The site is easy to get to from Highway 2. Take North Spillway Road and follow it all the way past the airport to its terminus where you’ll find ample parking.

Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Spillway is one of northeast Louisiana’s best birding spots. The Spillway dam particularly provides a superb elevated vantage point for birding. 

A concrete fenced-in walkway traverses the top of the dam. Walking onto the dam, Lake D’Arbonne is to the right and the spillway/Bayou D’Arbonne is to the left. A spotting scope and tripod are just about mandatory to make out any of the waterbirds from this elevation. Commonly encountered species include waterfowl, grebes, gulls and terns, pelicans, cormorants, Osprey, Bald Eagle, and more. Several super-rarities have been recorded here, so birders are well-advised to take the time to look through every bird group encountered. 

The spillway levee embankments have areas of tall grasses that fill up with sparrows during the fall/winter/spring months. Sparrows recorded here thus far include Chipping, Field, White-throated, Dark-eyed Junco, LeConte’s, Savannah, Song, and Swamp. 

A gravel road leads down to a boat launch from the dam parking lot and another parking area at the bottom of the spillway along the bayou. Here, birders can seek out forest species such as Red-shouldered Hawk, numerous woodpecker species, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-throated, Blue-headed, and Red-eyed Vireos, House, Winter, and Carolina Wrens, and Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, among many others. In all, 146 bird species have been recorded from this small site. 

Aside from birding, additional outdoor recreational activities include a swimming beach, boating/paddling, fishing, and nature photography. Amenities include parking, a boat launch, and a swimming beach. The parking area for the dam is located at the end of North Spillway Road. The site is not handicapped-accessible.  

Parks & Nature