North Louisiana Wildlife

Follow Us through the Forests and Wetlands

Basic Info about the Refuge

The D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana is nearly 20,000 acres.

The D’Arbonne NWR in Louisiana is a beautiful and generally quiet place to hang out and watch wildlife. It’s hard to think of another place you can find a scene as breathtaking as the view of the meadow and water from the observation tower.

On any given day, you can find wading birds, like great egrets, great blue herons, and even little blue herons, songbirds, woodpeckers, frogs, toads, raptors, skunks, armadillos, deer, turtles, black bears, snakes, and vultures.

The NWR has a special place in our hearts as the first place we saw red-headed woodpeckers and the only place we’ve seen red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Because the Bayou D’Arbonne bisects the refuge, it’s almost impossible to visit from all entrances in a single visit. We suggest you try the Saline Creek Wetlands area and Holland’s Bluff Road area on different visits and start with the wetlands area just off Highway 15 near Downsville. Along with the beautiful scenery there, you can see all kinds of wildlife there.


In our visits to the area, we’ve met more birds of prey in the Saline Creek area. We’ve met red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, or northern harriers on each visit. During the dry season, when we’ve been able to cross the creek on the gravel trail, we’ve met eagles and ospreys.

If you have time, check out the Lake Drain area down the road from the Saline Creek area.


Hours Open Per Day


Size in Acres

$ 0

Entry Fee

By The Numbers

Learn more about the refuge.


Days Open

0 %

Percent of the Refuge that Floods during Rainy Years

Blanchard's cricket frog on a dead, brown leaf near two fallen logsBlanchard's cricket frog on a dead, brown leaf near a fallen log

Blanchard's Cricket Frog

Saline Creek Wetlands
Northern cricket frog in shallow, stagnant waterNorthern cricket frog in shallow, stagnant water

Northern Cricket Frog

Holland's Bluff Road Area
Female downy woodpecker hanging from the bottom of a dead, broken branchFemale downy woodpecker perched on the top of a dying, broken tree branch

Downy Woodpecker

Holland's Bluff Area
Juvenile little blue heron wading in shallow ditch water to hunt

Immature Little Blue Heron

Saline Creek Wetlands
Red-tailed hawk soaring through a blue skyRed-tailed hawk soaring through a blue sky

Red-Tailed Hawk

Saline Creek Wetlands

Pine Warbler

Holland's Bluff Road Area
Red admiral on a green, leafy weedRed admiral butterfly on the mud

Red Admiral Butterfly

Saline Creek Wetlands
Red-banded hairstreak butterfly foraging on dead leavesRed-banded hairstreak butterfly on dead leaves on the ground

Red-Banded Hairstreak Butterfly

Holland's Bluff Road Area
Belted kingfisher in flightBelted kingfisher perched on a branch

Belted Kingfisher

Lake Drain Area

While we love all our wild friends, the red-headed woodpecker is our favorite D’Arbonne NWR inhabitant. D’Arbonne is the first place we met this friend, and no matter how many other awesome neighbors we met there, it has remained our absolute fav from the refuge.

More about How You Can Enjoy the Refuge

Visit Other Areas

The D'Arbonne NWR is one of many places you can enjoy our local wildlife. 

Explore North Louisiana's Outdoors.

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

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