Bicycle through the heart of Cajun Country and partake of all the food, music, and culture that Acadiana has to offer. On this relaxed tour you can enjoy Jambalaya, crawfish pie, and gumbo, and you’ll find that the spicy cuisine of southern Louisiana is complemented by its mellow terrain as you make your way past fields of rice and sugarcane, skirt swamplands, and cross bayous.
The tour will take you through historic Acadian settlements where you can sample a wide range of culinary delights, historic sites, and local music. Our final overnight will be in Breaux Bridge, the “Crawfish Capital of the World,” where we’ll be poised to enjoy the last evening of the community’s annual Crawfish Festival. Don’t miss this chance pedal through the Deep South!
|Start Date:||Apr 27, 2014||End Date:||May 03, 2014|
|Start Location:||Lafayette, LA||End Location:||Lafayette, LA|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||6|
|Rest Days:||1||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
|Miles:||211||Average Daily Mileage:||35.2|
|Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options||Physical Difficulty:||Beginner+|
|Airport:||Lafayette Regional (LFT), Baton Rouge Met (BTR)||Tour Leader:||Greg Edwards|
Meet your touring companions in Lafayette’s Beaver Park for introductions, an orientation, and our first overnight. We’ll enjoy a hearty dinner and conduct our inaugural map meeting. Our on-tour mechanic can help you make sure your bicycle is ready for the Acadian roads and you’ll start getting to know your fellow participants. If time permits, you’ll want to check out the Vermilionville Acadian Culture Center and watch the short film on Acadiana. Then it’s time to crawl into the tent and get some shut-eye to dream of the cypress swamps and lazy bayous in your future.
Lafayette to Catahoula, 42 miles. After a hearty breakfast, we’ll depart Beaver, pedal into rural suburbs and then past fields of sugarcane and rice before entering the town of St. Martinville. The third-oldest town in Louisiana, St. Martinville contains many marvelous examples of southern architecture, such as the historic St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church and La Manson Duchamp on Main Street. Departing St. Martinville, we’ll ride through increasingly rural country until gaining the levee road on the west edge of the Atchafalaya Basin. The campground in Catahoula lies along the bayou, offering a peaceful place to pitch a tent.
Catahoula to Port Barre, 36.9 miles. Departing Catahoula, we’ll make our way up the levee road past McGee’s Landing. The route continues up the Bayou Teche, through the town of Amaudville and to the bayou’s origin in Port Barre. At Port Barre the Teche draws water from Bayou Courtableau, then flows southward to meet the Lower Atchafalaya River at Berwick. During the time of the Acadian migration to what was then known as the Attakapas region, in the mid- to late 1700s, boating on the Teche was the primary means of transportation.
Port Barre to Lakeview Park (Eunice), 49.0 miles. From Port Barre, we’ll follow the Bayou Courtableau northwest and then ride along the southern edge of the Thistlethwaite State Wildlife Management Area before entering the town of Washington. Today we’ll also reach the highest elevation on our route — a jaw-dropping 75 feet above sea level! Later, we’ll pedal through Mamou, located at the heart of Louisiana's Cajun country and the self-proclaimed "Cajun Music Capital of the World." Arguably, the most famous bar in all of Louisiana is Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, where KVPI radio out of Ville Platte has been broadcasting its Saturday morning live Cajun-music show for more than 50 years. Arriving at Lakeview RV Park, you can pitch your tent, enjoy the lake, and tap your feet to live music in the barn.
Lakeview Park to Bayou Wilderness RV Park (Carencro), 56.5 miles. We’ll pedal through heavily wooded lowlands and across the Bayou Mallet today, before winding through Acadian farmland eastward to Grand Coteau. You’ll cross the bayous Plaquemine, Wicoff, and Bourbeux, and, finally, begin following the Bayou Fuselier. A ride down the scenic North Wilderness Trail Road that runs along the east side of the Fuselier will end the tour’s longest riding day.
Bayou Wilderness RV Park to Breaux Bridge, 20 miles. Today we’ll pedal to Lake Martin for a relaxing paddle on the swamp where we’ll search for alligators, rare birds, and flowers. After several hours of paddling, it’s back to pedaling as we make our way to camp on the St. Bernard School football field. More live music and lip-smacking food are yours to enjoy tonight at the Crawfish Festival.
Breaux Bridge to Beaver Park, Lafayette, 24 miles. Zydeco Breakfast, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at Café Des Amis, is not to be missed. After that treat, you may enjoy a bit more of the crawfish-inspired festivities before riding the final 22.4 miles back to Beaver Park in Lafayette. True, the tour may be over—but son of a gun, we had big fun on the bayou!
This is a new tour, or one we have not offered in awhile. Sign up and be one of the first cyclists to contribute to this testimonials page! For now read what past tour participants have said about some of our other trips.
"The best part of the tour is stories you share with the other riders while riding. Everyone has something in common; a love for cycling."
2012 Tour Participant
"Every trip I take with Adventure Cycling keeps getting better and better. "
"I was very impressed by the guides. They were all very effective at getting us/gear/equipment/schedules organized, and they were all genuinely glad to be out riding bike with us and getting to know us. I also liked the way the tour was structured -- I liked that everyone was able to depard when ready, and ride at their own pace, as long as they arrived before dinner. I felt no pressure to go fast or slow, and that was very liberating for me."
2012 Tour Participant
"Perfect balance of hands-on enough to keep things in line, and hands-off to allow for the enjoyment of all. Our group gelled well, and we all had a great time!"
2008 Tour Participant