There are more than two dozen state parks scattered throughout the Magnolia State. Some, like
Tishomingo State Park, are definitely more popular than others, but it doesn’t mean the others should be ignored. Boasting everything from breathtaking scenery to amazing recreational opportunities, you’re sure to fall in love with these 10 under-appreciated state parks in Mississippi.
1. Great River Road State Park (101 State Park Rd, Rosedale)
Known as the "River Wonderland," this stunning state park is located along the Great River Road Historic Byway and situated right on the Mighty Mississippi. Head to Great River Road State Park, and spend the day checking out the Mississippi River from the park’s 75’ observation tower, fishing in Perry Martin Lake, or enjoying an outdoor lunch in the picnic area.
2. J.P. Coleman State Park (613 Co Rd 321, Iuka)
Featuring a river, freshwater lake, and waterfall, J.P. Coleman State Park is a water-enthusiast’s dream come true. The park itself overlooks the Tennessee River and allows for visitors to camp right on its banks. Pickwick Lake, the park’s 47,500-acre freshwater lake, is perfect for all sorts of water activities, including sailing, swimming, skiing, and fishing.
3. Wall Doxey State Park (3946 MS-7, Holly Springs)
Located just seven miles from Holly Springs, this park is an absolute must-see if you’re ever visiting the historic town. It’s also the perfect destination for a rustic getaway, since it includes several cabins, campsites, and a cottage. The park is centered around Spring Lake, a gorgeous 60-acre spring-fed lake that is perfect for boating and fishing. Other amenities include a 2.5-mile nature trail, picnic areas, and two disc golf courses.
4. LeFleur’s Bluff State Park (3315 Lakeland Terrace, Jackson)
Located in Jackson, this 305-acre park boasts lush greenery and a stunning lake, providing the perfect escape from city life. In addition to camping, fishing, and nature trails, the park features a driving range and nine-hole golf course, making it a great destination for the entire family.
5. Roosevelt State Park (Bienville National Forest, 2149 Hwy 13 S, Morton)
Great views abound at Roosevelt State Park thanks to a scenic overlook, which provides a panoramic view of the nearby Bienville National Forest. There are also plenty of well-marked trails, making it easy to explore the area. Aside from the beautiful scenery, you’ll have access to a ton of recreational activities as well as Shadow Lake, a 150-acre fresh water lake that’s perfect for fishing, boating, and water skiing.
6. Buccaneer State Park (1150 S Beach Blvd, Waveland)
Located on the beach in Waveland, this state park offers both primitive and developed camping in addition to nature trails, disc golf, beach access, and the on-site water park, Buccaneer Bay. The 4.5-acre water park overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and features several slides, a wave pool, snack bar, and more.
7. Tombigbee State Park (264 Cabin Dr, Tupelo)
Offering the finest in outdoor recreation opportunities, yet located just minutes from the city of Tupelo, visitors to this park can experience the best of both worlds. Whether spending the day on the park’s 120-acre Lake Lee or venturing into town to visit the Elvis Presley birthplace, there’s plenty to see and do while at Tombigbee State Park.
8. Natchez State Park (230 Wickcliff Rd, Natchez)
Natchez is most often associated with beautiful antebellum homes and the Natchez Trace Parkway; however, the charming town is also home to a beautiful state park. Aside from brimming with natural beauty, Natchez State Park is known to be a great fishing spot. In 1992, the largest bass in Mississippi history, a largemouth weighing 18.15 pounds, was caught in park’s lake.
9. George P. Cossar State Park (165 Co Rd 170, Oakland)
George P. Cossar State Park is situated on the shores of Enid Lake and located in close proximity to Holly Springs National Forest, which means this park is teeming with hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities.
10. Legion State Park (635 Legion State Park Dr, Louisville)
Tucked away in the small town of Louisville, Legion State Park is the fourth of the original state parks constructed in Mississippi. Head to the park today, and you’ll find that the area remains as "unspoiled today as when the Choctaw Indian nation first inhabited the area centuries ago." Aside from pristine natural beauty, the park also includes Legion Lodge – a log structure that has been unaltered since being constructed in the 1930s.
Have you ever visited any of these parks? What park would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments section!