Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Leesville, LA

  • Published 2023/04/07

Leesville is a city and the seat of Vernon Parish in Louisiana, situated on US Highway 171 between Lake Charles and Shreveport.

Named in honor of General Robert E. Lee, the city became the county seat in 1871 and was incorporated on February 15, 1900.

Although others think it’s a small town, Leesville offers many exciting activities, delectable foods, and relaxing parks and forests with fantastic flora and fauna.

Check out the best things to do in Leesville, Louisiana.

Check Out Amazing Creations at Leesville ART Park

Leesville ART Park, formerly known as Magnolia Park, is located on Abe Allen Memorial Drive.

This beautiful park is a collaboration between the Art 4 The Park Committee and Gallery 111.

Interpretive signs are scattered throughout Leesville ART Park, enabling you to learn about the art, including how it’s made, its dedication, and its installment.

Kids and adults alike can play, enjoy, and learn with the different instruments at the same.

The inclined walking path gives you an excellent cardio walkout while you go up and down the hill on the other side.

Indulge Yourself with Leesville Donuts

You’ll love the donuts at Leesville Donuts on North 5th Street if you’re a donut lover.

You can have an excellent breakfast or dessert here with a pleasant aromatic coffee.

Order delicious cream donuts, biscuits, and croissants, and choose from its irresistible variety of pastries.

There are different delicious flavors to choose from, including glazed, chocolate-frosted, blueberry, raspberry donuts, juices, and yummy egg sandwiches.

Leesville Donuts offers a drive-through, in-store shopping, take-out, and dine-in and is wheelchair accessible, whether in or out.

Visit the Historical Museum of West Louisiana

Nestled inside the historic Leesville KCS Depot building is the Museum of West Louisiana, located on South 3rd Street, with free admission.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 25, 1984.

In 1986, it received a complete restoration to house countless artifacts describing the culture, history, and resources of Vernon Parish, including Louisiana Territory’s West Central area.

Memorabilia in the Museum of West Louisiana include quilts, logging implements, cooking and household items, archaeological artifacts, clothing, furniture, and unique displays.

Have a picnic or cookout at Pioneer Park on the museum’s southern end.

Also, check out P.O.W. Paintings, a group of paintings on a local hotel’s walls made by German prisoners of war (POW) during WWII.

Remember the Heroes at Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza

The construction of the Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza commemorates the bravery and heroism of the Vernon Parish veterans.

The memorial started in 2000 and has since developed to include seven stone tablets carved with the names of several soldiers from Vernon Parish.

In the area, you’ll see the American flag towers above the flags of the five United States military branches.

It includes Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines, as the POW flag ripples to the side.

Located on South 3rd Street, the Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza features the Vernon Parish Veterans’ Memorial Marker.

Try the Homemade Burgers at Fatboy and Skinny’s

If you’re a burger fanatic, you must drop by Fatboy and Skinny’s, which serves the best burgers in town.

You can order your signature burger topped with your favorite stuff, hand-cut fries, and your preferred carbonated soda.

Try also their delectable cajun fries, bacon, and toothsome ice creams.

This is a great place to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

Satisfy your American cuisine cravings at Fatboy and Skinny’s, located on South 5th Street, and come back for more soon.

Spend Time with Family at Vernon Lake

Located along Spillway Road, Vernon Lake is a 4,200-acre reservoir offering a wide array of water recreation due to its varying depths.

It’s one of the few lakes in Louisiana that can hold a variety of boat craft, including boats and canoes.

If you want to go boating, avoid the lake’s upper end because the water there is much shallower and has a lot of tree stumps.

You’ll find boat launches at the spillway off Vernon Lake Road, with smaller boat launches on Vernon Park Road, Hickory Ridge Road, Bivens Landing, and Lakeview Landing.

Enjoy fishing at Vernon Lake with friends or loved ones and catch bream, bass, and catfish, which are plentiful, especially during summer.

Camp at Anacoco Spillway Park

If you’re looking for a great camping site, visit Anacoco Spillway Park.

They offer 40 RV sites, full hookups, and 30 and 50-amp outlets to make camping convenient and enjoyable.

Amenities include a shower house, a boat launch, a washateria, and a swimming area.

The place is also peaceful and pet-friendly, allowing you to enjoy fishing and hunting at the adjacent waterbed.

Located along Anacoco Lake Road, Anacoco Spillway Park doesn’t have extensive trails for a long hike, but it will lead you to a great fishing spot.

Challenge Your Friends to Frisbee Golf at Myrtle Park

Myrtle Park is a 6.3-acre park with a course constructed as an Eagle Scout project between the collaboration of Brooks Cowan and Boy Scout Troop 75.

Your kids will love spending their time and energy on various playground equipment.

There are also tennis and basketball courts where you can challenge friends or loved ones to a friendly game aside from frisbee.

Myrtle Park, situated along King’s Road, is the third biggest park in Leesville.

It has an elevation equal to 253 feet, where you can also take a leisurely walk, a jog, or a run.

Learn Golf at Leesville Municipal Golf Course & City Park

Do you want to play golf but don’t know how?

Don’t worry.

You’ll learn to score a hole-in-one at Leesville Municipal Golf Course & City Park on Country Club Road.

This ten-acre expanse includes a nine-hole golf course offering a clubhouse and refreshment stands available to quench your thirst and satiate your hunger.

You can play at either one of the four paved and lighted tennis courts day or night at no charge for free, play in the splash pad with your kids, or have a picnic.

Your kids will love the different playground equipment at the Leesville Municipal Golf Course & City Park, including swings, monkey bars, play centers, spring riders, and a merry-go-round.

Discover Wolf Rock Cave

Do you know that Wolf Rock Cave is the only cave in Leesville?

It is best characterized as two small rock overhangs looking across Bundick’s Creek.

Situated on Johnsonville Road, this 30-million-year-old cave system was initially inhabited by the Archaic people since 2500 BCE.

The Archaic Indians left some stone tools and ornaments, including fish hooks, beads, and axes, with some arrowheads still in the woods surrounding the cave.

They used the cave primarily to acquire lithic, collecting chert to create tools for hollowing out tree trunks or cutting down trees.

The Wolf Rock Cave was also a shelter for the Archaic Indians, who made baskets for carrying fruits, nuts, roots, and storing seeds.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Leesville has many great things to offer you, your family, or your friends.

However, you can explore nearby places and see what is in store for the gang.

Explore South Toledo Bend State Park

Reservoir at South Toledo Bend State Park

William Dillingham /

Located on Bald Eagle in Anacoco, Louisiana, South Toledo Bend State Park delivers a picturesque waterfront panorama from many angles.

It is a 31-minute drive from Leesville via US-171 N and LA-111 S.

Enjoy fishing, riding a bike, or setting up a camp while watching a variety of wildlife in the area, or you can hike the 3,000-foot surfaced nature trail and explore the area.

Boats at South Toledo Bend State Park

William Dillingham /

Bring binoculars or a camera and take a good shot or video of bald eagles feeding on freshwater fishes, including catfish, white perch, bream, and largemouth bass.

Cook your caught fish and have a picnic or lunch at several picnic tables near the Visitor Center,

The South Toledo Bend State Park also offers an observation deck for a magnificent view of the reservoir lake and adjacent islands.

Gorgeous sunset at South Toledo Bend State Park

TheSethDurham /

Look around Fort Polk Museum

Fort Polk was named after Leonidas Polk, an Episcopal Bishop and a Confederate Army corps commander who died at the Battle of Pine Mountain in the Atlanta Campaign in 1864.

The city is located on Mississippi Avenue in Fort Polk South, Louisiana, which is only 13 minutes away from Leesville via LA-467/University Pkwy.

It is a massive military training hub where armed forces members are posted before deployment.

You’ll find artifacts and memorabilia in the Fort Polk Museum that depict the Army’s historical contributions from 1940 until today.

It is also free to the public.

Fort Polk Museum outlines the training missions and Army doctrine’s development at the post during World War II and the Korean War, and the 1950s.

Moreover, it highlights the Vietnam War and the Infantry Training Center, the 5ID (Mech), the late Cold War, and later peacekeeping missions, including the Global War on Terror.

Stop by Fort Jesup State Historic Site

The grounds of Fort Jesup State Historic Site

Pat Austin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on Geoghagan Road in Many, Louisiana, Fort Jesup State Historic Site remained a historic military post for several decades.

In 1822, the United States erected the fort, initially founded and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor.

He established laws and orders to establish a neutral ground between the United States and Spain.

Otherwise known as Fort Jesup State Historic Site, Fort Jesup, or Fort Jesup State Monument, it protected the US border with New Spain.

The fortress saw the migration of US settlers into Texas, the state’s liberation from Mexico, and its incorporation as a US state in 1845.

The stronghold is 47 minutes away from Leesville via US-171 N.

Explore the Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area

The Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area is in DeRidder, Louisiana, 27 minutes from Leesville.

It is an oat and pine plantation on a 30-year succession.

The area consists of lopsided hills peppered with sporadic hardwood flats, while the canopy consists of slash, blackjack, post oak, and longleaf, to name a few.

You can hunt and trap animals, including deer, turkey, woodcock, quail, rabbit, and dove, while camping in the primitive camping area available all year round.

The management area allows trapping bobcats, otters, raccoons, coyotes, and mink during the state’s trapping season.

It helps control the animal population, maintaining the balance of nature in the area.

You’ll see different bird species in the Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Try to spot Henslow’s sparrow, rose-breasted grosbeak, indigo bunting, and prothonotary warbler.

Don’t forget to bring binoculars or a camera for taking pictures or videos of the animals.

Discover the Kisatchie National Forest

Backbone trail at Kisatchie National Forest

William Dillingham /

When you want to see the beauty of nature, feel its warmth, or enjoy its serenity, visit the Kisatchie National Forest.

The national forest was named “Kisatchie” from a Caddoan tribe of Kichai Indians who once inhabited the Red River banks.

This enchanting forest in Pitkin offers a breathtaking view of the blooming Oklahoma grass, pink orchid during spring, and the Blue Hole Recreation Complex.

A river at Kisatchie National Forest

William Dillingham /

The 604,000-acre forest spreads throughout seven of Louisiana’s sixty-four parishes and is divided into five Ranger Districts: Kisatchie, Caney, Winn, Calcasieu, and Catahoula.

The Kisatchie National Forest is only 33 minutes from Leesville via Whisky Chitto Road.

It offers diverse activities, including hunting on designated grounds, hiking across the pine-lined trails, or camping on the shores of one of its many lakes.

Trees at Kisatchie National Forest

Chris M Morris, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget to visit Leesville on U.S. Highway 171 between Lake Charles and Shreveport.

The city offers many historical sites, beautiful destinations, and great places for nature tripping, hiking, swimming, fishing, and much more.

Experience the best things to do in Leesville, Louisiana!

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