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“Very Interesting and Educational”

Cane River National Heritage Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very Interesting and Educational”
Reviewed December 15, 2011

While in the Cane River Heritage Area, we went to two plantations: The Melrose Plantation and the Magnolia Plantation. The Melrose Plantation is a must see while you are in the area. It was the home of Clementine Hunter, the famous primitive Louisiana artist.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank brislenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Take the drive!”
Reviewed July 18, 2011

St. Augustine Catholic Church was worth the drive along the Cane River. Beautiful historic church and cemetery. What a surprise to find Clementine Hunter's burial place. The story of the Metoyer family was interesting and inspirational.

Visited June 2011
3 Thank Donnae420Austin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Level Contributor
94 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Melrose Plantation”
Reviewed June 14, 2011

There are several plantations in the heritage area: Oakland, Magnolia, Melrose, and I'm sure I'm forgetting at least one, all worth a visit if the interest and time allows. Melrose is the only one that charges admission though, so be prepared, you don't get to just walk around and explore on your own. I noticed that each of these plantations is well maintained, and has a unique historical significance to the area. Melrose Plantation also has an art fair once a year, it is not free either, and parking can be difficult.

Visited June 2011
3 Thank DanStac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, CA
Level Contributor
109 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Great local color...oh so friendly natives”
Reviewed October 17, 2009

This is one of the best places we have ever visited. What makes it so is its wonderful people and unusual heritage. You can read about the heritage here: http://www.caneriverheritage.org/main_file.php/historicsites.php. Whether you are checking out the house from the movie Steel Magnolias, purchasing pecans from "Louisiana Pecans" or touring Melrose Plantation we were charmed by the areas history, but mostly the people. A teacher at the local LSU campus spent about an hour talking to us telling us the local history and skillfully demonstrating the various accents a person is apt to find in Louisiana. It was like a stand up comedy routine. Jennifer at Louisiana Pecans spent a similar amount of time explaining the history of that crop in Louisiana and sharing her feelings about changing culture which we all decided was not a good thing. Scott and Lori Tate (she was a star in Steel Magnolias and loves to talk about it though she tongue-in-cheek claims she is too modest) at Melrose Plantation took us on a wonderful tour of the past at this wonderful plantation and those nearby. The Cane River area and Melrose in particular are a tribute to the strength and talents of 4 wonderful women. If you want to know who they are and what they did you will have to go there. It is a wonderful place.

8 Thank bobba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Definitely worth a visit!”
Reviewed October 11, 2009

This part of Louisiana is steeped in history unique to the area. The story of the Cane River Creoles is particularly interesting-esp. a trip to Melrose Plantation. Our tour guide was very well-informed and interesting. Melrose is different from most plantations in that it was owned and operated by former slaves and the children of slaves! Natchitoches is a beautiful little town and well worth a stop if you are visiting Louisiana.

3 Thank MetalMom52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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