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The North Shore End of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway: Abita Springs & Mandeville, Louisiana

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Lake Pontchartrain, north of NOLA.

Now bridged and connected by a causeway.

I wonder about the impact up and down, good and bad to these small towns that at one point in time were out of the loop on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain but are now easily accessible?

The lure of the Tammany Trace Rail to Trail bicycle path and a recommendation from  a seasoned traveler in Eunice (St. Landry Parish) brought us this way.

The Abita Brewery, the town of Abita Springs and the bike path through the quaint-off-the-highway-small-town of Mandeville sealed the deal.

The Abita Brewery seeminglyhas made the transition from brew pub to serious craft brewery. Their new facility and brewery tour show it. They brew lots of different beers: 14 on tap for our tour.  The ones that attracted me were all strong brews of different  ingredients, different colors,  and different tastes. In the end Turbo Dog and this year’s batch of Christmas Ale captured the taste bud and buzz honors. Hourly-no-cost tours featuring beers on tap as long as you are not pushy when in line.

(Who Is That Pensive Beer Drinker?!?)

Their current marketing campaign slogan is ‘Taste the Colors of the South’.

Abita is going down the ‘green’ brewing road.

Some of their profits go towards local philanthropic endeavors: Save Our Shores and the nearby St Joseph’s Abbey among others.


(Hitting the draft (root) beer hard!)

Folks were friendly and talkative at the bar before and after the brief-exposure-of-a-tour of the brewery. By the time you got admitted to the brewery enough strong brew had been consumed that no one much cared.

Good beers, good people.


Back in town the Abita Brew Pub served up a good (half) muffuletta sandwhich and a Christmas Ale with big colorful flat screens looking at us from all directions: golf, NASCAR racing (Daytona 500 maybe) and basketball.

All very colorful and all very distracting. Made conversing tough.

The town of Abita Springs bisected by the Tammany Trace bike path has way nice community friendly facilities centered around the bike path; the same should be said of Mandeville.

Another positive instance  of local effort and ideas  and federal grant monies seemingly benefiting all; at least we heard no one complaining.

Abita Springs was removed some from the busy highways and byways. Nice. One had to get out of the car and on to the bikes to appreciate the Town of Mandeville. Get away from the crowds, strip malls and the highway; quaint and comfortable neighborhoods off the bike path in town.

The crawfish mac & cheese special was good comfort food at the Old Mandeville Cafe. The Italian Cream Soda gets high marks as well.


Fontainebleau State Park featured up to date and well  maintained facilities with immediate access to the Tammany Trace Rail to Trail bike Path. The park filled up on the weekend and we were glad to have made reservations.

Winter has become spring down here and folks are spending their time in the parks and out and about on the weekends.

Posted by bigdawg on February 26, 2012

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