Accessible via US Hwy 165 north of Columbia, pass the 3D RV Park, then west through Riverton to the US Army Corps Office on Lock Office Road, cross the bridge over Riverton Lake to the lock/dam over the Ouachita River.

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Columbia Lock & Dam Recreation Area straddles both sides of the Ouachita River in Caldwell Parish, about 30 miles south of Monroe. 

The best views for winter waterfowl and other waterbirds can be had on both sides of the Ouachita River's Lock and Dam at Columbia. Views directly into the river from the boat launch on the east side and into two green-tree waterfowl reservoirs off the Wilderness Ridge Nature Trail on the west side typically produce ducks, grebes, and wading birds. 

The Wilderness Ridge Nature Trail on Lock & Dam Road is a 1.0-mile loop trail. Given its short length, the trail meanders through a surprisingly diverse set of habitats, including mixed pine-hardwood forest, hardwood slope forest, and lower-lying cypress brakes containing two moist-soil waterfowl management areas. This trail is home to the state-champion Cucumber Magnolia Tree (Magnolia acuminata). Typical forest bird species encountered include Mississippi Kite, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flicker, and Carolina Wren, supplemented in winter months by others such as Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Phoebe, and American Goldfinch, along with a nice variety of sparrows. 

A favorite fishing spot, the site's boat launch, parking, restrooms, group camp, picnic area, and playground are all located on the river's east bank. Restrooms, parking, and an interpretive nature trail are on the west bank.