The parish of Natchitoches is situated in West Central Louisiana along the banks of the Red River and Cane River Lake. It was these transportation corridors that led to its settlement by Native American Indians, French and Spanish traders making it the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.
Geographically, Natchitoches Parish is diverse, The town of Natchitoches and the area south and west of Red River is the Red River Valley and Cane River is the Red River Valley and Cane River Valley. This area’s history is richly associated with row crop agriculture, the people who farmed it and the culture that evolved from blending of the different cultural groups. It is the history of the plantation culture and the buildings along Cane River Lake that most visitors come to Natchitoches Parish to experience.
Much of Natchitoches Parish is bordered by Kisatchie National Forest and these forested, rural areas offer locals and visitors a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.