What:           Northup Trail Forum & Trail Launch

When:          December 10, 2015 at 10 a.m.

Where:         Haas Auditorium
                     208 Pershing Highway
                     Bunkie, LA   71322

Cost:           Free and open to public

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, along with the Avoyelles Tourist Commission and Alexandria Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, will unveil the new Northup Trail at 1 p.m. on December 10, 2015, at the Bunkie Depot on NW Main St. in Bunkie, LA.

The Town of Bunkie will host the two-part event beginning at 10 a.m. at the Haas Auditorium, 208 Pershing Highway, Bunkie, LA.  At 10 a.m., Bunkie officials will welcome all attendees and introduce our presenters, Dr. Jerry Sanson and Dr. Chris Stacey, history professors at LSUA. The group will break for lunch on their own (restaurant information will be provided.)

At 1 p.m., the Lt. Governor will unveil the signage for the Northup Trail Byway and reflect on the trail concept at the Bunkie Depot.

Attendees will be invited to join a caravan to the following marker sites where Dr. Sanson and Dr. Stacey will summarize significances of location:  Bunkie Record Site, Live Oak Plantation, Lamourie, and Epps House (located at LSUA.)

Caravan will then return to Bunkie Depot.

Stretching through historic communities and scenic back roads, the Northup Trail takes visitors along the path of Solomon Northup during his 12 years as a slave in Central Louisiana.

The trail follows his life through Rapides and Avoyelles Parishes and visits sites such as the Red River landing where Northup arrived on the steamboat Rodolf, the Epps House, the Bunkie Depot, and the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse, where he was finally able to regain his freedom.

“The Northup Trail follows Solomon Northup’s path from his arrival in Alexandria, 1841, to Ludger Barbin Landing where he left Marksville, 1853, after regaining his freedom at the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse,” said Carlos Mayeux, author and chairman of the Avoyelles Tourist Commission.  “Retrace Northup’s footsteps as portrayed in the movie, 12 years a Slave.”

The Northup Trail is the newest addition to the Louisiana Trails and Byways Collection.  Louisiana has 17 scenic byways.  Scenic byways are designed to attract travelers to the state’s natural beauty and open doors to local history and culture.  More information can be found on louisianabyways.com.

For more information or to plan your journey along the Northup Trail visit www.AlexandriaPinevilleLA.com,  318.442.9546 or www.travelavoyelles.com, 800.833.4195.