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Four road trips from Natchitoches in 2022


Travel the Royal Road: El Camino Real de las Tejas National Historical Trail –

The El Camino Real, known as The King’s Highway, begins in Natchitoches and travels through several towns within Natchitoches Parish, ending in Mexico.

Designated as a National Historic Trail in 2004, El Camino Real de los Tejas has existed for more than 300 years. The Spaniards and the French who marked the trail were followed by early missionaries of multiple faiths and later by such men as Sam Houston Stephen F. Austin, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett.

Travel through history along this historic roadway, stopping off at spots like Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site as well as the Los Adaes State Historic Site along the Cane River National Heritage Area before continuing toward Texas.

For more on the El Camino Real, please visit

Explore from Pine to Palm along the Historic Jefferson Highway –

The Jefferson Highway was a famous driving route through the central United States, known as the “Pine to Palm Highway” for the trees found at either end. It was America’s first north-south intercontinental roadway, built as part of the 1910’s National Auto Trail system and was named for President Thomas Jefferson and inspired by the east-west Lincoln Highway. The Jefferson Highway stretched for 2,000 miles through the Louisiana Purchase Territory from Winnipeg, Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana.

You can find information and signage outside of the Natchitoches Visitor Information Center on Front Street and at the Jefferson Street Park on Jefferson Street, next to Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site.

Did you know? The Visitor Information Center and Tourism Office, located within the National Historic Landmark District, was previously the Natchitoches Ford Automobile Dealership since 1903, the first in Louisiana.

You can explore this route’s history, through Natchitoches, Louisiana’s original settlement, along Highway 6, then skirting through rural areas, such as Robeline in front of the Los Adaes State Historic Site and north through Marthaville near Rebel State Historic Site.

Find out more about the entire route at

Be an outlaw in No Man’s Land –

No Man’s Land, the disputed territory between the United States and Spain along Louisiana’s western border after the Louisiana Purchase, became a haven for outlaws, but it also attracted rugged pioneers and diverse cultural groups, such as Native Americans, African Americans, Scot-Irish settlers, and remnants of Spanish colonies.

Natchitoches was the first permanent settlement in Louisiana, and was a vital part of the trade within No Man’s Land when no king or country claimed the neutral strip between the United States and Spanish territories. Natchitoches was founded by a French Canadian, Louis Antoine Juchereau de St.Denis, in 1714 while he was en route to Mexico from Mobile, Alabama, on a trade mission. When he reached the village of the Natchitoches Indians on the Red River, he had two huts constructed within the village and left a small detachment there to guard the stores and trade with the inhabitants. This became the first permanent European settlement in the territory later known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Find out more about Louisiana’s No Man’s Land at

Plan a Holiday Road Trip along the Holiday Trail of Lights –

The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights runs along I-20 and I-49 in north Louisiana and includes Shreveport and Bossier City, Minden, Ruston, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, Logansport, and Alexandria/ Pineville.

Festivities generally start in mid-November and run through the New Year. Some of the popular and recurring events include shopping, dining and entertainment at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Shreveport-Bossier, Fasching Fifth Season Celebration and Old World Christmas Lights Spectacular in Minden, shopping and dining in Antique Alley in Monroe-West Monroe, Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, and the Christmas parades and safari zoo tour in Alexandria/Pineville.

The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights can be experienced in one day or a week with each day totally unique and special. The cities are all within driving distance of one another, making the tour a convenient hour-long trip from any one city to its neighboring city. Visitors are encouraged to see the brilliant downtown and neighborhood lights, dine at local restaurants, dance at the festivals, and shop in all of the 10 festive cities.

Begin planning with a visit to