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Address: Natchitoches, LA 71458
Phone Number:
+1 318-356-5555

Cane River National Heritage Area in northwestern Louisiana is a largely...

Cane River National Heritage Area in northwestern Louisiana is a largely rural, agricultural landscape known for its historic plantations, its distinctive Creole architecture, and its multi-cultural legacy. Historically this region lay at the intersection of French and Spanish realms in the New World. Today it is home to a unique blend of cultures, including American Indian, French, Spanish, African, and Creole. The central corridor of the heritage area begins just south of Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, and extends along both sides of Cane River Lake for approximately 35 miles. The heritage area includes Cane River Creole National Historical Park, seven National Historic Landmarks, three State Historic Sites, and many other historic plantations, homes, and churches. What is a National Heritage Area? A National Heritage Area is a place recognized by the United States Congress for its unique contribution to the American experience. In a national heritage area, natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make national heritage areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in the areas. Continued use of the national heritage areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscapes enhances their significance. The Cane River National Heritage Area is one of forty-nine National Heritage Areas recognized by Congress for their significant contributions to the American experience. In partnership with the National Park Service, CRNHA, Inc. celebrates the nationally significant history of the Cane River region, preserving it for the benefit of current and future generations.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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A must see.

To get a true feeling for the region historically, this is a must see. We visited 3 of the plantations and 2 of them are part of the National Park system (bring your passport... read more

Reviewed 19 March 2017
Dallas, Texas
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101 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 100: English reviews
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

To get a true feeling for the region historically, this is a must see. We visited 3 of the plantations and 2 of them are part of the National Park system (bring your passport). All 3 were different from each other and each worth seeing. We saw Oakland, Melrose, and Magnolia.

Thank DZinks32
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
35 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2017

This area is rich in history in the area, much of it going back 200-300 years old. Plantations, missions, Civil War and historic Fort sites, old churches and more, almost all of them National Register of Historic Places. Most of these sites charged no admission.

Thank held49
Dubuque, Iowa
Level Contributor
464 reviews
245 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2017

If you've seen the pictures of the plantation home at the end of a long row of magnolia trees--this will bring it all home. Although the owner's home was rebuilt in 1895 after being destroyed in the Civil War, the image remains. The home of the overseer and slave hospital, the plantation store, and a dozen slave homes remain to... More 

Thank Randy L
New Orleans, United States
Level Contributor
104 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2017 via mobile

Although it was a rainy day we still enjoyed the history along the way. We stopped at both Oaklawn, Melrose & Magnolia Plantations. We made a few other stops as well & including the cemeteries. There are other areas along the drive that are normal everyday homes, but the scenery with the River running along the highway is lovely. There... More 

Thank Christina B
Kalispell, Montana
Level Contributor
555 reviews
217 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 801 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2017

This over-hyped trail is actually quite a fairly short drive along a long skinny lake with a small dam at one end. The river banks are now lined with modern houses and myriad fishing cabins...the housing developments nearest the town are encroaching on the area. The Plantations have switched from their historic cotton fields to soy beans and corn and... More 

2 Thank MaryEllenM27
New Braunfels
Level Contributor
85 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2017

Excellent drive through history and a bit off the beaten path. Drove the entire length Natchitoches on down, including Oakland plantation. Very interesting and enjoyable

Thank TravelingBubba
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 November 2016 via mobile

This is a beautiful drive in the fall. I live here in Natchitoches and took visiting family and friends on a drive. It is beautiful and there are some incredible homes along this drive.

Thank Mara B
Magnolia, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2016

The drive was relaxing and interesting. So much to see and do along the way. Great tour of Oakland Plantation which gave you a real view of plantation life. Little Eva Plantation pecans amazing and store offers a variety of local crafts.

Thank nannettecoons
Elkton, Maryland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2016

Be sure and drive this and stop at the churches and plantation, especially the Oakland plantation. the tour was great and the original family lived there until 1998 when they turned it over to the National Park service.

Thank RoniLea
Garland, Texas
Level Contributor
155 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2016

We spent a pleasant morning driving the Cane River National Heritage Trail and visiting Oakland Plantation. We seemed to have the road all to ourselves and it was nice to take our time and enjoy the path to the past.

1 Thank TrailingR0se

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