Nolan Trace Byway

Philip Nolan was a horse smuggler. He smuggled Mustangs all the way from Texas, then owned by Spain, to Natchez, then down to New Orleans for a decade. He used many trails in No Man’s Land, the disputed land on the Texas border, for escape. He was finally captured in Leesville, near the Sabine River in 1801 and executed by Spanish troops. The trail that is now LA Highway 28 from Alexandria to Leesville and LA Highway 8 to the Sabine River is the one most associated with the outlaw. His routes are part of the Colonial Trails system known as the Nolan Trace. There are several stops of note on the Nolan Trace in Vernon Parish. The Kisatchie National Forest, Fort Polk Museum, the Old Courthouse in Leesville, and the Museum of Western Louisiana which is housed in an old KCS Depot. There is a Nolan Trace historic marker at the Vernon Parish Library near LA Highway 8 on Nolan Trace Road.