Big Lake WMA is located 12 miles east of Gilbert. Major access routes include LA Hwy 4 and 610. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are four self-clearing permit stations at major entrances to the area.

The eastern boundary of Big Lake Wildlife Management Area is contiguous with the western boundary of Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Together, they form one of the largest remaining tracts of the bottomland hardwood forest. Birds are attracted to the forest, abandoned mineral exploration sites, open water lakes, sloughs, and bayous. 

Big Lake WMA boasts impressive bottomland hardwood and cypress swamp habitat. Even during high water, birding is excellent using the main access road as a nature trail. Commonly observed forest birds include Wild Turkey, several species of woodpeckers, White-eyed and Red-Eyed Vireos, and Pileated, Acadian and Great-crested Flycatchers. Six species of warblers nest here. 

Lower areas of cypress swamp habitat exist around sloughs, lakes, and bayous. Boat launches at Big Lake, and the bayou near the area headquarters, offer good views of the open water for waterfowl and wading birds. 

Outdoor recreational activities include hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, paddling, and hiking. Amenities are limited to parking, nature trails (including one handicapped-accessible trail), and primitive camping. Numerous pull-offs and maintained/unmaintained ATV/nature trails exist throughout the site. Directional and identification signage is limited. A pdf map of the area is available online.