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Discussion Starter #1
We are working on getting a Polaris Ranger Forum Member Ride up. Dates are pending but the location is here www.louisianatrails.org . I might try to work up a t-shirt deal for everyone if interested. I have not come up with a design yet. This could be the start of the First Annual PRF
Meet-n-Greet. All ideas are welcome.

Josh
 

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Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

Here is some info from the website about the old rail road system.

The background of this historically rich railway dates back to 1890, when the lumberman William Buchanan began expanding his four-mile-long logging railroad south from Bodcaw, Arkansas to Louisiana and eventually to Mississippi. When the rail line reached Barfoot, Louisiana, about 1900 the Louisiana & Arkansas became an interstate road, subject to federal jurisdiction. About 1923, the Buchanan family sold the railroad to financial interests associated with the Kansas City Southern Railway, who merged the L&A with the Louisiana Navigation and Transportation Company, owner of a line running north out of New Orleans to Shreveport, Louisiana. The new company kept the L&A name but maintained its separate corporate existence until 1995, when it was merged with KCS. Until nearly the end of its existence as an independent railroad, the L&A kept its connection with the lumber industry, although it served agricultural and some industrial interests as well. At Winnfield, it connected with the Carey Salt mine, and along its full length, particularly in Bienville and Webster Parishes, it passed through important oil and gas activities.

Historically, the area of Louisiana Trails can reach back to pre-European times, particularly with its vast salt deposits. In 1699, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, exploring the Red River, met natives entering the river from Bayou Saline, their bateaus loaded with salt from licks on Black Lake Creek and Saline. Two centuries later the L&A Railway crossed these licks on its way south. Drake’s Lick on the Saline and King’s Lick on Bayou Castor form an important undeveloped area of anthropological and archeological investigation. In a day when railroads served as the principal mode of transportation, the L&A attracted extractive industries, mining, timber, agriculture, as well as cultural activities. These latter may still be experienced at such diverse places as Briarwood, a few miles north of Louisiana Trails on State Highway 9, the preserve built by the naturalist Caroline Dormon, and the site of the judicial murder of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow on State Highway 154 eight miles southwest of Gibsland. On the southeast end of Louisiana Trails, the City of Winnfield keeps watch over Louisiana political heritage. Here Huey Long and his brothers and sisters grew up and launched a revolution that changed the political and social landscape of Louisiana and much of America.
 

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Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

Location:

Louisiana Trails begin in the northwest town of Sibley, five miles south of Interstate Highway 10 and about 30 miles east of the state’s second largest city of Shreveport. From Sibley, Louisiana Trails extend south and southeast as a 61-mile-long corridor to the city of Winnfield. Other towns along and near the route include Mt. Morgan, Ogden, Heflin, Swift, Fryeburg, Lawhon, Jamestown, Castor, Alberta, Roy, Guynes,

Ashland, Skidder, Chestnut, Oshkosh,Goldonna, Coldwater, Grace, Calvin, and Carla Station on the west side of Winnfield. South out of Winnfield, U.S. Highway 167 intersects with Interstate Highway 49 at Alexandria, Louisiana. Passenger connections are available at major airports in Alexandria and Shreveport.
 

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Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

NATURE

Louisiana Trails present a spectacular path of endless greenery, with majestic hardwood and pine forests towering overhead along the journey. Farm and pastureland dot the landscape as well. .

Dozens of bridges (trestles left by the former railroad) along the Trails traverse its many streams and lakes, as well as a few swamps and beaver ponds. Wild flowers and flowering trees give splashes of color along the Trails during spring, summer, and fall. Winters are generally mild.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

Recreation

With development, Louisiana Trails has the potential for activities such as: hiking trails, jogging and running trails, long distance bicycling, off-trail mountain biking, roller skating, roller blading, skateboarding, outdoor exercise courses, playing on playground equipment, covered wagon rides, horseback riding, four-wheeling, and hayrides. Specific and multi-use parks, courses, trails, and areas could be established to cater to these and many other recreation and sporting activities.


Campgrounds and facilities along Louisiana Trails will encourage groups to use this unique natural asset. Groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and school orienteering clubs may wish to have day and/or overnight camping trips to traverse part or the whole 61-mile length of Louisiana Trails. Areas could be set aside for camping, outdoor cookouts, and sleeping areas for tents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

Entertainment

Northwest Louisiana is a region with many unique festivals, fairs, and special activities. Louisiana Trails could become an integral part of established events or activities associated with these diverse town and school fairs or festivals. Examples of potential events along Louisiana Trails could include the following: walks for charity, fun runs, mini-marathons, and bicycle races.


Towns near the trails corridor that have established festivals, such as the Louisiana Forest Festival in Winnfield, may wish to host events along Louisiana Trails. The city of Natchitoches also hosts numerous events, which in time could have events along Louisiana Trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Polaris Ranger Forum Ride!

Membership Cost

Join Us. Become a member of Louisiana Trails
and help plan and build facilities for hikers, bikers, horsemen/horsewomen, & off-road recreational vehicles.
ACCESS GUARANTEED with membership!

Membership: $100 annual fee OR $10 a month

Please make checks payable to: Louisiana Trails
 

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Does anyone have any info on this trail? A couple of us are planning to go ride it Sunday, Just wondering about access points, fees, etc. Any details are appreciated.

Colby
 

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Alright, I have gotten some information on this trail. It is presently maintained from Castor to Winnfield and not all the way to Sibley. Membership is $25 per year. I have contact information if anyone is interested.

Colby
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey,

what is th contact information? I still haven't received a e-mail back from them. Will you be able to go as well?
 

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I hope to be able to go with yall. What is the date for the ride? I am going to try to go over there again this weekend and ride on the "maintained" part of the trail. The contact is Doug Harris in Goldonna, La. 318-727-8860
 

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sibley is located 5 miles south of I-20 not I-10 as stated on the LA trails website.
sounds fun though
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MyHoundWillFindU is working on getting us some details, it is still up in the air about the date and we need to get this set in stone. By next Friday I would like to have all the details will hotel information and who all is going to be there. What is the best date for everyone?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just found out the last 2 Fridays of March I might have to be in court. I am still trying to take care of some family business. If it is where I can be there I will. If not I will send Myhoundwillfindu or another member hat is planning on being there a package full of koozies and stickers for everyone that shows up. I hope I can make it and will keep everyone posted.
 

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Alright, here is the scoop on the Louisianatrails.org abandoned railroad trail. It is open from Winnfield, La. to Castor, La. The best place to access it is in Winnfield on hwy 501, 2 miles west of hwy 167. We rode it yesterday and really enjoyed the ride. We crossed several trestles and rode for about 24 miles one way. At one spot the trail was about 1 1/2 - 2 feet deep in mud and water; the rest was smooth but wet from the recent rain. Being an abandoned railroad, it is a straight shot smooth ride. They don't allow mudbogging and you can't leave the trail. It is bordered by private property and not all landowners are in favor of the trail. They don't allow alcohol either. No night riding is allowed. The cost is $25 per year per person annual membership. The contact info is: Doug and Sissie Harris in Goldonna, La. hm 318-727-8860, his cell 318-521-0887, her cell 318-521-0886. With your membership you get a sticker for your bike and a membership card. They do patrol the trail, so if you are coming in from out of town, I'd reccommend contacting them in advance rather than trying to pay the fee when you arrive. The only place i know of with any accomodations is Winnfield. We were told that there is a place to camp but I' m not sure where that is. Most of the trail that we rode on is through the Kisatche National Forest and it is a pretty ride. We actually started in Calvin, several miles down the trail rather than Winnfield. They were working on a trestle and were supposed to finish it yesterday. Everyone that went in our group yesterday said they wanted to do again once a month. It is an easy ride and we enjoyed it.

Colby
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MyHoundWillFindU said:
Alright, here is the scoop on the Louisianatrails.org abandoned railroad trail. It is open from Winnfield, La. to Castor, La. The best place to access it is in Winnfield on hwy 501, 2 miles west on hwy 167. We rode it yesterday and really enjoyed the ride. We crossed several trestles and rode for about 24 miles one way. At one spot the trail was about 1 1/2 - 2 feet deep in mud and water; the rest was smooth but wet from the recent rain. Being an abandoned railroad, it is a straight shot smooth ride. They don't allow mudbogging and you can't leave the trail. It is bordered by private property and not all landowners are in favor of the trail. They don't allow alcohol either. No night riding is allowed. The cost is $25 per year per person annual membership. The contact info is: Doug and Sissie Harris in Goldonna, La. hm 318-727-8860, his cell 318-521-0887, her cell 318-521-0886. With your membership you get a sticker for your bike and a membership card. They do patrol the trail, so if you are coming in from out of town, I'd reccommend contacting them in advance rather than trying to pay the fee when you arrive. The only place i know of with any accomodations is Winnfield. We were told that there is a place to camp but I' m not sure where that is. Most of the trail that we rode on is through the Kisatche National Forest and it is a pretty ride. We actually started in Calvin, several miles down the trail rather than Winnfield. They were working on a trestle and were supposed to finish it yesterday. Everyone that went in our group yesterday said they wanted to do again once a month. It is an easy ride and we enjoyed it.

Colby
Thanks for getting all of this info. I am scheduled for court so I am not promising on being there. Also If everyone is interested in still going I will send some koozies and stickers out for everyone attending.

Josh
 

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So, when are we planning the ride?
 

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Im still for going, but I need a date so that I can check on my wife being able to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We had planned it being the last weekend in March. However if any of you would like to make a different date that will be fine. Just come up with something and lets get it posted.

Josh
 
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