Saturdays and Sundays, October 20–November 18, 2018 (except for the weekend of October 27 and 28)
9 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
offered in conjunction with
Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation
Admission is free, thanks to the generous support of The Helis Foundation. Reservations are required and may be made through
A Bicycle Named Desire. Participants must be 16+ years old.

Three centuries of New Orleans culture unfold across a lush urban landscape as The Historic New Orleans Collection presents the Portage Bike Roll 2018. A component of the upcoming exhibition Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation, the Portage Roll is a bike tour that can be taken with or without a guide and will reach outside of the gallery walls to bring participants face to face with the art, architecture, and history of the city.

Featuring stops at St. Augustine Church in Tremé, The Wave of the World sculpture in City Park, Bayou St. John, and more, the Portage Roll intertwines these landmarks of New Orleans’s diverse communities into a single, idiosyncratic urban landscape.

The six-mile tour traces the ancient portage route—an overland path—that once connected the Mississippi River to Bayou St. John and, by extension, Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico. Situated on a natural ridge, this footpath had been used for trade by Native Americans for centuries, and prompted the French to establish New Orleans in 1718 where the French Quarter is today. Esplanade Avenue, running from the river to Bayou St. John, traverses part of this ridge and is the primary thoroughfare of the Portage Roll.

Artist Babette Beaullieu set the route, which was inspired by a similar program conceived by the late architect R. Allen Eskew. Jakob Rosenzweig, a local cartographer, designed a map of the tour, allowing for a self-guided experience.  

Guided bike tours will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, October 20–November 18, 2018 (except for the weekend of October 27), and are free, thanks to the generous support of The Helis Foundation. Reservations are required and may be made through A Bicycle Named Desire. Participants must be 16+ years old.

Art of the City is scheduled to open in winter 2019 as the inaugural exhibition in THNOC’s new exhibition center at 520 Royal Street. Programming related to the exhibition will continue to occur, and Portage Roll maps for self-guided tours are available at THNOC’s 533 Royal St. property.

Note: The guided tour travels more than six miles and requires strenuous physical exertion.