The Atchafalaya

The winding, mist-laden waters of the Atchafalaya Basin, teeming with its own aquaculture system, have shaped the peoples of this area as well as provided a background for much of the folklore of the area. The basin is the largest river swamp in the country and the ebb and flow of the tidal marshes was adapted into a way of life that included abundant seafood, artistry, music and most of all, a natural barrier to the outside world that allowed a language and culture to flourish in its natural surroundings. A Cajun traveling through the shadows, navigating his way through the narrow waterway on his pirogue is the stuff of legend.

Today, a drive down I-10 from, east, takes you right through the heart of cypress knees and swamp tours and beautiful wetlands. Several stops along the way offer a close-up view of the basin including swamp tours for spying alligators or the wealth of migratory birds all along the basin. The Atchafalaya Welcome along I-10 has animatronic displays and more information about the basin, its history and heritage.

You can learn even more about the entire Atchafalaya Trace Heritage Area by visiting or the larger coastal area by visiting