NO NEED FOR SHUTTLES! WE LAUNCH RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY!
Directions to Bayou St. John Tours
(2-hour Big Easy Bayou Tour & 4-hour Pontchartrain Paddle)
We meet and launch on the bank of Bayou St. John, across Moss St. from the Shell gas station. The address of the gas station is 3494 Esplanade Avenue, 70119.
To get to the launching spot, catch the Canal Streetcar-City Park/Museum. Take it all the way to the end. It ends at the grand entrance of City Park.
When you exit the streetcar, your back should be to the City Park entrance and the New Orleans Museum of Art. In front of you, you should see the end of Esplanade Avenue and a bridge crossing a river-like body of water, Bayou St. John. Cross the bridge to the Shell gas station. We will meet you on the bank of Bayou St. John, just across Moss St. from the gas station. We have blue kayaks.
Note: The St. Charles Ave. streetcar links up with the Canal St. streetcar at Carondelet Street
Directions via Bus 91 Jackson-Esplanade
This bus starts Uptown at Jackson Avenue, runs through the back of the Quarter, passes our launch, and ends at the cemeteries. There is a stop at the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Moss Street (#1068), across Esplanade Ave. from the Shell gas station. The river-like body of water running under the Esplanade Ave. Bridge is Bayou St. John. We launch from the bank of that bayou, across Moss St. from the Shell gas station.
We meet on the bank of Bayou St. John, across Moss St. from the Shell gas station. The address of the gas station is 3494 Esplanade Avenue, 70119.
There is plenty of free street parking available within one block of our launch.
If you’re coming from the French Quarter, proceed northwest up Esplanade Avenue, moving away from the Mississippi River and the French Quarter. Our launching point is at the end of Esplanade Ave, about 2.5 miles from the river. What you should see from the meeting place: You should see a bridge crossing a river-like body of water, Bayou St. John. Just pass the bridge is the grand entrance of City Park as well as the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Directions to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Lighthouse
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation offers daily tours of the New Canal Lighthouse at West End Marina.
You can bike all the way to the launching location from the French Quarter via protected bike paths! (It’s about 7.5 miles one-way.) Always ride defensively and be careful at all intersections!
We’ll start you at the Basin Street Station welcome center at 501 Basin Street, 70112 in the back of the French Quarter. From there, if you’re facing Basin St. you’ll take a left on a two-way bike path on Basin St. (going against traffic) about 150 yards until you reach the trail head of the Lafitte Greenway Trail. Take that bike path about 2 miles until you reach the bike traffic circle at Jefferson Davis Pkwy.
Turn right onto the protected bike path alongside Bayou St. John. (The street alongside the bayou is now called Moss Street.) Once you cross Orleans Ave., the path becomes the street. Continue until you reach North Carrollton Ave., make a right onto the protected bike path. From the bike path along N. Carrollton Ave., cross Esplanade Ave. (The street alongside the bayou and the bike path is now called Wisner Blvd.)
If you’re coming from the Marigny/Bywater side of town, you can simply take Esplanade Ave. to Wisner Blvd., make a right onto the protected bike path at that intersection and follow directions below.
Continue on the protected bike path between Wisner Blvd and Bayou St John about 2 miles until you reach Robert E. Lee Blvd. (a traffic light). Cross Robert E. Lee Blvd; Wisner Blvd. becomes Beauregard Ave. Continue on Beauregard Ave about a third of a mile until you see a bridge crossing Bayou St John. Go slightly right under the bridge; it circles around and allows you to merge onto Lakeshore Drive.
Continue west on Lakeshore Dr. along the lakefront about 2 miles until you see the New Canal Lighthouse on the right, a tall, tiered white building with a red roof.
Depending on the route and schedule, actual travel time is about 1 hour. Please refer to the schedule to determine how much time to allow yourself.
You can reach the New Canal Lighthouse via the Lakeview #45 Bus. It drops off at Stop #788 at the intersection of Robert E. Lee Blvd. and West End Blvd. From there, walk north on Lakeshore Dr. about 0.4 miles to the lighthouse, a tall, tiered white building with a red roof.
Directions to the look-out platform of the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle in the Lower 9th Ward
Sadly, we no longer offer tours in this beautiful sanctuary because it is overrun by an invasive plant called water hyacinth. We still recommend visiting the platform, meeting the community, and soaking up some nature. The CSED (Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development) maintains the platform area and advocates for the Lower 9 community and sustaining a healthy environment in southeast Louisiana. Heck, go visit them too and see how you can get involved!
The platform is at the intersection of Caffin Ave. and Florida Ave., 70117. About 4.5 miles from the Quarter. It is simply a small shell driveway in the middle of a clearing. There is an information display/box at the street that explains a bit about Bayou Bienvenue . You’ll find a wooden decked structure leading to a platform on top of the levee.
For a guided bike tour of the Lower 9th Ward…
Check our Confederacy of Cruisers. They’ve been at it the longest and they are the best!
If you’re driving…
Not sure where you’re starting from, so we’ll give instructions from N. Claibourne Ave. It is a bit confusing because N. Claibourne Ave. (in the direction headed toward the Lower 9th Ward) is called N. Robertson St. on the stretch between Elysian Fields Ave. and Poland Ave. Follow N. Claibourne Ave. in an east-south-east direction over the Industrial Canal. At that point, you’re crossing a super cool old drawbridge. You are now in the Lower 9th Ward.
Continue on N. Claibourne Ave. until you get to Caffin Ave. (about 10 blocks from the bridge). Make a left on Caffin Ave. Drive carefully on that bumpy street until you come to the end where it intersects Florida Ave. (about 10 blocks).
Make it more of an adventure and bike yourself…
We’ll start you from the French Market and Old U.S. Mint building. From this location, it’s just over 4 miles to the launch. From N. Peters St. (the street on the riverside of the French Market) and Barracks St., follow N. Peters St. east just pass Esplanade Ave. and swing a left onto Elysian Fields Ave. Continue on Elysian Fields Ave. about 2 blocks and make a right onto Chartres St. Follow Chartres St. east until it ends and forces you to make a left on Poland Ave. (about 22 blocks or 1.5 miles). Follow Poland Ave. north about 5 blocks to St. Claude Ave., make a right. Take St. Claude Ave. over a neat old drawbridge and the Industrial Canal. You are now in the 9th Ward.
Continue on St. Claude Ave. east about 10 blocks to Caffin Ave., where you make a left. Follow Caffin Ave. north about 15 blocks (parts of this street can be pretty bumpy) until it ends at the intersection of Florida Ave. You’re at the platform!