Having grown up mere steps from the banks of scenic Cane River Lake, I feel a kinship with the 35-mile long oxbow-shaped waterway. It meanders past the downtown historic district, creating a unique focal point that sets the city apart from all others in charm and appeal. At the founding of Natchitoches in 1714, Cane River Lake was indeed a river–part of the Red River to be specific. Sometime during the early 1800s, the temperamental Red forged a new channel across a bend about four miles upstream at Grand Ecore. Suddenly, Natchitoches found itself cut off from the main river channel; steamboat access became sporadic at first and then an impossibility. Within the last century or so, dams were built at either end of what is now Cane River Lake, separating it completely from Red River. Though no longer technically a river, the lake possesses characteristics of a stream and “flows” through Natchitoches, effectively slicing the town in half. Residents and visitors alike appreciate the river’s recreational possibilities…boats and barges can be seen along its length most any day as folks enjoy fishing, skiing, or just tooling along taking in the scenery. The river is regulated and maintained by the Cane River Waterway Commission. For more information, visit its web site at http://www.caneriverwaterway.com/default.aspx.