Tunica Hills and Other Outdoor Fun Close to St. Francisville

Tunica Hills terrain is comprised of ravines, bluffs and rugged hills, making it an ideal place for hiking, biking and more. In this area you'll find plants such as wild ginseng and animals not found anywhere else in Louisiana. BBOnline shows you the best trails as well as other opportunities for outdoor fun near St. Francisville.

Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898
(225) 765-2360

The trees you can see on your explorations of the vast 5,905-acre Tunica Hills region are mainly hardwoods such as oak, hickory, maple and flowering magnolia with some loblolly pine and eastern red cedar on the ridges and creek terraces. The bluffs are high and the ravines deep and shaded. In this green haven you can hike, bike and go horseback riding. The birdwatching here is unsurpassed. You'll glimpse rare birds such as the Coopers Hawk and the worm-eating warbler. There are three hiking trails and a nature trail. Late winter and early spring are the best times to visit. During early winter, you'll be able to see beautiful vistas previously hidden by the crowded growth of leaves and you won't have to fight mosquitoes and poison ivy.

Clark Creek Natural Area
366 Fort Adams Pond Road
Woodville, Mississippi, Louisiana 39669

This enchanting area is part of Tunica Hills. The demanding trails lead to magnificent waterfalls (some are 30 feet high), and the ridges are pretty steep in places, rising to several hundred feet above the creek bed. For lovers of trees, this is a magical place with lushly forested hills. Worth seeing are the gigantic world record-setting trees like a Mexican Plum and Bigleaf Snowbell. In the creek beds, you'll find a profusion of violets and rare trilliums and a variety of mushrooms and ferns. You could spot whitetail deer, wild turkey, the endangered black bear and a wealth of birdlife. A great outing from your St. Francisville Bed and Breakfast.

Bird Walks in Tunica Hills
West Feliciana Parish
Saint Francisville, Louisiana 70775

In April every year, Francisville holds its Audubon Country Birdfest. The area comprising bluffs, ravines and river swamps is known for its rich birdlife, immortalized by the paintings of artist-naturalist John James Audubon. There's the Bluebird Route which covers Oak Hill and Hollywood Plantations and the Redbird Route which takes you to Beechwood Plantation and Woodhill Farm.

Oak Hill is home to the wildlife artist Murrell Butler who'll personally conduct the walk. You'll spot orioles, yellow-billed cuckoos, bluebirds, ibises and many more varieties. In Beechwood you'll see Alexander Creek, one of Audobon's favorite painting haunts. You can choose from several other field trips including those to the Mary Ann Brown Preserve and the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, both great places for birders. There's also the Mississippi River Road Walk in downtown St. Francisville.

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 217
Sibley, Mississippi, Louisiana 39165
(610) 442-6696
www.fws.gov/catisland

About seven miles away along the Mississippi River, this virgin wetland forest is worth visiting from your St. Francisville Inn for its wintering waterfowl and the world's largest Bald Cypress tree, 83 feet tall, with a diameter of 17 feet! The refuge harbors a huge amount of birds, fish, wildlife and plants. You'll see mink, river otter, white-tailed deer, bobcat and more. You can hike four miles of trails on Cat Island and take some wonderful photographs. The river usually submerges the refuge completely between January and June.