Tom Merrill Recreation Area sits downstream of Bayou Bodcau Dam, along the Bodcau Creek. The small quiet campground provides all the facilities of a Class A campground, and is open year-round to visitors. Bodcau Creek provides fishing and boating opportunities, along with hiking/biking trails and other recreation. Bayou Bodcau is a large wildlife management area, and is very popular during hunting season for deer and other wild game.
Downtown Bossier City and Shreveport are only a 30-45 minute drive away, and have many opportunities for other interests such as museums and restaurants. Bodcau is well off the main travel roads, so traffic and other noise issues are of no concern.
The campground has no designated fee booth and is by-reservation-only, so all reservations must be made through recreation.gov. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance or upon arrival; we recommend reserving prior to entering the campground.
For more information on Bayou Bodcau, please visit the following website. (https://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Bayou-Bodcau/)
Tom Merrill Recreation Area has 20 campsites, all of which have electric hookups. Some campsites are closer to the forest, while some are more open within the park. All sites are within walking distance of the water. Amenities at this recreation area include flush toilets, showers, playground, outdoor exercise equipment, dump station, a game cleaning station, disc golf course, and bike trail. The outlet channel, where Bodcau Reservoir drains into the Bodcau Creek, is an excellent place for fishing.
20 RV/Tent sites (1 Handicap Accessible) with:
-20/30/50 AMP Hookup
-Firepit and Grill
Facilities available for all campers:
-Picnic Shelter (requires separate reservation)
-Showerhouse & Bathroom
-Game Cleaning Station
Campground Host available for assistance when stationed on site.
Campground follows all rules from Title 36, part 327, Code of Federal Regulations. A full copy of Title 36, part 327, Code of Federal Regulations can be obtained from one of the Park Rangers, the Campground Hosts, or at the Bayou Bodcau Main Office. Regulations are enforced at Bodcau by our Park Rangers, the local Sherif’s Department and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Only one RV and two tents allowed per site.
It is required you clean your campsite before you leave.
Check out time is 3:00 PM.
Length of stay policy is 14 days in a 30 day period.
The unauthorized placement of camping equipment or other items on campsite and/or personal appearance at a campsite without daily occupancy for the purpose of reserving the campsite for future occupancy is prohibited (title 36 section 327.2C).
Playground is closed after dark.
All pets MUST be on a leash no longer than six (6) feet long.
Speed in the campground is ten (10) MPH. Remember to be vigilant, there are children in the campgrounds. The campground road is a one-way road. Vehicles must be parked on your site, not obstructing others. (ATV's can only be loaded and unloaded from trailers in park.)
Quiet time is strictly observed from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Please keep other campers in mind as they often have children trying to sleep. Violation may result in citation or eviction.
There is absolutely no dumping of gray water (wash water, dish water, bath water, and cooking water) on the ground at any time.
All Campfires MUST be confined to the fire rings that are provided or to personal grills. Fires may never be left unattended. To remove potential hazards for future users, extinguish campfires and remove fire debris before leaving.
No outside firewood allowed; obtain or purchase firewood at or near your camping destination and burn it on-site; firewood can carry invasive insects and diseases that destroy forests. Firewood cutting permits may be obtained at the Bayou Bodcau Main Office. Only fallen deadwood may be collected. Absolutely no fires during burn bans. Don't Move Firewood: Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.
The picnic shelter located at Tom Merrill Recreation Area can be reserved up to 6 months in advanced by calling (318)-949-1804. The fee is $50 per day, with a max capacity of 75 people. (Reservations must be confirmed at least 1 day prior to the date of reservation. Payment by card only.)
All visitors must fill out a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Self Check Permit located at the entrance to Tom Merrill Recreation Area at the top of the hill Adjacent to the Bodcau Dam Road.
Bayou Bodcau is 33,500 acres of public land, much of which consists of moss-laden cypress swamps. The area also consists of lowland and upland areas, consisting of mixed deciduous or pine forests. Bayou Bodcau is considered a "dry reservoir", and only fills up during periods of high rainfall. The creek can be slow moving and almost stagnant during the dry summer, but a swift and deep torrent during the cooler winter.
The area is home to a diverse group of natural areas, and hosts some rare and endangered species. Alligators, beaver and more can be found amongst the forest and swamps. Cypress Swamps, Bottomland Forests, Morse Clay Calcareous Prairies and more can be found within the project boundaries. The project is also home to some of the largest trees in the state, and such "Champion Trees" have been found and recorded at multiple locations throughout the park.
Bodcau is also home to 500 acre Ivan Lake, which is a small but well-maintained lake for fishing and boating. The lake is known to be popular with local fisherman, and wildlife such as Bald Eagles can be spotted there.
There are many other nearby attractions including South Abundant East Recreation Area, the Durden House, the Rifle Range, a Horse Camp and Horse Trails, ATV/UTV Trails, and Ivan Lake. Ivan Lake is a small local lake well known for fishing, boating and birding.
Bossier City and Shreveport are within 30 to 45 minutes drive of the campground. The area consists of many different attractions, including museums, a minor league Hockey team, and Barksdale Air Force Base, which has a small museum attached to it. Bossier City also has a large Convention Center where events are often held.
There's also other natural attractions, including Red River Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City.
Last minute changes and cancellations may be subject to additional fees.
1749 Bodcau Dam Road Haughton LA 71037-7443
For campground inquiries, please call: 318-949-1804
From Interstate 20, take exit 33 and head North on State Route 157. Drive 9 miles and turn right on Bodcau Dam Rd. Drive 3 miles and destination will be on the left.