ABOUT THE ATCHAFALAYA national heritage area

Established in 2006, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area stretches across 14 parishes in south-central Louisiana. It is among the most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions in the United States, home to the widely recognized Cajun culture as well as a diverse population of European, African, Caribbean and Native-American descent.

Water is the distinctive influence on life in the ANHA. Through the ages it has created ever-changing landscapes, contributed to subtle and catastrophic natural events and has been subjected to a long history of human manipulation. This relationship continues to evolve today through increased recreation and conservation efforts.


The Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail will be a driving trail that explains the ANHA’s water story by guiding visitors through a variety of significant natural, cultural and historical sites in each parish of the region. Input from the surrounding community, on-site analysis and research will form the basis for trail site selection. The result will be a compelling interactive and interpretive experience that explains how the water, land and people here connect. This project will raise awareness of the ANHA among the people of Louisiana and across the globe.