Corney Lake Unit - Kisatchie National Forest

From Ruston, take US 167 north to the village of Bernice, then west on Hwy 2 to the village of Weldon. Then turn north and then northwest on Corney Lake Road.

Corney Lake is the northernmost unit of Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest system. Pockets of bottomland hardwood forest and cypress swamp can also be found throughout the main mixed pine-hardwood forest, resulting in an excellent diversity in habitat types—which equates to increased diversity in bird life. Thirty-three species of warblers (Blackpoll, Cerulean, Golden-winged, Swainson’s, and Bay-breasted Warbler, to name a few) have been recorded from this site, at least 10 of which nest here. 

A pier on the south end of the lake offers great views of open water. Seventeen species of ducks have been recorded from Corney Lake. Besides waterfowl (best viewing November-March), Franklin’s, Bonaparte’s, and Ring-billed Gulls, along with Common Loon, make regular migratory passages here in November. Corney Lake is one of the few natural areas in Louisiana that Bald Eagles inhabit year-round. They can often be seen from the pier. 

The dam on the east side of the lake is accessible by foot. It offers great views of the lake and more opportunities to observe waterfowl and other waterbirds, including Ruddy Duck, Ring-billed Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, and Green-winged Teal. The spillway on the backside of the dam runs through flooded bottomland hardwood forest and cypress swamp habitats, which host many woodland songbird species (Carolina Wren, Common Grackle, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, American Robin, and others) year-round. 

Corney Lake features three boat launches around the lake. A paved road, a small campground, parking, restrooms, and access to the dam/spillway are all located on the lake's southern end. A dirt/gravel road runs along the north side of the lake, where primitive camping is available. Several unpaved roads serve as excellent birding trails throughout the forest. In addition to birding, other outdoor recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, canoeing/kayaking, swimming/beach area, fishing, and hunting on a limited basis. 

Parks & Nature