Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is composed of two separate tracts lying northwest of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish. The North Tract (2,346 acres) lies immediately adjacent to the Louisiana State Penitentiary. This tract is accessed from Farrah Davis Road off of LA 66, approximately 14.3 miles west of US 61. A check station is located on the WMA approximately three miles down Farrah Davis Road from LA 66. The South Tract (3,560 acres) has a few different access points, but is most commonly accessed by driving 17.3 miles west on LA 66 from US 61 to Old Tunica Road. Continue on Old Tunica Road for about one mile to enter the WMA. The Old Tunica Road is a portion of the scenic Natchez Trace System and has been used for travel since colonial times. Three check stations are located on the South Tract.
Tunica Hills WMA encompasses 5,906 acres and is owned by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Terrain on the area is characterized by rugged hills, bluffs, and ravines. The area lies at the southern end of the “loess blufflands” escarpment that follows the east bank of the Mississippi River south from its confluence with the Ohio River. These blufflands offer a diverse and unique habitat that supports some species of plants and animals not found elsewhere in Louisiana.
The forest type on the area is classified as upland hardwood, with some loblolly pine and eastern red cedar mixed in on the ridge tops and creek terraces. Hardwoods consist of American beech, American holly, flowering magnolia, cherrybark oak, water oak, cow oak, hickory, sweetgum, Osage orange, hackberry, eastern hophornbeam, ironwood, yellow poplar, elm, maple, and other less predominant species. The understory varies from dense in younger areas of timber to fairly open in older areas. Common understory species are oak leaf hydrangia, two-winged silverbell, trifoliate orange, pawpaw, flowering dogwood, sweetleaf, spicebush, blackberry, and switchcane. At least 20 species of plants classified as rare in Louisiana are found on this area and two of these species have not been found to occur anywhere else in the state.
Tunica Hills WMA is open to a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, trapping, birdwatching, hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, sightseeing, and photography. A nature trail and three hiking trails are present. Hunting is allowed at specified times for deer, turkey, and small game. Trapping is allowed for coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon and opossum. Eastern chipmunks are found on the area. Infrequently, black bear tracks are observed. Numerous snake species are common in the area, including canebrake rattlesnakes and copperheads. Resident and migratory bird species are abundant on the area, including several that are rare elsewhere in the state, such as the worm-eating warbler and the Coopers hawk. A tent-only camping area is located off of Parker Road on the South Tract. Access to both tracts is provided by a series of trails. All-Terrain-Vehicles are only allowed on designated ATV trails from September through February.
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