Hike – Couturie Forest

We prepared for our arduous journey by having a lovely Sunday brunch and casually deciding to go for a walk. The weather was perfect for a stroll along the well-kept mile-long path. Right off the bat we see a turtle train, sunning on a log. I love seeing wildlife while hiking so this was a great start. The rest of the trail to the summit wasn’t very crowded and it looked like there was some trail maintenance going on. The trail mostly follows the bank of some marshy water, surrounding hikers with green. We stopped at one point to check out a huge pile of snail shells on the bank. Not sure what, but some critter had a feast here!

We headed to the high point and hung out to chat with a friend for a bit, then headed back to the car through the forest and some impressive and beautiful palms. While this was a super quick hike, it was a nice way to get outside and move while staying conveniently in the city.

Have you hiked in the New Orleans area? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

It is Louisiana after all...

Lake Pontchartrain | 52 Hike Challenge | Hike 3

Ah, New Orleans. Great place to eat. Great place to drink. Not the best place to hike. For Hike 3 of my 52 Hike Challenge I had to get creative. Luckily I’m staying close to a wonderful pedestrian path along Lake Pontchartrain which became the site of this week’s hike! It may not be your typical hike through forests, mountains and waterfalls, but urban hiking can be just as fun!

 

 

Lake Pontchartrain

This “lake” is really an estuary in the Mississippi River delta. It features very large wetlands, swamps and marshes. The lake measures about 40 miles east/west and 24 miles north/south. Unfortunately the lake area has been affected by logging and pollution. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to view pelicans and bald eagles and is home to many types of fish.

The Path/Hike

Lake Pontchartrain is a popular place for outdoor recreation and features a great pedestrian/bike path along its south shore. I’ve become spoiled after spending so much time in the west and in Atlanta. In these places, hiking trails are easily accessible, even in urban areas. New Orleans doesn’t have as many super accessible hiking trails. I needed to get in a quick hike and realized I could walk to this path from my Airbnb, so I was off!

The path is nicely maintained and clearly gets a lot of use. There is a lot of green space surrounding the path for running, playing and picnicking. I didn’t see much wildlife while walking, but you can’t always get lucky! There were lots of families enjoying the warm Sunday evening weather, and the area felt quite safe. While I won’t be able to count future visits to this path towards my 2017 Explorer Series, I think I’ll probably be spending quite a bit more time on this great trail!

How do you get your hikes in when you’re in an urban environment? Tell me in the comments!