Rebel State Historic Site
Rebel State Historic Site traces its origin back to the days of the American Civil War. According to a local legend, a young Confederate soldier became separated from his unit and shortly after he stopped at a spring for a drink of water the lad was spotted by three Union cavalrymen and killed.
The Barnhill family, local residents who had spoken with the soldier shortly before he was shot, discovered his body and buried him beside the road where he had died. In 1962, area residents placed a marker on the spot and began to hold annual memorial services in honor of the Unknown Confederate Soldier. Rebel State Historic Site has been established at this soldier's final resting place.
But it's the people's love for country and gospel music and their need for an attractive outdoor gathering place that has made Rebel grow and prosper. Musical programs at Rebel throughout the year commemorate the strong folk music traditions of this area of the state.
Set in the piney hills of northwestern Louisiana, the Louisiana Country Music Museum contains exhibits that tell the story of how various folk music traditions developed in this region--from early gospel and string band music to the country sounds we enjoy today. The museum, which depicts a stringed musical instrument in its architectural design, also honors the contributions of the many Louisiana natives who have become prominent in the country music and gospel music professions. The museum contains costumes, instruments and pictures that have been donated by the above mentioned performers, including Roy Acuff's fiddle and yo-yo, as well as one of Hank Williams Jr.'s shirts.
An amphitheater serves as a showplace for the ongoing musical traditions of North Louisiana. Bluegrass, country, gospel and folk concerts are some of the exciting events taking place onstage at Rebel State Historic Site. Non-profit groups are also invited to hold events at the amphitheater so that many visitors can enjoy the fine environment at Rebel SHS.
Picnic areas with adjacent barbeque pits and a picnic pavilion equipped with kitchen facilities, an ice machine and microwave oven, are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Los Adaes State Historic Site (1 mile northeast of Robeline on LA Hwy. 485) - The 14-acre site located on the "El Camino Real" near Natchitoches features the remains of a Spanish fort garrisoned in the 1700s to protect Texas from the French. It is a major archaeological site and offers interpretive programs.
Fort Jesup State Historic Site (6 miles east of Many off LA 6, formerly the "San Antonio Trace") - The site of a fort established in 1822 by Zachary Taylor to secure the western border of the U.S. frontier, the fort existed for 26 years as one of the strongest garrisons in Louisiana. The site features the original field kitchen, a replica of an officers' quarters which serves as a museum and visitors center, and interpretive programs.
North Toledo Bend State Park (9 miles southwest of Zwolle off LA 3229) - Located on Toledo Bend Reservoir, the park offers fishing, boat launch, improved campsites, 10 vacation cabins, group camp facilities, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, picnicking, pavilion, playgrounds, trails and a conference center.
Mansfield State Historic Site (4 miles south of Mansfield on LA 175) - The site of the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War. Visitors may take daily tours, see interpretive programs, spend time in the museum with its comprehensive collection of Civil War artifacts, and walk the trail through the battlefield area.
Hodges Gardens State Park (6 miles south of Florien on Hwy. 171) - Day-use visitors will enjoy the nature trails and extensive picnic area. Water from the 225-acre lake is pumped through an extensive system of pools and waterfalls, adding to the beauty of the formal gardens.
Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site (155 rue Jefferson, Natchitoches) - Located on the banks of historic Cane River, the fort is a full-scale replica of a French colonial fort built in the 1730s. Featured are log walls sharpened to protect the barracks, a warehouse, chapel, mess hall, powder magazine, Indian dwellings and interpretive programs.
Historic Town of Natchitoches (off I-49 on Cane River Lake) - The oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, it has a 33-block Historic Landmark District featuring Creole architecture, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shops and historic homes.
Cane River Country (South of Natchitoches along LA 1) - Features some of the South's oldest plantation homes situated along the 32-mile oxbow-shaped Cane River Lake. The countryside is dotted with pecan orchards, cotton farms, historic landmarks, plantations and churches.
Sabine Wildlife Refuge (5 miles south of Zwolle) - This 14,780-acre area of loblolly and short leaf pine is open to visitors to enjoy hunting, birding, and camping.
National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium (615 Hwy. 1 south, Natchitoches) - Tours feature aquarium exhibits of native Louisiana fish species and include turtles and alligators, as well as a video presentation. Visitors may also observe seasonal operations such as feeding fish, hatching eggs and harvesting fish.