Franklin Paddling Trails

DownloadMapDifficulty: DifficultyLevel

Founded in 1808 as Carlin's Settlement, Franklin (named for Benjamin Franklin) became the parish (county) seat in 1811 and the first incorporated town in 1820. Though early settlers included French, Acadian, German, Danish, and Irish, the town's culture and architecture is heavily influenced by the unusually large numbers of English that chose to settle there after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Numerous large sugar plantations arose in the area and, with the development of steamboating, Franklin became an interior sugar port. By the 1830s, Bayou Teche was the main street of Acadiana and home to a series of plantations. 

Trails: Bayou Portage - Hanson Canal

franklin kiosk The area's sugar cane planters were among the South's wealthiest agriculturists. This is reflected in the grand plantation homes and mansions they built in Franklin and the surrounding countryside. Most of these magnificent structures are still standing and well preserved, giving Franklin its unique architectural flavor. Franklin's Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses over 420 noteworthy structures. Many of the spectacular Greek Revival antebellum homes are along the live oak arcade on the East Main boulevard.  East Main Street retains its distinctive turn-of-the-century iron street light standards, which have become a symbol of the picturesque town.

Though a small town, Franklin has produced more than its share of statesmen, including five governors of Louisiana, four United States senators, a Chief Justice, and a Lieutenant Governor. Franklin was also the boyhood home of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

P9142405During the Civil War, the Battle of Irish Bend was fought near Franklin on April 14, 1863. Though eventually forced to retreat, the badly outnumbered Confederate forces cost the Union troops significant losses. Four hundred men were killed or wounded in the confrontation, which proved to be an important point in stopping the Union drive to invade Texas. Today, Franklin is a modern town with a population of about 9,000. The area produces oil, gas, carbon black, salt, seafood, and of course, sugar.


Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau
Morgan City Office
900 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd
Morgan City, LA 70380

Phone: (985) 380-8224;
(800) 256-2931 
Fax: (985) 380-2876

Monday - Friday,
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday,
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Franklin Visitor Center & Rest Area
15307 Hwy. 90 West, Frontage Rd
Franklin, LA 70538

Phone: (337) 828-2555

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce
Morgan City Office 
727 Myrtle St
Morgan City, LA 70380

Phone: (985) 384-3830
Fax: (985) 384-0771

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Franklin Office
600 Main St
Franklin, LA 70538

Phone: (337) 828-5608
Fax: (337) 828-5606

Hours: Monday - Friday,
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

      Passion logoURL TM CMYK

Cajun Coast Visitor Bureau