Purtis Creek State Park, 1,582.4 acres, is located in Henderson and Van Zandt counties. The park was acquired in 1977 from private owners and was opened to the public in 1988.
The park is located in an area where the Wichita and Caddo Indians once roamed. Just east of the park, on private property, is a cliff overhang that was used by unknown Indians as a temporary shelter. Petroglyphs carved into the rock walls indicate this land was a good hunting area.
The abundance of wild game caused an influx of white settlers in the early to mid-1800s. Many small towns and communities were established during this time. The road that lies on the south border of the park at the entrance was known as the Tyler to Porter's Bluff Road, a well-known stage route from East Texas to the Trinity River. Along this route, just northeast of Edom near the Neches River, is the site where the famed Cherokee Indian Chief Boles was slain in the Battle of the Neches in 1839.