Mississippi is known for its historic landmarks, blues music, and southern hospitality. But, did you know that the Magnolia State is also home to some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails in the country? With over 25 state parks and recreational areas, Mississippi offers a diverse range of hiking experiences for everyone, from beginners to experienced hikers. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best hiking trails in Mississippi, and why you should consider visiting them.
1. Tishomingo State Park
Located in the northeast part of the state, Tishomingo State Park offers scenic hiking trails with rocky terrain, beautiful streams, and waterfalls. The park has several trails ranging from easy to difficult, including the famous Bear Creek Canyon Trail, which offers stunning views of the park’s natural beauty.
2. Clark Creek Natural Area
Clark Creek Natural Area is a hidden gem located in the southwest corner of Mississippi, near the Louisiana border. The area is known for its steep terrain, beautiful waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. The park has several trails, including the well-known Woodpecker Trail, which is a 4.2-mile loop that offers beautiful views of the forest, streams, and waterfalls.
3. Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic drive that stretches over 400 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Along the parkway, there are several hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the surrounding nature, including the Jeff Busby Trail, which is a 0.9-mile loop that takes you to the top of the highest point in Mississippi.
4. Tanglefoot Trail
The Tanglefoot Trail is a 43.6-mile-long rail-trail that stretches from Houston to New Albany, Mississippi. The trail offers beautiful views of the countryside and small towns along the way. The trail is perfect for a weekend hike or a bike ride with family and friends.
5. Black Creek Trail
The Black Creek Trail is a 23-mile-long trail that winds through De Soto National Forest in southeastern Mississippi. The trail offers beautiful views of the forest, creeks, and wildlife. The trail is perfect for a day hike or a weekend camping trip.
6. Roosevelt State Park
Roosevelt State Park is located near Morton, Mississippi, and offers scenic hiking trails, fishing, and camping. The park has several trails, including the Turtleskin Trail, which is a 4.8-mile loop that takes you through the forest and along the lake.
7. Wall Doxey State Park
Wall Doxey State Park is located in north-central Mississippi and offers hiking trails, fishing, and camping. The park has several trails, including the well-known Lake Trail, which is a 1.5-mile loop that takes you around the beautiful lake in the park.
8. Shepard State Park
Shepard State Park is located near the Gulf Coast and offers hiking trails, fishing, and camping. The park has several trails, including the popular Red Cedar Trail, which is a 3.8-mile loop that takes you through the forest and along the bayou.
9. Longleaf Trace
The Longleaf Trace is a 44-mile-long rail-trail that stretches from Hattiesburg to Prentiss, Mississippi. The trail offers beautiful views of the countryside and small towns along the way. The trail is perfect for a day hike or a bike ride with family and friends.
In conclusion, Mississippi offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase the state’s natural beauty. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenging trek or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll through the woods, there’s a trail for everyone. From the waterfalls of Clark Creek Natural Area to the rolling hills of Tombigbee State Park, Mississippi’s hiking trails offer stunning views and a chance to connect with nature.
Before heading out on your hiking adventure, it’s important to remember some safety tips. Always bring plenty of water and snacks, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. By taking these precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in Mississippi.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking boots and explore the natural beauty of the Magnolia State!
- Are there any fees for hiking in Mississippi state parks?
- Yes, most state parks charge a small fee for admission.
- Can I bring my dog on hiking trails in Mississippi?
- Yes, but be sure to keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them.
- What is the best time of year to go hiking in Mississippi?
- Spring and fall are the best times to go hiking in Mississippi, as the weather is mild and the foliage is beautiful.
- Are there any guided hiking tours available in Mississippi?
- Yes, several state parks and outdoor organizations offer guided hiking tours.
- What should I do if I encounter wildlife while hiking in Mississippi?
- It’s important to keep a safe distance from wildlife and never approach or feed them. If the animal appears aggressive, slowly back away and seek shelter.