Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge


Map Directions

Things To Do


Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in October 1994, and is comprised of 15,000 acres of coastal marsh and pine forested wetlands. Of this total, the Conservation Fund has donated over 10,000 acres to the Service from Richard King Mellon Foundation funds. The purpose of the refuge is to protect some of the only Lake Pontchartrain shoreline that exists in its natural state and to provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife species, with special emphases on migratory birds and endangered species. The refuge supports over 5,000 wintering waterfowl, including mallards, gadwall and Northern Pintails. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and American bald eagle nest in the refuge's pine forests. Public use opportunities include hunting, fishing, environmental education, and interpretive tours.

Map of Big Branch Marsh NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 30.262033, -89.956420



  • Boating

    The park is in the process of planning visitor access facilities (boat launches, parking areas, nature trails) and also a visitors center.

  • Fishing

    Both freshwater and saltwater fishing are available on or near the refuge. The most commonly caught species include largemouth bass, bream, crappie, redfish, and speckled trout.

  • Hiking

    One of the major public use areas is the Boy Scout Road boardwalk and trail.

  • Historic Sites

    The center displays exhibits about all eight refuges managed by the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex.

  • Hunting

    Public hunting is allowed for whitetailed deer (archery only), waterfowl, quail, squirrel, rabbit, woodcock, snipe, and hog.All hunters must read, sign and have in their possession, a Refuge Hunting Permit as found on the front of the Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure.



To get to the visitor Center take Interstate 12 to exit 74. Go south on LA Hwy. 434 and drive 2 miles, look for the signs on the right.