Fort Polk WMA

Acreage

105,545

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA, 70601

Parish

Vernon

Owner/manager

U.S. Army, U.S. Forest Service

Description

Fort Polk-Vernon WMA is a military training facility. The area has many all-weather roads, which make all portions accessible for recreational use when it is open.

The WMA’s terrain is primarily rolling hills interspersed with flats. There are several fairly large stream bottoms in addition to numerous small creeks. Longleaf pine dominates about 70 percent of the area. Blackjack, sandjack, and red and post oaks are scattered throughout the pines. The understory is very sparse and is composed of wax myrtle, dogwood, huckleberry, yaupon, French mulberry, and seedlings of the overstory.

The creek bottom overstory consists of willow, water, and cow oak; beech; sweetgum; blackgum; and magnolia. The understory contains seedlings of the overstory as well as red and white bay, sweetleaf, ironweed, fetterbush, wild azalea, gallberry, deciduous holly, and viburnums. The area also has bog communities with unusual plant forms such as Venus fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant, and sphagnum moss.

Managers plant approximately 110 acres of wildlife openings in the area each year with browntop millet, sunflower, sorghum, cowpea, and winter wheat.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, quail, woodcock, dove, rabbit, and turkey. There is a youth turkey lottery hunt. Trapping is allowed for raccoon, fox, bobcat, skunk, opossum, beaver, mink, and coyote. All hunters and trappers must obtain an annual permit from the U.S. Army. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: There are numerous species of birds on Fort Polk-Vernon WMA, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

Camping: Camping is not permitted on Fort Polk-Vernon WMA, but there are camping areas available on nearby U.S. Forest Service lands.

Directions

Fort Polk-Vernon WMA is located 10 miles southeast of Leesville, just east of U.S. Hwy 171, 1 mile south of LA Hwy 28, and 1 mile north of LA Hwy 10. You must have a self-clearing permit to access this WMA.