As you drive the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road today, you will find that the route’s history is as intriguing as the bayou’s distinctive nature. A sampling of this history can be seen in the legends of treasure left behind from when dangerous scoundrels and pirates inhabited the area. Later, the Civil War changed the face of Southwest Louisiana. Today, these historical sites and legends await your discovery.
Prevailing throughout the early 1800s, pirates like Jean Lafitte made huge profits from capturing Spanish slave ships and selling the slaves to Louisiana cotton and sugarcane planters. Visit Calcasieu Parish and search for Napoleon's rumored buried treasure. Lafitte allegedly buried riches and treasure chests all along the Calcasieu River. If you happen to visit the area during the first two weeks of May, join in the Contraband Days Festival, a celebration of Lafitte's hidden plunder.
When the Civil War made its way to Louisiana, Sabine and Calcasieu Pass saw most of the battles and it was here that the Confederates triumphed over the Union army. You can still visit the fallen from the Calcasieu Pass battle where they lie in unmarked graves on Monkey Island, later commemorated with a monument at Cameron Parish Courthouse. Stop by the Sabine Pass Lighthouse, a major point of conflict during the Civil War, which remains standing over 250 years later. Only during the war was the light extinguished to prevent a possible Union attack on Fort Griffin.
Whether you want to join in the search for buried treasure or imagine a story for the unnamed Civil War troops, the Creole Nature Trail offers you a glimpse of dangerous times and important historical events.
- Copyright © 2001 Creole Nature Trail Scenic Byway District.
- Copyright © 2001 Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.