The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area—a program of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in the Office of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne—is developing a self-guided driving trail that will show visitors how water has shaped the unique landscapes, people and cultures of the ANHA’s 14 parishes.
“This unique trail will set Louisiana apart by adding another dimension to our already well-established ecotourism and outdoor recreation opportunities,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said.
Every site selected for a stop along the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail will be ecologically and historically significant and will provide visitors with the chance to explore the local environment. The project team will incorporate some existing hiking, biking, paddling and birding trails while also identifying future options.
“Our region includes numerous locations that are significant to Louisiana’s water story,” Debra Credeur, ANHA executive director, said. “Locals know these places, but the general population does not. By highlighting these sites in interactive and sustainable ways, we are educating visitors from near and far about how the land, water and people connect.”
Contractors hired to assist with the project are: Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects—project lead; Suzanne Turner Associates—site research, identification and selection; The Center for Planning Excellence—brand identity, website and promotion; LEO LLC—mapping and site selection; Stantec—circulation management and map development; and The Nature Conservancy—environmental policy development and natural resource management.
“This trail is a wonderful opportunity to use the ANHA’s beautiful landscape to foster learning and recreation,” Credeur said. “We are interpreting the environmental resources and also educating stakeholders about the value of protecting these natural treasures.”
The Trail, developed by funding from the National Park Service, should be complete by spring of 2016. Suggestions for potential sites can be submitted here.