Lake Bruin State Park
|Lake Bruin State Park|
Entrance sign at Lake Bruin State Park
|Location||Tensas Parish, Louisiana, United States of America|
|Area||53 acres (0.21 km2; 0.083 sq mi)|
|Established||July 10, 1956|
|Governing body||Louisiana Office of State Parks|
Lake Bruin State Park, one of twenty-two Louisiana state parks, is located on Lake Bruin, a clear ox-bow lake of the Mississippi River near St. Joseph, the seat of Tensas Parish in the northeastern portion of the state. The lake consists of more than 3,000 acres (12 km²) of water surface. Park visitors enjoy fishing, water sports, and camping. There are cypress trees in the lake which have stood since before the Spaniard Hernando de Soto traveled through the region in the 1540s. The 53-acre (210,000 m2) park was established in 1928 as a fish hatchery. On July 10, 1956, Governor Earl Kemp Long signed legislation authorizing the development of the park. Initially called Lake Bruin Wayside Park, the name was later changed to Lake Bruin State Park. Two weeks later, legislation was signed to acquire the land for the park, long promoted by the then State Representative J.C. Seaman of Waterproof.
The park has twenty-five improved campsites, all with water, electricity, picnic tables, and wheelchair-accessible bathhouses. There is also a primitive camping area for tents. The park has three fishing piers, year-round boat launching, and a shed for docking boats. Rental boats are also available. Large mouth bass are caught year round, with the prime months being April–June and September and October. Crappie or white perch are taken in the early spring. Bluegill fishing is best in shallow waters at each end of the lake.
Summer afternoon temperatures reach well into the nineties at Lake Bruin. Night temperatures in the summer drop into the seventies. During winter, high temperatures are in the fifties. On winter nights, the mercury may dip into the thirties.
The park address is 202 State Park Road in St. Joseph 71366. It is reached from the St. Joseph exit on U.S. Highway 65 via Highway 128 east and Louisiana Highway 606 north. It is accessible from Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Ferriday in Concordia Parish and Tallulah, the seat of Madison Parish. Lake Bruin is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The park remains open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and on days preceding legal holidays. The entrance fee is $1 per person. Those sixty-two and above and children under three are not charged. Camping and boating fees are extra. Patrons may telephone 318-766-3530 or 888-677-2784 toll-free.
Many fashionable homes have been built in recent years outside the park on Lake Bruin. Some are vacation homes, but most are permanent residences.
Close to Lake Bruin is Winter Quarters State Historic Site, located on Lake St. Joseph, another ox-bow lake of the Mississippi River some six miles (10 km) southeast of Newellton on Louisiana Highway 608. This former plantation survived the American Civil War. It was the home of physician Haller Nutt and was spared the torch by his wife, Julia Nutt, who fed and housed Union Army soldiers under General U.S. Grant so that the structure would not be destroyed. Winter Quarters features a museum, guided tours, and special events.
Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, located off Interstate 20 via U.S. Highway 65, is a 57,000-acre (230 km2) refuge of bottomland forest with hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife-viewing, canoeing, interpreted trails, a boardwalk and educational programs. A visitor center contains brochures, exhibits, species lists, and regulations.
Fourteen miles northwest of St. Joseph is Buckhorn Wildlife Management Area, which may be reached through Louisiana Highways 4 and 128 in Tensas Parish. Buckhorn has 8,955 acres (36.24 km2) of bottomland hardwood forest and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-viewing.
- "Lake Bruin State Park - Louisiana Office of State Parks". Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Fonseca, Mary (1996-08-08). Weekend Getaways in Louisiana. Pelican Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-56554-096-5.
- Wilson, Amanda (2008-12-03). "Louisiana, USA, That Is The Place For Me". Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- The Camping Club Archived 2008-07-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- Statement of park ranger, Lake Bruin State Park, December 28, 2009
- Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism Archived 2011-01-12 at the Wayback Machine.
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