Touchstone Wildlife and Art Museum
Location: Haughton, Louisiana (3386 Highway 80)
When to visit: Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm most of the year (From Oct. through Jan., only open Thursday – Saturday)
Cost: $5 ($3 for kids)
Time needed: 30-60 minutes
Art, taxidermy, and little bit of Star Trek and Civil War history are all on display at the Touchstone Wildlife Art Museum, a truly odd but fascinating facility located 20 minutes outside Shreveport.
Founded in 1981, the museum welcomes photography and charges only $5 per adult, so you can’t go wrong. On display are more than 1000 specimens, mostly zoo animals donated after they died. The animals are placed inside display cases painted to look like their natural habitats.
This snow leopard once lived in a zoo. It’s one of the rarest cats on earth today, and it’s magnificent to see up close.
What do bighorn sheep and Star Trek have in common? Nothing at all, actually, except that they exist side by side in this display at the Touchstone:
Head to the second floor for more stuffed creatures plus a wide variety of displays that aren’t necessarily related to animals, including Confederate money, Civil War weapons, Native American arrowheads, and Creationism, which the museum’s late founder promoted in later in life after previously supporting evolution.
If the taxidermy collection inside isn’t quirky enough for you, step out back behind the building, where the museum keeps live deer in a pen. The Touchstone Wildlife Art Museum is weird and affordable, so there’s no reason not to visit if you’re near Haughton.