This region is a true Sportsman’s Paradise. The cities of Monroe and Ruston and surround areas like Farmerville and Bastrop, offer many outdoor activities — follow a birding trail, cast a line in a crooked creek, hike the forested hills and lowlands, launch a canoe on a sprawling lake or bike along a winding path. Step back in history at a military museum or catch a glimpse of the state’s agricultural past at the Louisiana State Cotton Museum in Lake Providence. In Monroe and West Monroe, enjoy the dining, shopping and antiques browsing, as well as the symphony, ballet and Broadway-style shows. In Ruston and Grambling, enjoy the university-town atmosphere, including exciting college sports, along with art galleries, studios and museums.