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Poverty Point National Monument is an archeological marvel near Pioneer, Louisiana, that dates back approximately 3,000 years. In the past, it was the central hub of a trading network that expanded across the continent; archeologists have discovered raw materials such as stone from the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains (for tools and weapons), soapstone from the Appalachian foothills (used to craft boats) and other materials from the eastern USA. Today, Poverty Point NM is an important window into the history of the region and the people who built and managed it. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monument is open year-round during regular business hours and has a museum, historical buildings, and picnic areas. The monument staff offer guided tours seasonally on select days during the week and weekends as well as programs and special events. If you'd like to stretch your legs and view the monument on your own, there is a hiking trail that is a few miles in length. The monument is an ideal destination for birding, nature viewing, and photography.
Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge is a bottomland forest with oxbow lakes and hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. One of its residents is the Louisiana black bear, which is listed federally as endangered. The refuge includes American alligators and white-tailed deer, which aren't endangered, and is the site where the ivory-billed woodpecker was last reported seen. Many scientists believe that the ivory-billed woodpecker is now extinct. The refuge has a visitor center where you can view exhibits and participate in interpretive and educational programs such as guided and self-guided tours.
Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge is within reach with an RV rental near Poverty Point National Monument. The refuge is situated in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley along its western boundary. It was created in 1978 to provide habitat for migratory and other bird species; it has since evolved into a refuge for alligators, bald eagles, and many other species. The landscape consists of bottomland hardwood and upland forests and cypress swamps; it is intersected by the Ouachita River, a Louisiana Natural and Scenic River.
Delta National Forest is two hours' drive east of the Poverty Point National Monument and a great day trip destination. Its hardwood forest is nestled into the Mississippi River floodplain with lazy rivers flowing through it and agricultural fields scattered throughout. It serves as both a nature preserve for wintering waterfowl and an outdoor recreation area with dozens of campsites, several recreation areas, and tens of miles of trails that are multi-use (suitable for hiking, mountain biking, and more).
There are a few campgrounds and RV parks near Poverty Point National Monument. Pavilion RV Park is an ADA-accessible RV campground near Monroe. The campground has bathhouses, laundry facilities, and a fishing pond. It is also a short distance from numerous local attractions such as the Masur Museum of Art and Black Bayou Lake. All of the campsites have full hookups with 30 or 50 amp electricity, and some of them are big rig friendly.
Delhi RV Park LLC is a pet-friendly RV campground in Delhi, with a level white rock surface and grass areas. Each site within the campground has full hookups and can accommodate larger RV units. The campground has a dump station, and some of the campsites have shade. If you'd like to get a round of golf in, head to the course nearby.
Rayville is a small town with an active nightlife and many churches with attractive architectural styles. Park the Pioneer camper rental, and there is a bayou and a river nearby where you can take a relaxing stroll, or you can spend some time sightseeing the town on foot. The town has an impressive restaurant industry for its size, with both locally owned establishments and chain-style restaurants. You can choose between steak and seafood restaurants, pizzerias and waffle houses, Mexican food, and more.
Bastrop is a midsize town that was established more than 150 years ago. The city also has some impressive architecture as reflected in their churches and other public buildings; a walking tour of the town might be something to consider. It also has a quiet and scenic urban park where you can stroll next to a river with a perfect balance of tree cover and open sky. It has a museum that doubles as an arts center and a long list of restaurants that includes family diners, pizzerias and barbecue joints, and more. If you feel like something different, there is a Chinese venue and several Mexican establishments.