Purtis Creek State Park
covers 1,583 acres in Henderson and Van Zandt counties. The headquarters lie 3.5 miles north of Eustace,
which is about 15 miles northwest of Athens. Amenities include a well-stocked, 355-acre fishing lake, a variety of campsites, picnic areas, a pavilion, a playground, an amphitheater, a swimming area, concessions, two lighted fishing piers, fish-cleaning shelters, a boat ramp, a bait shop on weekends, canoe and paddleboat rentals, restrooms, showers, and a dump station. Guided canoe tours are available every other Sat. June-Aug. Natural history programs are available every Sat. at dusk Mar-Nov. Each Oct., the park hosts a Halloween event
(Oct. 22 and 29, 2005) that includes a haunted house, haunted hayrides, a carnival, and trick-or-treating. The 12th annual Take a Kid Fishing and Play Day
will be held the first Sat. in June.
Entrance fee: $2 per day per person age 13 and older, $1 per day for Texas residents age 65 and older, free age 12 and young-er. Campsites cost $6-$16 per night.
Fishing is pole-and-line only. Catch-and-release only for bass. For channel and blue catfish, minimum length is 12 inches. Daily bag limit is 5 fish in any combination. Boats allowed to travel at idle speed only; lake has a 50-boat limit.
Write to Park Supt., Purtis Creek State Park, 14225 FM 316, Eustace 75124; 903/425-2332; www.tpwd.state.tx.us. To reserve a campsite, call 512/389-8900. For area information, write to the Athens Chamber of Commerce, Box 2600, Athens 75751; 903/675-5181; www.athenscc.org.