Tunica Hills WMA is composed of two separate tracts. The North Tract (2,346 acres) is immediately adjacent to the Louisiana State Penitentiary. The South Tract (4,156 acres) is off Old Tunica Road, which is part of the scenic Natchez Trace System and has been used for travel since colonial times.
The WMA’s terrain 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 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 include American beech; American holly; flowering magnolia; cherrybark, water, and cow oak; hickory; sweetgum; Osage orange; hackberry; eastern hophornbeam; ironwood; yellow poplar; elm; and maple. The understory varies from dense in younger areas of timber to fairly open in older areas. Common understory species are oak leaf hydrangea, 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; two of these species have not been found anywhere else in the state.
Activities and Amenities
Hunting and trapping: Hunting is allowed at specified times for deer, turkey, and small game. There are youth and general turkey lottery hunts and a youth deer season. Trapping is allowed for coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon, and opossum. See regulations for details.
Birding and wildlife viewing: Tunica Hills WMA is home to several resident and migratory bird species including some that are rare elsewhere in the state, such as the worm-eating warbler and the Coopers hawk. There are eastern chipmunks and numerous snake species, including canebrake rattlesnakes and copperheads. Black bear tracks are observed occasionally.
Camping: There is a tent-only, primitive camping area off of Parker Road on the South Tract.
Hiking: There is a nature trail and three hiking trails on Tunica Hills WMA.
Other: horseback riding, biking, photography
Tunica Hills WMA is home to several resident and migratory bird species including some that are rare elsewhere in the state.
LDWF and Louisiana Office of State Parks
Tunica Hills WMA is northwest of St. Francisville. Access the North Tract from Farrah Davis Road off LA Hwy 66, approximately 14.3 miles west of U.S. Hwy 61. While you can access the South Tract from a few different points, the best way to go is by driving 17.3 miles west on LA Hwy 66 from U.S. Hwy 61 to Old Tunica Road. Continue on Old Tunica Road for about 1 mile to enter the WMA. A series of trails provide interior access to both tracts.