Louisiana's heritage of hands-on, outdoor recreation is a way of life in its northern parishes. Whether it is traveling miles of rivers dotted with marinas to exploring the Kisatchie National Forest, an American treasure with a total of 600,000 acres, there is something for everyone from hunters to hikers to enjoy. A bit of Texas twang mixes it up with Southern culture along the western side of Sportsman's Paradise, where rodeos and barbecue are as common as crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades. Neighboring Shreveport and Bossier City share the banks of the Red River, along with a thriving collection of cultural assets and a robust nightlife of casinos and world-class entertainment. Universities in Lincoln Parish and Monroe buzz with youthful energy, while the region's history is well-preserved at Civil War battlefields to the Native American earthworks at Poverty Point, one of the most important archaeological sites in North America.