South Louisiana has some great riding tours, but the best place to ride motorcycles near New Orleans is what I call “the road to Kraemer.” Like most guys from south Louisiana, I hunt ducks for my “organic” /“free range” fowl. No need to go to Whole Foods! The stuff is flying around the marsh free of charge with a Louisiana hunting license! I have a childhood friend with property near Kraemer that we hunted for decades. After years of getting to the launch at 4:00 am to hunt, I finally started to appreciate the area’s gorgeous scenery while driving home after hunts. When the sun was up, and the air warmed, I started noticing motorcycles going over the bridge while we cleaned our ducks. That planted the seed that the rest of the road must be as nice as the windy, flat, smooth stuff we drove over in a rush to get to our hunts. One day, I decided to take my favorite motorcycle and a buddy to the Kraemer to explore. It turned out to be quite the adventure through the most beautiful swamps and into Cajun country.
Getting there, you start on Highway 307, which branches off Highway 90 about halfway between Des Allemands and Raceland. Remember that 307 doesn’t run directly into Highway 90, and you have to keep a lookout for Highway 182, take the exit, and take your first right onto Highway 307. If you put “Raceland, Louisiana” in Google Maps, you can’t miss the 307. There is some agriculture in the area, especially close to highway 90, but that soon gives way to swamp, gorgeous oak and cypress, and silky-smooth roads without sugar cane and other debris on the road. The winding road takes you through some gorgeous flooded timber, and you will see a multitude of wildlife along the way. Don’t get too crazy with the throttle just in case a Nutria or alligator decides the ditch on the other side of the road looks inviting. You might have to take evasive maneuvers.
Once past some of the prettiest swamps on the planet, you will ride over the bridge at Bayou L’Ours. If you have time, park the bike and feed a couple of massive gators at Zam’s, which is on Kraemer Bayou Road. It’s an easy “swamp tour” option. I’m familiar with them since we launched our duck boats from a boat shed a short distance away. You will find a friendly little community with an elementary school nearby and all the quaint housing you might find in Mayberry, USA. But, when you speak with the friendly locals, you will hear the Cajun accents that folks from up north associate with just about every bad movie you have seen about south Louisiana. The difference is that they also speak Cajun French, and they are as friendly as they are inquisitive.
If you know anything about Cajuns, you know they don’t build them very big. My riding buddy that day was 6’7” of leather-wrapped, motorcycle-booted charm. We stopped before lunch to get a drink at a local bar not too far from the bridge, and every local in the place came to introduce themselves to my buddy Hank. I don’t think they had ever met a guy that tall, and at 5’10”, I was probably the second tallest dude in the bar. After a quick drink, we said our “au revoirs” to our new friends and got back on the bikes to head toward highway 20. Just before your hit the junction of 307 and Highway 20, there is a little place called “Da Old Swamp Shack” that is just the perfect distance from the start of the ride to get a late lunch and one more cold beer. Get yourself an almond-crusted duck tenderloin Poboy with raspberry dressing if you want something uniquely local. Or, get some boiled seafood that didn’t have to travel very far to get to the restaurant. No matter what you get, you won’t be disappointed.
Once you wet your beak and eat your duck, hop back on the motorcycles and stay on 20 until it runs into Thibodaux, Louisiana. You can fuel up there and visit Nichols State University nearby. I tend to hook the left onto Highway 308, which runs along Bayou Lafourche until it runs back into highway 90. It’s a great round-trip tour with plenty of food, drink, and fuel opportunities. And if you get a flat along the way or get turned around, you will have tons of good, kind-hearted bikers or locals willing to help you get back underway. It’s my vote for the best place to ride motorcycles near New Orleans, and now you know the route, so get out there and ride!!!!