Franklin Paddling Trail

Founded in 1808 as Carlin's Settlement, Franklin (named for Benjamin Franklin), Louisiana, 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, with one plantation after another.

Trails: Bayou Portage - Hanson Canal

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.

During 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.

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Location

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Latitude: 29.793329 Longitude: -91.499456 Elevation: 1 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Carrie Stansbury

Best Access Points

Hanson Canal Paddling Trails:

  • Fairfax Foster Bailey Boat Launch - From Highway 90, take the Franklin Exit #3211. Turn onto Northwest Boulevard. At the four-way stop, take a right onto Chatsworth. After you cross the bridge, take an immediate right onto Willow Street. Take the first right to the Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Boat Launch, located under the overpass.

    GPS: N29 47' 02.0" W-91 31' 28.0"

  • Bayou Teche Boat Launch – From Hwy 90, take Franklin Exit # 3211. Turn onto Northwest Blvd. At the light, take a right onto Hwy 182. At the cemetery, the road will fork; stay to the right. Turn left onto Adams, Jackson or Commercial Street. Turn right onto Teche Drive. The boat launch is on the corner of Willow Street and Teche Drive.

    GPS: N29 47' 31.0" W-91 29' 57.0"

  • Roseville Street Boat Launch – From Hwy 90, take the Franklin Exit # 3211. Turn onto Northwest Blvd. At the light, take a right onto Hwy 182. At the cemetery, the road will fork; stay to the right.  Turn left onto Roseville Street, located just past the cemetery on the left. The landing is behind the cemetery.

    GPS: N29 47' 58.0" W-91 29' 51.5"

Bayou Portage Paddling Trail:

  • Fairfax Foster Bailey Boat Launch - From Highway 90, take the Franklin Exit #3211. Turn onto Northwest Boulevard. At the four-way stop, take a right onto Chatsworth. After you cross the bridge, take an immediate right onto Willow Street. Take the first right to the Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Boat Launch, located under the overpass.

    GPS: N29 47' 02.0" W-91 31' 28.0"

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