Allen Parish Tourism Director Adagria Haddock, Vernon Parish Tourism Director John Crook and Beauregard Parish Tourism Director Lori Darbonne unveil their parish's Myths and Legends Scenic Byway sign Tuesday. The new 178-mile driving tour runs through Allen, Beauregard and Vernon parishes. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 10:21 PM
KINDER — Tourists and locals alike driving the Myths and Legends Scenic Byway will notice new signs and kiosks marking the route.
The signs and kiosks will introduce motorists to the new 178-mile driving tour through Allen, Beauregard and Vernon parishes.
“This is a driving discovery of our parish,” Vernon Parish Tourism Director John Crook said. “People will have the opportunity to explore the rural areas, the communities, taste our food and learn our history.”
Twenty-one pictorial kiosks placed along the route will tell the story of the Myths and Legends from the colonial days to the Great Louisiana Maneuvers, according to Allen Parish Tourism Director Adagria Haddock.
The signs were unveiled Tuesday during a Tri-Parish Board meeting in Kinder.
Crook hopes the new byway will get people to discover a part of Louisiana that “has a history as rich and important as the rest of the nation.”
Doug Bourgeois, director of the Louisiana Byways Collection, said the state is a destination people want to seek out and discover more about.
“Every part of the state’s 17 byways have a story to tell, and each is unique to the area,” Bourgeois said. “Louisiana is full of stories, and there is so much here to discover.
“Sometimes we don’t know our own stories, and they are in our own backyard,” he continued. “The byway will help tell those stories.”
Beauregard Parish Tourism Director Lori Darbonne said the byway will draw travelers to use roads leading through the parishes, giving the area the potential for economic growth.
“We are excited for existing service stations, restaurants, lodging facilities, grocery stores and retails stores — especially those carrying crafts and items with a strong regional identity of our culture.”
The region should see an increase in sales and tourism traffic, she said.
“We can see a demand for services not yet available in our region, which would result in the creation of new businesses, which would then stimulate our existing economy,” she said.
Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, who introduced legislation creating the tri-parish byway, also sees it as an economic endeavor.
“I think we really need to work on tourism because that is what’s bringing people to our state,” she said. “We have good things to see and good food to eat.”
A Myth and Legends game and website are being developed to help tourists discover the hidden gems of the area, which begins in Southwest Louisiana at the Texas line and travels through land originally settled by the Atakapa and Coushatta tribes and into the neutral strip once known as “No Man’s Land.”
The route will feature antiques shops, blueberry farms, Civil War sites, cemeteries, pine forests, canoeing and fishing, as well as tales of ghosts, outlaws and hidden treasurers.
The byway travels through a combination of rural roads and state and U.S. highways, including La. 26, La. 10, La, 111, La. 112, La. 113, U.S. 165, U.S. 171 and U.S. 190.