Heart of Louisiana: Poverty Point Reservoir State Park

Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:37 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - It’s a Louisiana state park that is located in an area where native people lived thousands of years ago. Today, there is great fishing and a beach for swimming near the site of ancient mounds.

The sunsets at this Northeast Louisiana lake are amazing. And the best place to watch is from the back porch of one of the cabins that sit above the water on the shoreline of the Poverty Point Reservoir State Park.

“It’s beautiful. Peaceful. It’s just not great fishing this time of year, but just a nice little getaway in a beautiful location,” says Whitney Bledsoe.

This man-made lake is known for its fishing.

“It’s rated as one of the top crappie fishing lakes in the state. We have bass, we have catfish,” says Mike Vallery.

But it also has a beach that attracts families for a day of swimming and grilling.

“I forgot my spatula so I’m using this spoon to do it the best way I can. They like to play in the sand and sometimes I come out here and go fishing,” says Carolyn Keys.

“I love it. It’s small. It’s not always crowded. It’s not far from home. And it gives my kids a chance to get out and get in some water,” says Kelly Mitchell.

One of the features on this park is the wildlife. And, yes, they really do have black bears here.

“The picture was taken in the wooded area right on the north end of the golf course down there,” says Vallery. “We see bears down there all the time and we’re starting to see them more and more across the park.”

Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, and this region, are also rich in the history of ancient people who lived here thousands of years ago.

“Everybody comes from all over the world to see that it’s been admitted into the World Heritage Site, which puts that as a top class visitation in the world,” says Vallery.

The park is only a 15 minute drive from the Poverty Point World Heritage Site, a pre-historic community that was likely Louisiana’s first major city.

“It’s incredible,” says Diana Greenlee. “It’s really a significant site for all humanity.”

Greenlee is the station archaeologist at the Poverty Point Historic Site.

“It’s the monumental earthworks site that was built about 3400 years ago by people who were hunters and gatherers. It’s got this complex of mounds and ridges that is just not seen anywhere else,” says Greenlee.

The mounds were built one basketful of dirt at a time. The largest mound, 72 feet tall, contains eight million cubic feet of dirt.

“That’s like 15 and a half million 50-pound basket loads of dirt,” says Greenlee. “That’s a lot of dirt.”

I got special permission to visit the large mound after dark and watch the stars light up the sky. You get a feeling that others had this same view here 3,000 years ago.

It’s the sky that does special things at the reservoir, especially as the say draws to an end. The sun slips below the horizon. The afterglow gives a final farewell to a relaxing day at this Louisiana state park.

Poverty Pointe Reservoir State Park is located off I-20, a few minutes north of Delhi in Northeast Louisiana.

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