From Natchitoches, head west on Church St toward 2nd Street for 0.2 mile. Turn right onto 3rd St 0.4 mi, 3rd St turns left and becomes Texas St 1.3 mi, Turn right onto LA-1 N/LA-6 E, Continue to follow LA-1 N 17.2 mi, Turn right onto Porters Island Rd. The destination will be on the right.

This site is part of the greater Red River Waterway Project lock and dam system. The site's surrounding terrestrial habitat consists of mixed pine-hardwood forest. Birding can begin from the parking lot by walking through the fields or taking a short stroll down the levee to the spillway below the dam. A small patch of mixed riparian woods lines the levee, and during migration, it holds all manner of birdlife. Like all rivers and streams, the Red River is a conduit or "super highway" for migrating birds. The species total for this small site is approaching 170, including some very special birds such as Sabine’s Gull and Sooty Tern. 

Waterbirds are the main draw at this site. Winter waterfowl include 18 recorded species of geese and ducks. Shorebird species in short grass, sandbars, and the river's edge are normally in good supply, with 21 recorded species, including Western, Pectoral, Baird’s and Spotted Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Plover. Nine species of gulls and terns, including Ring-billed Gull, Black and Caspian Tern, have been observed here. Eleven wading birds, including both Least and American Bitterns are recorded for this site. Other waterbirds of interest include Virginia and Sora Rails, Purple Gallinule, Wood Stork, Anhinga, and American White Pelican. 

Large open areas near the entrance should be checked for sparrows, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, short-grass shorebirds such as American Golden-Plover, and other field birds–especially during migration periods and late winter. Typical woodland birds include Mississippi Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk, seven woodpecker species, Great-crested and Scissortail Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Summer Tanager, and Northern Cardinal. 

Amenities at Russell B. Long Lock & Dam No. 4 include identification signage, parking, a boat launch, picnic areas, campsites, RV parks, hiking trails, and restrooms. The site is mostly handicapped-accessible.