Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge

Upper Ouachita NWR, established in 1978, consists of 42,594 acres located in Union and Ouachita Parishes. The legislative purposes for the refuge are to conserve wetlands and manage for migratory birds. The refuge is bisected by the scenic Ouachita River and consists of upland pine-hardwood and bottomland hardwood forest; agriculture, moist-soil wetlands, and open water. Upper Ouachita NWR provides excellent wintering habitat for tens of thousands of ducks and geese. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the threatened Louisiana black bear are found here. Other wildlife species that call the refuge home include alligators, deer, turkey, squirrels, bald eagles and beavers. Upper Ouachita NWR is one of the five refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex.

Habitat management focuses primarily on reforestation, controlling invasive species, prescribed burning of upland pine forest, thinning of upland and bottomland forest, maintaining moist-soil units, and farming for waterfowl foraging habitat.

Getting There
Although Upper Ouachita NWR does not have a visitor center, many points of access are available to the public. Access Finch Bayou Recreation area and the scenic River Road on the west side of the refuge by way of La. Hwy 143. From Haile, Louisiana, turn east on Hooker Hole Road. Drive four miles and turn north onto River Road. Visitors can access the east side of the refuge in Morehouse Parish by way of Bastrop, Louisiana. From U.S. Hwy 165 turn west on Hang Out Road and travel 5 miles. Turn left on Meter Station Road. Go straight into the parking lot.

View or download the North Louisiana Refuges Complex General Brochure (PDF 401KB).


Contact Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge

North Louisiana Refuges
11372 Highway 143
Farmerville, Louisiana  71363-0201
Phone: (318) 726-4400
Fax: (318) 726-4667


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
  • Union Parish, Louisiana

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator