On Tour: A unique trailhead along the Mississippi River Trail
By Rob Baker
|Cyclists arrive at ferry trailhead at Algiers Point|
NEW ORLEANS—The Mississippi River Trail (MRT) runs from the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca, Minnesota to the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. The 3000-mile (4828-km) bike way is one of the longest mixed off and on-road trails in the world. Parts of the trail are shared with roads. The longest off-road trail honors go to the Munda Biddi Trail in Western Australia. The 620-mile (1000-km) path runs from Mundaring to Albana and features campgrounds along the way.
The MRT for the New Orleans area becomes a dedicated trail at Hahnsville, LA, located on the south banks of the Mississippi River, and runs to lower Algiers area. From that point, it is shared with roads to Venice, LA. The premier trailhead is at Algiers Point where a ferry runs between the point and the New Orleans business district and the French Quarters.
Algiers Point dates back to 1719 when Jean Baptiste le Moyne was granted a tract of land. By the 1800s, it became a staging place for African slaves where they were ferried across the river to be auctioned. In January 1815, the "Battle of New Orleans" was fought at this point; it became the final major battle of the "War of 1812".
Many of the homes at Algiers Point date back to the 1790s. A major fire struck the area in 1895 and destroyed hundreds of these homes.
Today, Algiers Point is a hipped place for young professionals who moved in and renovated the old homes. Quaint bars and restaurants now line Morgan Street which runs parallel to the MRT.
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