North Louisiana Wildlife

Follow Us through the Forests and Wetlands

Basic Info about the Refuge

The Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana is nearly 15,000 acres.

The Bayou Cocodrie NWR in Louisiana is located along the state’s Black Bear Corridor, between the Tensas River NWR and the Atchafalaya River Basin. Thanks to its location and bottomland hardwood habitat, the small national wildlife refuge is home to bears, bobcats, and loads of deer and feral hogs.

This refuge is made up of four units: Brooks Brake, Cross Bayou, Hoover Slough, and Wallace Lake. We enjoyed the Brooks Brake and Cross Bayou areas the most.

Deer and hogs run along the road leading to Cross Bayou and through the undergrowth near the Brooks Brake parking area during most of the year, and you’ll find bobcats, owls, anoles, and turtles throughout the refuge.

Take a walk along the Observation Tower Trail to find all kinds of songbirds, who will get pretty close. The trees near the parking area at the headquarters building are filled with woodpeckers, warblers, vireos, kinglets, and flycatchers during the winter. You might also find a bear or coyote watching from a distance as you walk the trees for owls and woodpeckers, too.

By The Numbers

Learn more about the refuge.


Size in Acres



$ 0

Entry Fee


Days Open



Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Brooks Brake Unit

Savannah Sparrow

Observation Trail Tower

Eastern Phoebe

Observation Tower Trail

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Observation Tower Trail

Barred Owl

Hoover Slough Unit

Downy Woodpecker

Observation Tower Trail

Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Observation Tower Trail
Green anole brown phase climbing on a tree trunkGreen anole brown phase climbing on a tree trunk

Green Anole

Outside Office
Dirt road lined with trees on one side and electric poles on the other and blurred white-tailed deer at the end of itWhite-tailed deer tracks in dirt


Cross Bayou Unit

By far, our favorite two animals that we’ve seen at the Bayou Cocodrie NWR are the black bear and the bobcat. Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos of either. So, we’re going with our next favorite animal — the barred owl. It was the first place we were able to snag a photo of any owl species. Barred owls are fun birds to watch. They tend to have two modes: super calm but cautious or fast and swooping. This one landed in a tree quite a distance away and was in calm mode for about fifteen minutes before swooping away.

More about How You Can Enjoy the Refuge

Visit Other Areas

The Bayou Cocodrie NWR is one of many places you can enjoy our local wildlife. 

Explore North Louisiana's Outdoors.

Learn about national wildlife refuges, Kisatchie National Forest ranger districts, state wildlife management areas, and state parks found throughout North Louisiana.

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