Place

Atchafalaya National Heritage Area

Worn house in a swamp surrounded by water and trees.
Swamp Castle

Atchafalaya NHA Photo

Quick Facts
An American-Indian word, "Atchafalaya" (Think of a sneeze: uh-CHA-fuh-lie-uh) means long river. 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.

With a story around every bend in the river and music from every corner, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is an ever-changing, rich and mysterious landscape. It is filled with twisting bayous, rivers and America’s largest river swamp. There are fields of sugar cane and cotton, ancient live oaks and towering cypress. Alligators, raccoons, and even bears roam the lands while 270 species of birds take to the skies. From the waters come catfish, shrimp, oysters and the crawfish that make the Atchafalaya so well known.

This Heritage Area includes the following sites: