Sportsman's ParadiseMonroe/ Ruston Area
Another Sportsman's Paradise Area:
Located on the Ouachita River, in Ouachita Parish, Monroe and West Monroe offer a taste of Louisiana history, art, entertainment, food and family fun. Begin your adventures at the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation, consisting of a Bible Museum and Research Center, the family home, and ELsong Gardens. Browse through the Masur Museum of Art, a gothic home of permanent collections as well as special exhibits. Discover West Monroe's Antique Alley, a three-block array of interesting shops in 1880s buildings. Enjoy a cruise aboard the Twin City Queen on the Ouachita River or a family outing at Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. Experience unforgettable food: stewed vegetables, smoked meats, steaming biscuits, a cool slide of pie...the southern blue-plate feast. With a medley of attractions and quality hotels, Monroe and West Monroe have a menu sure to satisfy your vacation cravings.
Visit Lincoln Parish, where modern education and convenience coincide with tradition and history. Attractions, music and festivals provide fun and entertainment. The Louisiana Passion Play, based on the life of Jesus Christ, operates weekends from June to September. The Dixie Jamboree operates each Saturday night, in Ruston, in the tradition of the Louisiana Hayride. The Dixie Theatre provides the Jamboree with comfortable seating and a dance floor for a good foot stompin', soul curin' good time. Lincoln Parish is the home of the Louisiana Peach Festival, the second weekend in June in Ruston, and the Louisiana Chicken Festival, the last weekend in September in Dubach. Three State Parks, with record bass fishing, are within a 21-mile radius of Ruston. Historic setting, friendly people, two major universities (Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University), pine-forested hills and lakes are all part of Lincoln Parish. Recreational opportunities abound.
Union Parish, bordered by Arkansas to the north and the scenic Ouachita River to the east, is truly a nature lover's paradise. With 15,250-acre Upper Ouachita/D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuges, and Union Wildlife Management Area, there are plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, sailing, swimming and waterskiing. Attractions in Farmerville include Black History Parade, February; D'Arbonne Arts Festival and Watermelon Festival, July; and Christmas Ceremony. In Bernice, see the 1899 Depot Museum and 1939 wooden caboose in Depot Park; Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch; Arts in the Park, April; Homecoming/Historical Tour, June; Corney Creek Porkfest/Louisiana Pork Cookoff, October; Corney Creek Country Christmas. Also in Bernice are Sweet Onion, the Garland House, the J.W. Heard House, the Bernice Civic Clubhouse and the Alabama Methodist Church, all properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Town of Marion features the Mayhaw Festival and National Register Hopkins House.
Open the northern door to Louisiana, and drive the Bienville Trace, Poverty Point Parkway, and Grant's Marsh Scenic Byways along the natural landscape of East Carroll and West Carroll Parishes. Come and experience rich plantation farm systems, Louisiana cotton and Mississippi River delta culture as you drive to prehistoric Poverty Point and historic Grant's March of the Vicksburg Campaign. A seven-mile drive along cypress-studded oxbow lake Lake Providence opens doors to National Register Historic district and Victorian Byerley House Visitors Center and Park with scenic natural lakes and rivers. Hunt "delta deer" in Wildlife Management Area, go birding from eagles to egrets, and enjoy water sports on Lake Providence. Open the doors to a Mennonite Bakery, antique shops, and gift shops before you visit the haunted doors in Transylvania. Christmas doors and more than 200 trees illuminate "Lights Along the Lake" in December.
Madison, a thriving parish in the northeast corner of Louisiana, sustains itself primarily on agriculture production. Primary crops include cotton, soybeans, corn, rice, crawfish and cattle. The process of spraying crops from airplanes was developed at the Tallulah Airport, the oldest airport in Louisiana. The area is rich in Civil War history, especially the siege of Vicksburg. Of special note is the Battle of Millikens Bend, the first conflict involving an entire company of African-American soldiers. Tallulah boasts the first covered mall in the United States, by the designer Hayes Towne. Madison Parish is the home of the 65,000-acre Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, complete with facilities for the disabled tourist and fisherman. This refuge is the home of black bear, deer and many other bottomland species. Roundaway Bayou, as it meanders through the parish, features 30 lighted Christmas trees during the month of December.
Benjamin Franklin was the namesake for
which was created in 1843. The
parish lies within Louisiana Cotton Country...visitors enjoy miles of landscape that blossoms
with the whiteness of a snowfall around harvest time. In fact, the earliest settlement came
about when a keelboat ran aground on Little Boeuf River. On board was a humdinger of a cotton
gin, able to produce four bales a day! Unable to get the boat off the sandbar, the boatmen
"made lemonade out of lemons" and founded a new settlement. The parish seat and largest town in
the parish is Winnsboro, located 20 miles south of Interstate 20. The town hosts an annual
Catfish Festival and a Fall Harvest Festival. Outdoor recreation is found in the Boeuf area and
on Turkey Creek Lake. The parish's quiet country roads with cattle grazing in bordering fields
are peaceful avenues into rural Louisiana.
Adapted from the Louisiana Office of Tourism site.