Interpretive Guide of Purtis Creek State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
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INTERPRETIVE GUIDE As in seasons past, young and old will make lasting memories while enjoying Purtis Creek State Park. THANK YOU FOR VISITING! OFFERING MORE THAN JUST GREAT BASS, PURTIS CREEK STATE PARK IS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE. RESPITE IS A SHORT DRIVE AWAY, ONLY AN HOUR SOUTHEAST OF DALLAS. HIKING AND BIKING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND, OR IF WATER IS YOUR THING, WET A LINE OR PADDLE ON THE 355-ACRE NO-WAKE LAKE. NO MATTER HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME, YOUR MEMORIES ARE SURE TO GROW While enjoying this natural beauty, please remember that everything you see in the park is protected. Artifacts, rocks, plants, and animals (even snakes) are all part of the region’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Help us keep recreational use sustainable for the future and protect these resources by leaving things as you find them. Help us protect this beautiful park for many years to come by keeping it safe and clean. We hope you will visit these other state parks while visiting North Texas: Lake Tawakoni State Park 10822 FM 2475 Wills Point, TX 75169; (903) 560-7123 Cedar Hill State Park 1570 West FM 1382 Cedar Hill, TX 75104; (972) 291-3900 Fairfield Lake State Park 123 State Park Road 64 Fairfield, TX 75840; (903) 389-4514 Visit www.tpwd.texas.gov for more information on these and other Texas state parks and historic sites. Purtis Creek State Park 14225 FM 316 N. Eustace, TX 75124 (903) 425-2332 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/purtiscreek Cover photo: ©Tom Hadley (JUST LIKE THE STORIES OF THE FISH YOU’VE CAUGHT!). © 2019 TPWD. PWD BR P4508-0105J (7/19) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. PURTIS CREEK S TAT E PA RK P U R T I S C R E E K S T A T E P A R K A CYCLE OF SETTLEMENT A FAMILY TRADITION I place my kayak in the water, and gaze out across the lake. It’s an early morning, and the sun is only just beginning to rise; the sky is streaked pink and gold. The water is glass, and my boat glides across the surface, the line on my fishing pole whistling in the breeze. I take a moment and close my eyes; the lake is empty except for me and a Great Blue Heron, who’s here for the same reason I am – the fish. P urtis Creek State Park has been a camping destination for several thousand years, long before anyone dreamed of creating a park here. Prehistoric peoples likely camped in the upland flats and utilized the natural resources for temporary hunting/collecting camps. The lowland areas along Purtis Creek were rich with hunting and gathering opportunities, but would not have made for successful long term settlements due to the small size of the creek itself. Generations of us have called Purtis Creek State Park our fishing spot. Bass fishing is a family tradition. As I cast my spinnerbait into the water, I hear a slapping in a nearby cove. I look up, startled, and see a beaver warning I’m too close. A final splash and he’s back under the water. I paddle across to another spot on the water, catching a whiff of wild plum flowers in bloom. I cast again, dragging the lure across the surface, and I hook a fish. After a short tug-of-war, I reel in the biggest largemouth I’ve ever caught! I hear the Pik-chicka-weew call of the White-eyed Vireo and I feel he’s sharing in my victory. A huge smile on my face, I paddle towards shore, ready to share pictures of my catch with my daughter. When she’s a little older, I can’t wait to share From about 1,200 years ago to the early 1800s, Caddo Indians would have settled in this region, though outside of today’s park boundaries, along the banks of the Trinity, Sabine and Neches rivers, raising subsistence crops and hunting wild game. this tradition with her. How will you share Purtis Creek State Park with your family? Great Blue Herons and beavers call Purtis Creek State Park home. When the railroad came to town in 1880, it brought economic stability after the Civil War, and led directly to the development of Eustace a decade later. Fast forward to 1975, and the idea for the park was beginning to grow roots. By 1981, the twelfth and final land tract was acquired and construction could begin on the park. November 9, 1988, Purtis Creek State Park opened its doors to the first campers. Now it’s your turn to follow in their footsteps.