Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge

Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge is located four miles west of the Mississippi River and the river levee.  Located 20 miles northwest of Memphis, Tennessee in Crittenden County, Arkansas, this 5,485 acresNational Wildlife Refuge was established in 1961 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. 

Today the refuge literally stands as a wildlife oasis in a sea of agriculture.  An excellent diversity of habitats exist on the refuge, including agricultural lands, bottomland hardwood forest, reforestation areas, open water, and flooded cypress-willow swamps.  The 600-acre Wapanocca Lake along with thirty small field flooded impoundments totaling 190 acres provide food and cover resources for wintering waterfowl  Because of its strategic location in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway (the migration path of millions of ducks, geese, and other birds) and the diverse habitat, the refuge is a prime wintering area for migratory waterfowl and a major stopping place of migrating warblers as they travel to and from Central and South America. Bald eagles, great blue herons, great egrets and anhingas nest on the refuge as well. 

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Latitude: 35.3395 Longitude: -90.245661 Elevation: 217 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Amber Breland

Recreational Opportunities

A variety of wildlife-dependant outdoor recreation activities are available for visitors, including:


The Refuge is open for small and big game hunting. Visit the refuge's webpage  or call for more information. 

Fishing and Boating

Visitors may fish during daylight hours from march 15 through October 31. A boat ramp is located on the west side of Wapanocca Lake off of State Highway 77. Please consult the refuge fishing brochure for more information. 

Hiking, Birding, Wildlife Observation and Photography

An auto tour route offers visitors an excellent opportunity to observe birds and other wildlife, or even snap a few pictures. An observation platform is located on the east side of Wapanocca Lake. 


The Refuge headquarters and visitor center is located off of Interstate 55, northwest of Memphis, Tennessee, and can provide additional information on public use opportunities.  The visitors center also features exhibits and displays on the history and natural resources of Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge.  Take the Turrell, Arkansas exit and head east on State Highway 42, following the refuge signs.

Seasons Accessible

Visitors are welcome during daylight hours throughout the year. 

The refuge is accessible by car, boat, and foot, but can be somewhat limited. The only road access begins at the refuge headquarters/visitor center and winds its way throught much of the refuge. Boat access is available at a boat ramp located off of Highway 77.  The Refuge is dominated by wetland habitats, restricting hiking opportunities to roads and levees. 

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets on a leash are permitted.

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