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Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway-Louisiana

Louisiana’s 137-mile Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway, located in the Northwest corner of the state, tells the story of the dramatic ups and downs in the oil and gas, lumber, transportation, farming, and entertainment businesses over the decades that produced both the best and the worst of times.


When America’s first offshore oil drill was drilled on Caddo Lake in 1911, North Louisiana became an instant player in the oil boom. Today, the rusty jacks of yesteryear stand in contrast to the other natural resources to discover along the Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway.


Anchored by Lake Claiborne State Park on the East and Caddo Lake to the West, the byway pays tribute to fortunes won and lost. The Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway includes one of the highest points in Louisiana, this is considered ‘high country’ where the highway meets the sky.


The Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway passes through rolling hills, tall pines, beautiful lakes, and bayous. Oil derricks scattered in the meadows along the way are reminders of the state’s longtime ties to the energy industry and are memorialized at the Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum in Oil City. Fields of cotton and tranquil cattle pastures reflect the ongoing agriculture.


One of byway’s most distinctive historic sites is the Germantown Colony at Minden. Settled as a 19th century commune or Utopian Society, it flourished as a self-contained town for 40 years. It was a commune in the full sense of the term – no one owned anything outright and everyone worked together for the common good.


Through such byway attractions as the Homer Historic District, with its stately Claiborne Parish Courthouse and Claiborne Hotel, now the Herbert S. Ford Museum, visitors see exhibits depicting American history as it changed from agricultural fields to oil fields.


A unique aspect of the Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway is Caddo Lake, which straddles the state line between Texas and Louisiana. Covering approximately 30,000 acres, Caddo Lake is widely recognized for its complex and diverse range of plant and animal life. Some 20,000 acres of Caddo Lake and its wetlands have been designated a Wetland of International Importance under the provision of the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO. The Caddo Lake Ramsar site is one of only 40 sites in the United States to be so designated!


With the state parks, national wildlife management areas, refuges, forest and national recreational areas, the Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway offers a robust outdoor recreation opportunity for camping, boating, tubing, fishing, bird watching, skiing, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, picnicking and just plain enjoying the great outdoors. Lakes brimming with fish, refreshing rivers, rolling hills and scenic bayous draw visitors from around the globe come to this part of Louisiana to enjoy the unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities.

Mark Allen of Allen’s Guide Service in Vivian, La. fishes for bass on Caddo Lake. The Boom or Bust Byway follows Highway 2 and is defined by the Louisiana/Texas border on the west and the loop around the town of Homer to the east. The Byway is comprised of four parishes: Caddo, Bossier, Webster and Claiborne.


The Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway is a mecca for history lovers and outdoor recreation buffs alike.

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