Thistlethwaite WMA is located immediately northeast of Washington off LA Hwy 10. You can access the WMA via I-49 from the Lebeau exit travel north and then turn right at sign. To get there, take Interstate-49 North to Exit 27. Travel north on LA 10/LA 182 for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Plant Road, then go approximately 0.5 miles to the WMA entrance.

The Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area is a peaceful, secluded spot for enjoying the natural wildlife of South Central Louisiana. The nature preserve is a 17-square mile tract with 11,000 acres of mature bottomland hardwoods utilized for hunting, birding, and nature walks. The terrain is generally flat bottomland, with a gentle north-south slope. 

The forest is jungle-like, with several unimproved trails. It is even more so after heavy rains, which, due to slow drainage, leave standing water. So, this is a place for experienced and intrepid field naturalists. 

The primary habitat is a special brand of undulating bottomland hardwood forest. Tree canopy comprises predominantly water, willow, overcup, white, cherrybark, Nuttall, swamp chestnut, and post oaks. Cypress-tupelo swamp habitat occupies the lowest elevations. Wading birds and other waterbirds proliferate here. Expected species include Great Blue, Little Blue, Green Herons, Great, Snowy, Cattle Egrets, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and White and White-faced Ibises. 

A dense understory of dwarf palmetto covers the forest floor in many areas of the WMA. Selective timber harvesting has enhanced additional understory plants such as rough-leaf dogwood, eastern redbud, and American beautyberry. The sheer density of vegetation here proves attractive to numerous songbird groups year-round. But during spring and fall migration periods, activity ramps up, as a variety of orioles, waterthrushes, and warblers species fly by. Eastern Kingbird, Acadian, and Great-crested Flycatchers also nest here. 

Well-maintained gravel roads run throughout this large site. Several ATV/walking trailheads can be found off the main roads, though not clearly marked. Trails are partially maintained. Parking is mainly limited to roadsides. Many roadways are lined by low-lying disturbed areas, mostly wet, with lots of aquatic vegetation. Be advised that there are no amenities, and the site is not handicapped-accessible. 

Gravel Trails
Parks & Nature
Paved Trails