Nowhere says Louisiana delta country like Madison Parish. In fact, Delta Airlines is said to have gotten its start here. Just over the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Madison Parish is served by Interstate 20. But don’t picture a hectic metropolis harried by planes, trains and automobiles. Madison is one of Louisiana’s least populous parishes, and most of the folks who live here are clustered in the town of Tallulah. That leaves plenty of open space for nature lovers. The soil of the delta is fertile ground for cotton, soybeans and cattle. The parish also contains a good portion of the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, with allows outdoorsmen to roam 70,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. This primeval setting is home to the largest concentration of the endangered Louisiana black bear. Here, too, the last sighting of the rare ivory-billed woodpecker was documented, considered the “holy grail” of bird-watching.