Ruston and Lincoln Parish is in northern Louisiana along Interstate 20, making this an attractive and easily accessible destination for travelers looking for outdoor recreation, live entertainment, and family-friendly adventure. Nicknamed “Louisiana’s College Town” for its two beloved institutions of higher learning—Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University—Lincoln Parish offers something for everyone. Here’s suggestions on some of the top things to do in Ruston and Lincoln Parish.
Spend some time in the sun at Lincoln Parish Park, an outdoor oasis that includes a 10-mile bike trail (rated one of the best mountain bike trails in America), pavilions, picnic tables, fishing piers, and campgrounds. Walk the 1.25-mile path around the pristine lake before taking a dip in the cool waters of its lifeguard-supervised sandy beach, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This park often hosts mountain biking events, fishing tournaments, kayak adventures, and more. Not only is there space for your kids to play, but you can bring your favorite furry friend along too.
Cross new birds off your checklist as you follow the James Lake Birding Trail in Dubach, north of Ruston in Lincoln Parish. With viewing platforms and walking trails, this is one of the best spots to go birding in Louisiana. Extend your time outdoors by opting to take the scenic route: Ruston’s Rock Island Greenway, a linear park where you can walk, run, or cycle through a native forest.
If you find yourself craving even more of Louisiana’s beautiful outdoors on your trip, check out these state parks within 30 miles of Lincoln Parish: Jimmie Davis State Park, Lake Claiborne State Park, and Lake D’Arbonne State Park.
Everyone knows if there’s a college in town, you won’t have to look too hard for local bites and live entertainment. Lincoln Parish boasts two universities: Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University. Take a walk through campus and check out the sporting event schedules for LA Tech’s Bulldogs and Grambling’s Tigers when you’re in town. After the game, head to Rosemary’s Kitchen for a panini and pie slice on the patio or to Beau Vines Steakhouse for blackened alligator and grilled filet mignon, washed down with a maple bacon old-fashioneds.
Traveling with your family? There are plenty of ways to create lasting memories with your kids in Ruston and Lincoln Parish. Take a horsemanship class or ropes course challenge at the Outdoor Wilderness Learning (OWL) Center. If you somehow still have energy after all this, challenge each other to an axe-throwing competition at Bayou Axe in Downtown Ruston or explore the enduring legacy of one of Louisiana’s most beloved coaches at The Eddie G. Robinson Museum.
There’s no shortage of live entertainment in Ruston and Lincoln Parish. The Dixie Center for the Arts is a restored historic theater with a neon marquee you can’t walk past without imagining what it was like to watch a silent film here when it opened in 1928. Nowadays, each season includes a good mix of current hits and tributes to past icons, as well as comedies, musicals, and plays put on by Ruston Community Theatre.
Meanwhile, Grambling State University puts on three to five plays a year at the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre—an affordable and fun way to spend an evening. Be sure to check the schedule for Louisiana Tech University’s music and theater departments when you’re in town for the chance to catch a jazz ensemble or theater production here. Looking for a night out on the town? Head to
The Revelry Sundown Tavern, where the drinks are cold and the music is loud.