FORT POLK: IN-DEPTH WELCOME CENTER
IntroductionWelcome to Fort Polk Louisiana, situated in Vernon Parish. Around 9,000 people live and work here in the almost 200,000 acres that make up the post. It’s hot and humid in these parts, and some of your closest colleagues will be alligators. You’re going to need to know what’s around here — where to shop, how to keep your hair in regulation, where to find housing and more. But if you prepare yourself for what lies ahead, you’re going to do just fine here on post. Find out all you need to know about what you’ll be in for by reading our Fort Polk in-depth welcome center guide.
- Where Is Fort Polk?
- Google Map View
- Getting There – Directions to the Post
- Entering Fort Polk and Post Amenities
- Where Should I Live Near Fort Polk?
- What Schools are Near Fort Polk?
- What’s the Weather Like in Fort Polk?
- Things to Do Around Fort Polk
Where is Fort Polk?
Fort Polk Welcome Center1591 Bell Richard Avenue Building #920 Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (800) 241-1071
Fort Polk Map
Fort Polk Directions
Public TransportationThe nearest Greyhound bus station is an hour away in Alexandria, Louisiana. Amtrak, though the train station is a bit farther in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is about an hour and 20 minutes from post by car.
Alexandria International AirportThe closest airport is in Alexandria, and you should have no problem renting a car there.
Driving DirectionsYou can rent a car or carpool and be on the post before you know it.
From the North1. Take I-20 W to I-49 S 2. Take exit 138 toward University Parkway 3. Turn left onto LA-117 S 4. Turn right onto LA-28 W/LA-8 W 5. Take the 2nd traffic circle exit onto US-171 S/N 6th St 6. Turn left onto W Louisiana St 7. Turn right onto LA-467/University Parkway 8. Turn right onto Bell Richard Ave 9. Turn right onto Berkley Ct
From the South1. Take I-10 E to US 171 N 2. Turn right onto Entrance Rd 3. Keep straight onto Louisiana Ave 4. Turn right onto Magnolia Drive 5. Turn left onto Bell Richard Ave 6. Turn left onto Berkley Ct
From the West1. Take 190 E toward Burkeville 2. Keep straight onto LA-8 E 3. Turn right onto S 6th Street 4. Turn left onto W Louisiana St 5. Turn right onto LA-467/University Parkway 6. Turn right onto Bell Richard Ave 7. Turn right onto Berkley Ct
From the East1. Take I-49 N to Shreveport 2. Merge onto LA-28 W 3. Turn left onto LA-468 W 4. Take the 3rd traffic circle exit to LA-184/Chaffee Rd 5. Keep straight onto Georgia Avenue 6. Georgia Avenue becomes Mississippi Avenue 7. Turn right onto 3rd Street 8. Turn left onto University Parkway 9. Turn right onto Bell Richard Ave 10. Turn right onto Berkley Ct
Fort Polk Transportation OfficeOf course, if you have any questions or would like to make a specific plan as to how to arrive on post, make sure that your first call is to the transportation office. They have all the information you need to plan a safe trip to your new home.
Fort Polk Transportation Office7585 Virginia Avenue Building #4374 Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-7097
Hours: Monday through Friday 0900-1700
Entering Fort Polk and Post AmenitiesVisitors and new personnel will need their ID and vehicle registration to pass through the gate. You’ll need to register at the visitor center the first time you arrive. You will also need to register any firearm that you plan to carry onto post. The main gate is open 24/7.
Check-in Procedures for Incoming PersonnelIf you arrive during duty hours you will report to the In/Out Processing Center.
In/Out Processing Center1716 Bldg 250 Fort Polk, Louisiana 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-1891 If you arrive after duty hours you need to report to Warriors Keep in Bldg 240 which is adjacent to Bldg 250.
Fort Polk Visitor Center3Q38+46 Fort Polk South, Louisiana 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-0380
DEERS Fort PolkEnroll in DEERS for the first time or get your new post ID here. Dependents can also obtain their IDs at the office, as can contractors. You can also apply online here.
Consolidated In/Out Processing Center1716 Bldg 250 Fort Polk, Louisiana 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-1891
Fort Polk DEERS Office Hours
Monday through Friday0730-1630
Fort Polk Gate HoursMake sure to stay updated on the gate hours before planning your travels because they’re constantly changing.
Main Gate, Louisiana Ave.- Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
University Parkway La. Hwy 467 North- Open 5 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed weekends and federal holidays.
Mill Creek Road- Closed.
Lookout Road and La. Hwy 10- Closed.
La. Hwy 467 South and La. Hwy 10- Open 5 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Closed Sunday, and federal holidays.
Chaffee Road at North Fort housing- open 5 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed weekends and federal holidays.
K Avenue and Alligator Lake- Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Artillery Road and K Avenue- Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week only during rotations in support of the Joint Readiness Training Center.
Fort Polk CommissaryStop in for your groceries and be met with an assortment of quality goods at reasonable prices.
Fort Polk Commissary7445 LA-467 Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-7725
Fort Polk Commissary Hours
Tuesday through Friday- 0930-2000
Fort Polk PXThe Fort Polk PX is filled with quality eats and must-have equipment that will surely fit the needs of your busy life on post. Come in for coffee, a haircut, clothes, and more.
Fort Polk Exchange7742 Colorado Ave Bldg. 850 Ft Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 537-1001
Fort Polk Exchange Hours
Monday through Saturday- 1000-1900
Fort Polk Barber ShopsThere are plenty of places to go to keep those long flowing locks out of your eyes during field training. Here are your closest options.
1. Barber ShopFort Polk PX Building 3310
Phone: 1 (337) 537-1397
Monday through Friday- 0900-1700
Saturday and Sunday- Closed
2. Barber ShopFort Polk PX Building 850 Phone: 1 (337) 537-0625
Monday through Saturday- 1000-1800
3. Stylique SalonFort Polk PX Building 850
Phone: 1 (337) 537-3102
Hours: By appointment only
4. Barber ShopFort Polk PX Building 285
Phone: 1 (337) 531-3307
Monday through Friday- 0800-1400
Saturday and Sunday- Closed
Fort Polk Post OfficeThe U.S. post office at Fort Polk has everything you need to figure out all of your mail and postage needs.
Fort Polk Post Office6180 University Parkway Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (800) 275-8777
Monday through Friday- 0830-1530
Fort Polk FinanceThe Fort Polk finance office is a fantastic resource of soldiers and their families. This is a place you can go to talk to knowledgeable professionals about how to manage your money the right way. Plan for saving, investing, and look ahead to retirement because it’s never too early. Make an appointment so that the staff here can help make sure you’re on track for smooth financial sailing.
Fort Polk Finance Office2123 11th street Building 1630 Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-8648
Fort Polk Legal AssistanceSometimes life throws obstacles in your way that you aren’t able to handle by yourself. The legal team at Fort Polk is here to see you through times like that. From little things like tax filing and drawing up a will, to bigger things like immigration issues, the personnel here will guide you through it. Some particular cases require an appointment to be seen, so make sure to call ahead.
Fort Polk Legal AssistanceOffice of the Judge Advocate 7141 Radio Road Building 406 Fort Polk, LA 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-2580
Fort Polk LibraryThe Fort Polk Library is part of the General Library Information System (GLIS) and allows for free ebooks and audiobooks, and access to research materials. You’ll find light summer reading here, as well as programs for families and children.
Allen Memorial Library and Education Center7460 Colorado Ave. Building 660 Fort Polk 71459
Phone: 1 (337) 531-2665
Fort Polk Hotels
Phone: 1 (337) 404-3890
Phone: 1 (337) 238-7860
3. Montigo Inn1808 S 5th St Leesville, LA 71446
Phone: 1 (337) 238-7860
Phone: 1 (337) 392-1672
Where Should I Live Near Fort Polk?
Cities Near Fort PolkThe nearest cities to Fork Polk are Leesville, DeRidder, with the major cities of Alexandria and Lake Charles sitting much farther away from the post. It’s a fairly isolated place you’ll be living in, with a lot of surrounding villages or incorporated areas and smaller towns. If you’re considering living on post, check out the available on-post housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off post.
Best Places to Live Near Fort Polk
LeesvilleThe best part of living in the middle of nowhere is the property values. Things are very affordable here. Even Leesville has plenty of two-bedroom apartments for rent under $700. The city of Leesville has a population of around 10,000. It’s less than a 20-minute drive from Fort Polk as well. This is a great little community to serve the more urban-centric folks who arrive here.
RosephineRosephine is a small town of 1,600 people that’s just over a 15-minute drive from Fort Polk. It was incorporated in 1902 as a logging community and is the second largest town in Vernon Parish. There are six churches in the area. It’s a cozy 4 square miles in Rosephine, but it still has everything you could want from a small town.
DeRidderDeRidder is a half hour drive south of post. It’s a small city with a population of about 10,000. Here you get a good balance of rural and urban living, as it’s a designated city, though it’s spread out into over 9 square miles of Louisiana real estate. DeRidder is a storied city with a blue-collar industrial history. First came the railroad, then logging, and then the mills. There is a smattering of culturally significant places to see in town because of this, including the Old Beauregard Parish Jail and the Beauregard Museum. The commercial historic district of the city was incorporated into the National Register of Historic Places.
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Fort Polk SchoolsThe Vernon Parish School District is a large collection of schools that serve kids in grades K-12. There are 7 elementary schools in its network, 2 middle schools, and 9 high schools. They each sit in a town or city nearby post and can take children in their respective boundaries. The Child Development Centers on post are in various buildings and offer daycare services that involve many programs and enrichment activities.
Fort Polk WeatherThere’s no getting around the fact that Fort Polk weather is hot and humid. You’re going to sweat while you’re here and you’re going to sweat a lot. Plan for plenty of cold showers during the day between running around and meeting your responsibilities. Or just jump in the ponds around post like Catfish Cove, or take a dip in Bundick Creek. This is not advisable though--because, again, alligators. The spring and fall are much more tolerable than summer, of course, and the humidity does stick around but becomes manageable. In winter, expect rain but no snow. It’ll get chilly on some mornings and possibly remain that way all day, but it never gets cold enough to necessitate a lot of layering. For a complete detailed guide about the weather at Fort Polk, you can read our guide here.
Things to Do Around Fort PolkThere’s a lot to see around the post. The surrounding area is really gorgeous, and when the weather cooperates, which is mostly always, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the outdoors. Nearby Alligator Lake Recreation Site is a host to tons of wildlife and hiking and is a nice fishing spot for the angler in your life. Just be careful wading in too deep because--you guessed it--alligators. Kisatchie National Forest encompasses some of Vernon Parish and offers a ton of camping and hiking options for the whole family. There are also lots of cultural sites to see in the area, such as the Fort Polk Military Museum and the Museum of West Louisiana. There are tons of good restaurants to choose from as well, with a variety of cuisines to fit whatever kind of hungry you’re feeling. For a more detailed look at things to do around Fort Polk, read our full guide.
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ConclusionFort Polk is a great place to live and work. The weather is good if you like it hot, just make sure to find some shade and keep yourself hydrated. There are some great neighborhoods to settle down in while you’re here, each with their own unique personalities and offerings. You can make the landscape of west Louisiana your home by hiking through Kisatchie National Forest and the surrounding area. There’s a lot to find here and a lot to love. Check out our detailed guides to Fort Polk to get yourself situated and keep the stress of relocation out of your life.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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