Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, a National Historic Landmark, preserves the initial point from which land surveys of most of the Louisiana Purchase Territory were made. This 37.5 -acre park protects a headwater swamp - a vanishing natural environment once common in the mid-South.
A barrier-free boardwalk meanders through the upland swamp to the granite marker. Along the way, wayside exhibits provide information about this unique habitat and the history of this National Historic Landmark.
Along the boardwalk you may see a variety of animal and plant life. In spring and summer the bright yellow and gray prothonotary warbler is likely to be the most visible bird. Others you might see or hear are: pileated woodpecker, green heron, and wood duck. Several species of reptiles can sometimes be spotted from the boardwalk and the rare bird-voiced tree frog might be heard from high in the treetops. Swamp cottonwood is found at several points along the boardwalk; it is rarely found elsewhere in Arkansas. Two of the most common trees here are bald cypress and water tupelo, indicators of a true swamp
A headwater swamp seldom floods deeply, yet rarely dries up. Because of these conditions, unusual plant and animal populations have developed. This habitat was once common in eastern Arkansas before the days of intensive land reclamation when swamps were drained and cleared. Such swamps have become rare, making it important to preserve this small remnant of an ecological system for us and our children, and for the plants and animals that live only here.