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Northlake Nature Center

Go For It

For more than a century, St. Tammany Parish has been a destination for New Orleanians in search of nature and serious down time. Now others are discovering what New Orleans residents have known all along that the Northshore offers myriad opportunities for not just appreciating nature, but experiencing it.

1. Water sports

Bring your kayak or canoe or rent one at Compass Rose of Covington and slip into any of the Northshore's swamps, rivers, lakes and bayous. There are numerous easily accessible put-in points on the Northshore; among the best are at Mandeville Harbor; Bayou Cane, right off Highway 190; and the Tchefuncte River at Madisonville near the Highway 22 bridge.

Sailing and boating are favorite pastimes on the Northshore and there are public boat launches in various locations. Flyboarding is a relatively new sport for the more adventurous.

2. Cycling

The 31-mile Tammany Trace is a reclaimed railroad corridor, Louisiana's only rails-to-trails conversion. Weekend riders and serious cyclists alike appreciate the long stretches of uninterrupted, paved path. 

The Trace ribbons from one end of the parish to the other, connecting communities from Covington to Slidell, the towns interspersed with verdant green spaces, towering trees and nature's beauty, peace and quiet. You can hop onto the Trace at any point, traveling as far as your legs can take you. 

3. Golfing

There are a number of golf courses offering great holes, natural beauty and unique challenges. From Beau Chene to Oak HarborRoyal Golf Club to Money Hill, you'll find the course that's right for you. 

Money Hill has twice been named the #1 golf course in Louisiana by Golf Digest; the Ron Garl-designed, 18-hole course has majestic tree-lined fairways with five finishing holes playing into, around and over a 150-acre lake. 

4. Fishing

You can throw out a line or a crab net from the banks of many bayous and rivers, or you can experience the open seas on a fishing charter boat. Most operate out of the Slidell area and offer light tackle guide service and the chance to reel in redfish, speckled trout and flounder.

5. The hard stuff

In the mood to test your strength, agility or your mettle? Consider skateboarding at the Pelican's Nest Skate Park at Pelican Park in Mandeville or climbing the indoor rock walls at Slidell Rocks, a climbing gym for all ages.

If you're looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Skydive N'Awlins has one in store: Get a bird's-eye view of the Northshore during a solo or tandem dive. Skydive N'Awlins offers both, as well as Accelerated Freefall and Instructor-Assisted Freefall training.

  • Go Fish

    With celebrity chef John Besh and legendary charter captain Dudley Vandenborre.

  • Go Bike

    Rent bikes and explore Louisiana's first Rails to Trails conversion, the 31-mile Tammany Trace, as it connects the Northshore towns of Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe, and Slidell.

  • Go Flyboard

    Find out if Tom Gregory is finally able to get some air flyboarding on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville.