The Tammany Trace is the trail

MANDEVILLE, La -  The backbone of St. Tammany Parish runs right through the middle of Mandeville, Louisiana.

It's The Tammany Trace and WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood is there and ready to take you for a ride.

In fact, it's the best ride in St. Tammany Parish it really is right here.

And here is right along the old train tracks. It's right where the Illinois Central Railroad used to run through Louisiana.

And now this is the place where bikers and hikers and walkers call home.

It's from Mandeville to Covington to Slidell.  The Tammany Trace.  Or as the locals commonly call it, The Trace.  Or as Wild Bill Wood calls it, the perfect place to ride a surrey.

Yes, you can actually rent not only a bicycle to ride The Trace, you can also rent a surrey. The place to do that is called Shack De Ville.  It's at the Mandeville Trailhead at 2020 Woodrow in Mandeville, Louisiana.

The phone number for these folks with bikes and a surrey is 985-629-4003.

When David Hart moved to Mandeville from New York City, one of his first trips was on The Trace.

Wild Bill Wood asks him, "what makes The Trace such a great place?"

David Hart says, "there's not a lot of places around here where you've got a couple of dozen miles of peaceful, tranquil place to exercise."

Wild Bill says, "your pedal power inspires me!'

Wild Bill takes off in his surrey as David warns, "be careful of the tunnel under Florida Street."

The Trace is about a 30 mile ride.  For John McCoy who is traveling through Louisiana from Texas, this is his first time on The Trace.

He's here because The Trace is in America's Rails-to-Trails Hall of Fame.

Wild Bill wonders if The Trace is indeed hall of fame worthy.

John McCoy says it is because, "in a word, pavement."

John will take this memory of his time on The Trace back to Texas for a lifetime.

Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President says, "it's just been amazing number of people who use it"

She says there are plans to make The Trace even longer "a few miles, a few miles, but it connects all the way from Slidell to Covington without interruption, that's the best part of that."

The Tammany Trace is the trail that just keeps going.