Every now and then, you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Luckily, Mississippi is filled with
secluded spots that are perfect for a tranquil escape. So, the next time you’re in need of some peace and quiet, consider checking out one of these breathtaking hidden oases.
1. Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (6005 Bayou Heron Rd., Moss Point)
Named one of the "last great places in America" by the Nature Conservancy, the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is definitely worthy of a visit. Encompassing 18,000 acres of diverse terrain, you’ll be treated to sites and scenery like nowhere else in the state. Aside from the breathtaking views, the reserve is filled with things to do, including the Grand Bay Coastal Resources Center, which is open to the public Monday - Friday and has no admission fee. The center features interpretive exhibits, environmental education programs, and more.
2. Homochitto National Forest (1200 Highway 184 E., Meadville)
This 189,000-acre forest is brimming with nature trails and recreation areas, which makes it a great spot for exploring. Lake Okhissa (pictured) provides gorgeous views year-round, especially in the fall. Also nestled in the forest is the Clear Springs Recreation Area. A great stop, the area includes a man-made lake, campground, picnic area, swim area, and two hiking trails.
3. Sardis Lake (29049 Highway 315, Sardis)
Sardis Lake is located within a 98,000-acre recreation area, which is perfect for everything from picnicking to hunting. Attracting millions of visitors annually, the beautiful lake has become known for its sandy beaches and wonderful fishing opportunities.
4. Merit Falls (1043 MS-43, Mendenhall)
Part of the Merit Water Park, this tranquil waterfall is located on Rials Creek. Just a short hike from the parking lot, it’s relatively easy to access. If you visit during the summer, keep in mind that Rials Creek is spring-fed, which means the water is nice and cold all year long, making it a great place to take a dip.
5. River Bend (milepost 122.6 on the Natchez Trace Parkway)
One of the many beautiful sites found along the Natchez Trace Parkway, River Bend is located at milepost 122.6, just east of Canton and north of Jackson. The serene spot overlooks a bend in the Pearl River and features a stunning shoreline and variety of fauna, making for some truly breathtaking scenery.
6. Fairley Bridge Landing Campground (County Road 374, Wiggins)
Hidden in Wiggins, this primitive campground is ideal for an outdoor adventure, complete with swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. With just three tent sites, it’s a bit on the small side; however, it features one of the best entrances to the Black Creek hiking trail.
7. Bienville National Forest (3473 Hwy 35 South, Forest)
Spanning 178,000 acres, the Bienville National Forest offers plenty to see and do. Aside from several recreation areas and 23 miles of hiking trails, the forest includes Mississippi’s largest and least disturbed natural prairie, Harrell Prairie Botanical Area. The 80-acre area is hidden on the east side of the forest and boasts fields full of gorgeous wildflowers.
8. Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center (2200 Old W Point Rd., Columbus)
Spanning nearly 200 acres, Plymouth Bluff is tucked away in a secluded area high above the Tombigbee River Channel. Perfect for both recreation and education, the area includes a variety of terrains, nature trails, an outdoor Challenge Course, Environmental Discovery Lab, and more.
9. Senatobia Wetlands (Exit 265/I-55, Senatobia)
Featuring an observation deck with plenty of seating, Senatobia Wetlands is the perfect place for some photography, wildlife viewing, bird-watching, or simply relaxing. The site also includes interpretive educational panels, which list some of the animals and waterfowl that are often spotted in the area.
10. Low Water Bridge (Low Water Bridge Rd., Quentin)
This secluded swimming hole spans McGehee Creek and borders the Homochitto National Forest. As the name implies, the water is a bit shallow, but it’s still a great place for cooling off.
Ever been to any of the places listed above? Have another hidden oasis to add to this list? We want to hear from you; share your thoughts in the comments section!