Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge

outdoor2Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge and visitors center is open to the public and boasts a nationally recognized environmental and educational programs and wildlife museums.

A forest of bottom land and hard woods once covered a million acres in the Mississippi Valley. Today there are more than 5 million acres. The 10,000 acres within Tensas River National Refuge is the largest remaining tract of forest.

The refuge provides food and shelter for more than 400 species of wildlife, including: Louisiana Black Bear, bobcat, wild turkey, wood duck, otter, raccoon, mink, squirrel, white-tail deer and alligator. The Refuge is home to the black bear killed by Teddy Roosevelt in 1907.

Tensas River Paddling Trailtensas

The difficulty level of the full day paddle is moderate. Beginners can park at Fool River Boat Ramp and paddle as far down as they want on Fool River Lake and then turn around and return to Fool River Boat Ramp.

Trail Length

The paddling distance from Fool River Boat Launch to Ben Lilly Boat Launch is 15.2 miles. This is a great day trip but a challenge for any paddler.

River Levels

Looking at historical data from the past 10 years, the river typically runs at around 34 feet on Newlight Gage with spikes due to rainfall and runoffs, spiking up to 50 feet or higher.

What You Will See

This is a great day paddle filled with hardwood forests full of wildlife and tall trees. The thick understory is draped with vines, ferns, and flowering brush. Thick strands of palmetto are reminders of its subtropical nature. The area has a healthy population of the Louisiana black bear.

More Information

For more information, click on the link below to see our brochure.
Tensas Paddling Trail Fool River to Ben Lilly Bridge
Tensas River Paddling Trails