The Boom or Bust Byway paves its way through the charming towns north of Shreveport such as Gilliam, Vivian and Oil City. This route offers road trippers some great places to stop and experience the hidden landscapes of Louisiana’s Other Side. If the natural beauty of the lakes and parks aren’t enough, travelers will experience the community’s resilience to the fluctuating industry of oil and agriculture. Visitors can discover treasured stories in museums along the byway. Their locals’ way of life can be experienced in restaurants, festivals and events along the route.
Big Mama’s Antiques and Restorations
Big Mama’s Antiques and Restorations sells industrial materials, salvage materials and electric offerings. They specialize in African American historical artifacts and have been featured on the Antiques Road Show and in the Antique Trader Magazine. Store hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or daily by appointment.
6403 Dogwood St., Hosston, LA 71043
Robert A. Nance Park
Robert A. Nance Park features a boat ramp, fishing pier, grills, paved parking, family size picnic tables, playground equipment, and more.
14770 Odom Rd., Hosston, LA 71043
Skydive Louisiana is a USPA certified Training Center Dropzone. The experienced staff members offer tandem jumps, sports jumps and more for one of the most memorable lifetime achievements.
10165 Vivian Airport Rd., Vivian, LA 71082
Main Street Restaurant
Main Street Restaurant in Gilliam features “country cooking” favorites like chicken fried steak as well as fresh Gulf seafood options including fried oysters, boiled shrimp and more. Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday-Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday.
12807 Main St., Gilliam, LA 71029
Red River Crossroads Museum
See how the early settlers of the surrounding rural communities lived through memorabilia and pictures. Located in Shreve Memorial Library branch in Gilliam, the library’s hours are by appointment only.
12797 Main St., Gilliam, LA 71029
Sunflower Trail and Festival
View the beautiful, blooming sunflowers at Sunflower Trail and Festival along Hwy 3049 in Gilliam. Afterwards enjoy crafts, entertainment, food, and family fun at the festival.
LA-3049., Gilliam, LA 71029
Lynn Plantation Events
Established in 1914, the Lynn Plantation Home is a popular rented venue space on spacious, historic plantation lands. Renters can schedule weddings, reunions, romantic dinners, and more.
11569 Hwy 3049., Belcher, LA 71004
D&I General Store
D&I General Store is your one-stop-shop for homemade country cuisine, convenience items and other merchandise.
312 Caddo St., Belcher, LA 71004
Allen’s Guide and Tour Service
Allen’s Guide and Tour Service offers half day and full day fishing excursions on Caddo Lake. Fishing Guide Mark Allen specializes in largemouth bass fishing and is a multi-FLW/BFL tournament winner. Narrated tours of the lake are also available. Excursions by appointment only.
9691 Pelican Lodge Rd., Vivian, LA 71082
Monterey Country Club
Established in 1957, Monterey Country Club is a golf course that lives on 3200 yards of land with 18 golf holes and 36 pars.
114 Monterey Country Club Rd., Vivian, LA 71082
Cool Beans Coffee Shop
Experience a mellow, rustic atmosphere in the middle of Vivian’s downtown area. Cool Beans Coffee Shop offers a variety of drinks including cappuccinos, hot chocolate and other seasonal drinks with more than 10 different flavors including sugar-free options. Open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday.
109 W Louisiana Ave., Vivian, LA 71082
Rascals Restaurant is located in downtown Vivian and serves the most popular soul food items from a mini buffet. Cash only.
117 W Louisiana Ave., Vivian, LA 71082
Country Inn Motel
This motel accomodates overnight and extended stays with amenities such as Wi-Fi connection, cable, RV parking, and more.
1032 S Pine St., Vivian, LA 71082
Café 180 to GO
Café 180 to GO is an American restaurant serving everthing from philly cheesesteaks, burgers and salads to smothered chicken, sandwiches and cornbread.
308 South Pine St., Vivian, LA 71082
Country Crow Antiques, Gifts and Collectibles Shop
Country Crow features antiques, gifts and collectibles.
126 West Louisiana St., Vivian, LA 71082
Chavo’s Mexican Restaurant
Chavo’s Mexican Restaurant thrives on perfecting the balance between traditional and authentic Mexican food that are made from scratch.
1032 S Pine St., Vivian, LA 71082
Vivian Railroad Station Museum
Walk around and explore exhibits showcasing artifacts, photographs and more about North Caddo Parish’s railroad history at Vivian Railroad Station Museum.
100 Front St., Vivian, LA 71082
Vivian Black History Festival and Parade
Celebrate at Vivian’s Annual Black History Festival and Parade. Visit historical sites like the Vivian Railroad Station Museum and more. Enjoy great music, food, family fun, and good ole Southern hospitality. Don’t miss the “Shop Til U Drop” vendors Expo. This festival is held the 3rd Saturday in February each year.
Vivian, LA 71082
Louisiana Redbud Festival
Families looking for fun should check out Louisiana Redbud Festival’s all-day events including music on the square, a parade, food, and arts and crafts booths.
Vivian Townsquare, 100 Front Street, Vivian
Country Christmas Festival
Celebrate Christmas in the country. This annual Country Christmas Festival promises to entertain guests with delicious food, entertainment, crafts, and more.
100 Front St., Vivian, LA 71082
Dirt track races are held seasonally on this quarter-mile, semi-banked clay oval track.
13035 Boyter Ln., Vivian, LA 71082
Earl G. Williamson Park
Earl G. Williamson Park, a 40-acre park, features a public boat ramp, a 450-foot fishing pier, paved parking areas, restrooms with showers, RV camper hook-ups, areas for tent camping, extensive picnic facilities, two playgrounds, volleyball nets, a baseball field, tennis courts, and a swimming area.
11425 LA Hwy. 1., Oil City, LA 71061
Gusher Days Festival
Gusher Days Festival celebrates the north Caddo Parish oil industry with an archery tournament, fishing tournament, music, food, and entertainment.
11411 LA-1., Oil City, LA 71061
Louisiana State Oil & Gas Museum
Learn how the discovery of oil shaped the history of Caddo Parish through photographs, films, a shot gun house, and life-size dioramas at Louisiana State Oil & Gas Museum.
200 S Land Ave., Oil City, LA 71061
Restor-A-Book handles a wide variety of restoration and binding work including Bibles, books, genealogy papers, church hymnals, bulletins, newspapers, tabloids and much more.
126 South Land Ave., Oil City, LA 71061
Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival
Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival has been bringing Christmas cheer to the people of north Louisiana for nearly three decades. The all-day affair includes the presentation of Miss Christmas on Caddo pageant winner, live band, concessions, clowns, Santa, and fireworks over Caddo Lake.
100 Front St., Vivian, LA 71082
Caddo Outdoors Bait and Tackle Restaurant
Caddo Outdoors Bait and Tackle offers travelers the opportunity to enjoy popular Southern dishes from chicken fried steak to red beans and rice, fried catfish, meat pies, and more. Visitors can indulge in more than five different flavors of homemade pies or treat themselves to an apple or peach fried pie. The company motto is ‘Biscuits, Burgers, and Bait.’ You can build your own breakfast, fill up with a burger basket, order a good-sized salad, grab a slice of pie, and get your bait and tackle all in one stop. Caddo Outdoors Bait and Tackle is open 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday; and 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
118 Ferry Lake Rd., Oil City, LA 71061
La Herradura Mexican Restaurant
La Herradura cooks up fresh Mexican and seafood including fajitas, fish, enchiladas, nachos, taco salad, and more. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Sunday.
326 Hwy. 1., Oil City, LA 71061
Historic Caddo Lake Drawbridge
In 1914, as modes of transportation progressed, the Historic Caddo Lake Drawbridge in Mooringsport was built to replace the ferry. This vehicular bridge illustrates the unique “Vertical Lift” design which allows the entire center span to lift to allow tall oil equipment to pass through, especially Gulf Oil Company’s pile driver which was used for the first off-shore oil drilling. This 100-plus-year-old landmark is the last surviving Waddell vertical-lift bridge in Louisiana and is open to the public as a pedestrian walkway. It has been listed on National Register of Historic Places since 1996.
500 N Croom St., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Mooringsport Cypress Festival
The Mooringsport Cypress Festival features live entertainment, arts and crafts, food eating contests, children’s activities, parade, and more.
Higgins St., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Longwood General Store
Longwood General Store is a country store that features a small dining room and kitchen serving Southern classics like chicken fried steak and over-sized hamburgers. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant is well-known for steaks. The restaurant serves steaks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. Open 24 hours a day, Tuesday-Saturday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Monday.
3502 Hwy. 169., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Mooringsport Mini-Museum allows visitors to explore the history of Mooringsport, Louisiana through a series of paintings, artifacts, photographs, and more. Call for appointments.
Corner of Gremen and Croom Street
Horace M. Downs Park
Horace M. Downs Park sits on 8.5 acres of land that features the nearby Caddo Lake Dam, picnic tables, grills, and more for family fun.
8571 Crouch Dam Rd., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Caddo Lake Dam
Completed in June 1971, the Caddo Lake Dam was constructed as a modificatin to provide for navigation, water supply, recreation, commercial fishing, and flood control. Picnic facilities are available at nearby Horace M. Downs Park.
C&J RV Park LLC
C&J RV Park LLC has 26 RV sites and showers.
6941 LA-1., Mooringsport, LA 71060
By The Lake Park
By the Lake Park is a small park sitting on a bluff that overlooks Caddo Lake, provides picnic tables, portable toilet, pier and boat launching facilities. It is used primarily by fishermen and for family picnics. Located near the Historic Caddo Lake Drawbridge.
100 N Croom St., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Caddo Lake is a 25,400-acre lake and wetland located on the border between Texas and Louisiana. It is the largest natural fresh water lake in the South.
11425 Hwy. 1 North., Oil City, LA 71061
Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter Gravesite
Huddie Ledbetter, better known to the music world as “Lead Belly” was from Mooringsport, LA and was an accomplished musician. He could play the guitar, the accordion, mandolin and piano. His music still has a great influence on some of the greatest artists of today.
10395 Blanchard-Latex Rd., Mooringsport, LA 71060
Country Haven RV Park
Country Haven RV Park is a quiet, small RV park that creates a relaxed setting with laundry accomodations, showers, a fishing pond, and more.
8095 Old Mooringsport Rd., Shreveport, LA 71107
Northwood Hills Country Club
Northwood Hills offers numerous opportunities for competitive or social play for golfers of all ages and abilities. From Men’s and Women’s league play to junior golf, development programs, golf clinics, and tournaments, our programs are designed to help golfers enhance their skills while building friendships and connecting with others who share their interest in the game.
5000 Northwood Hills Dr., Shreveport, LA 71107
Poke Salad Festival
The Poke Salad Festival kicks off with a $1,000 treasure hunt, carnival, food, children’s activities, and live entertainment.
Pinehill Rd., Blanchard, LA 71009
Take a deeper journey along the Boom or Bust Byway through the pastures of Bossier Parish into calm, quiet towns including Benton and Plain Dealing. These towns offer lots of treasures that are worth a drive starting with fresh summer produce at the Benton Famers’ Market all the way to the historic, picture-perfect mural stashed away in Plain Dealing on Palmetto Street. On this route, road trippers will discover homemade burgers, water recreations in the local bayou, a petting zoo, historic homes, and more hidden gems along the Boom or Bust Byway.
Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District
Cypress Black Bayou is a full-service recreation area that includes a marina, swimming, camping, cabins, fishing piers, zoo, and much more. Cypress Black Bayou has a meeting room that holds up to 50 people if a small group is looking for a retreat.
135 Cypress Park Dr., Benton, LA 71006
Jayroe’s Hardware & Garden
Jayroe’s Hardware & Garden gives visitors the chance to experience a wonderful plant nursery that offers garden accessories and hardware items.
207 5th St., Benton, LA 71006
Cypress Zoo is located on seven acres inside Cypress Black Bayou Recreation Park encompassed by oak, pine, and sweet gum trees. Built in 1998, Cypress Zoo has provided visitors with a superb learning environment while heightening their understanding and respect for the animals and the surrounding area. The zoo staff continues to educate guests while providing them with memorable experiences.
135 Cypress Park Dr., Benton, LA 71006
Giles Snack Shop
Gile’s Snack Shop has been in business for many decades serving old-fashion home cooked meals in Plain Dealing. Open 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
210 E. Palmetto St., Plain Dealing, LA 71064
Rita Sanders Keoun Memorial Library
The Rita Sanders Keoun Memorial Bossier Parish Library is more than just a library to the Plain Dealing community. It also promotes the historical aspects of the community through engaging exhibits.
208 E. Mary Lee St., Plain Dealing, LA 71064
Anna’s Place is an antique and gift shop that houses everything from furniture and glassware to flowers and antique collectibles.
107 N Cotton Belt., Plain Dealing, LA 71064
Tatter’d, Torn & Reborn
Tatter’d Torn & Reborn is a shop that salvages torn or tattered vintagae items for resale.
109 Lynch Street., Plain Dealing, LA 71064
Outdoor sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, music fans, history buffs, and those who savor the fun and flavors of outdoor festivals and fairs will enjoy Webster Parish, Louisiana. Visitors are encouraged to savor the beautiful bayous, lakes and other natural wonders.
One of the towns along the Boom or Bust Byway worth a visit is Sarepta, named after parishioner Sarepta Carter who donated a large Bible to the local Baptist church in 1869 in exchange for the town’s namesake.
This charming community has produced a few stars including country music superstar Trace Adkins. His roots in the local church choir were the precursor to his Nashville success. Some of the songs he made popular are “Dreamin’ Out Loud,” “Every Light in the House,” and “Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone.”
Grammy award-winning Cox Family is from this area, too. The family is best known for the song “I am Weary,” which is featured in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” After more than 20 years as a band, the Cox Family won their Grammy for work with Alison Krauss on “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.”
If you are driving along the byway, be sure to stop at the interpretive kiosk next to Town Hall on Hwy. 371 to learn more about the history and culture of the area.
If calm-water canoeing interests you, beautiful Bayou Dorcheat winds its way through the entire length of Webster Parish. Once a major thoroughfare for paddleboats and steamships. Dorcheat offers scenic fishing, boating and watersport opportunities. Sportsmen can access the bayou from a number of locations, including the neighboring village of Dixie Inn.
Dorcheat Street, Minden, LA 71055
Germantown Colony and Museum
Have you ever dreamed of living in utopia? Some folks from Germany acted on such dreams and established a utopian colony just south of here in the 1800s. It is another boom and bust story, but on a smaller scale. The story of this group and their way of life is told at The Germantown Colony and Museum. Three of the original buildings remain and the museum has many interesting tools and other artifacts from the colony.
200 Museum Rd., Minden, LA 71055
Forests and Fields
Farms prospered on fertile land along the Red River. Cotton, for example, grew well there. Plantations and well-placed gins, thanks to the labor of hundreds of field hands and then sharecroppers, produced thousands of bales of cotton.
Closer to Sarepta, in what is still appropriately referred to as the Piney Woods, it was the combination of forests and flowing water that attracted the first of several generations of loggers. Axes and saw blades, in roughened hands, shaped and continue to reshape regional landscapes, triggering boom and bust cycles all too familiar to local residents.
Sawmills, like their agricultural cousin, the cotton gin, became centers of rural commerce and employment, growing larger and more mechanized with the passage of time. Tall, straight pines emerged from the mills as lumber for oil derricks, railroad ties, siding for boomtown homes, paper and boxes.
Lumberjack Grill will provide you with home cooked meals, salad bar and desserts. It offers a nice, family atmosphere for dining in or take outs.
26026 Highway 371, Sarepta, LA
Claiborne Parish was formed in 1828 and was named for the first Louisiana Governor William C.C. Claiborne.
Here, the byway rolls across gentle hills lined with miles of forest and an occasional small town such as Athens, Homer and Lisbon. In Homer, the town features one of the state’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture and the only antebellum courthouse in Louisiana that has been in continuous use since its construction in 1859.
Lake Claiborne provides recreation for locals and visitors. This 6,300 acre lake offers fishing, swimming, birding, boating, cabins and much more.
The 6,300-acre lake is eight and a half miles long and has 40 miles of shoreline. Fishing, swimming, birding, boating, and waterskiing are just some of the activities you can participate in here. The park has ten modern cabins and 86 improved campsites if you’d like to spend the night, and a nature center where you can learn to see more clearly and completely the beauty of the park.
225 State Park Road, Home, LA
Pleasure Point Marina Bar and Grill
Pleasure Point Marina Bar and Grill offers food, beverages, wi-fi and lakefront gasoline. It also offers two cabins with lakefront access. There are 30 lakefront full hookups and 20 non-lakefront with full hookups. Enjoy the homemade “Lake Claiborne” burger, a favorite within the community. A full bar is now available with frozen beverages.
775 Peterson Rd., Homer, LA 71040