Tensas has the distinction of being Louisiana’s least populous parish. The western part of which contains a portion of the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge and the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area. The eastern part is characterized by a twisting, wily segment of the Mississippi River, whose changing course is reflected by the disconnection between the river and the state's border with Mississippi. Lake Bruin State Park, built around a 3,500-acre oxbow lake that formed when the river changed course, is a fisherman’s delight. The incomparable Winter Quarters State Commemorative Area, in Newellton, is the sole survivor of an 1863 Union effort to lay waste to all the plantations in the area. It was saved when the widow who owned it, tracked down Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and promised to feed and house his soldiers if he would let her home stand. Visitors enjoy the benefits of her efforts.