In terms of Mississippi wonders, Mother Nature isn’t the only one that deserves credit. The state is filled with man-made wonders that are just as impressive as their naturally-occurring counterparts. From bodies of water to architectural masterpieces, here are ten of the most enchanting man-made wonders in Mississippi.
1. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Constructed with trade in mind, this waterway connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. After 12 years, nearly $2 billion, and more digging than what was required for the Panama Canal, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway was completed in December of 1984.
2. Ross Barnett Reservoir, Ridgeland
Known by locals as the “Rez,” the Ross Barnett Reservoir was completed in 1965. The 105 mile shoreline provides exceptional views, especially since the reservoir is bounded on the north by the Natchez Trace. Attracting thousands of visitors annually, the 33,000-acre lake and surrounding area are ideal for an array of outdoor activities, including boating, sailing, water sports, camping, fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
3. Gulf Coast Beach
At 26 miles long and 200’ wide, the beach along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is actually the largest man-made beach in the entire world.
4. Dunn’s Falls, near Meridian
This 65’ waterfall is the state’s tallest. While the cliffs that form the waterfall are natural, the waterfall itself is not. In 1850, Irish immigrant John Dunn redirected the stream that now feeds the falls in order to power a grist mill.
5. Mississippi State Capitol Building, Jackson
After two years of construction, the Mississippi State Capitol Building was completed in 1903. The Beaux Arts-style building was designed by renowned St. Louis-based architect Theodore Link, and is considered among the top structures in the state.
6. The Biloxi Lighthouse, Biloxi
This historic lighthouse, which dates back to 1848, is unique in a couple of ways. First, it was one of the earliest cast-iron lighthouses to be built in the south. Second, it has a lengthy history of being maintained by female lighthouse keepers. Today, the renowned landmark serves as a sign of perseverance as it has withstood two severe hurricanes, Camille and Katrina.
7. The Old Warren County Courthouse Museum, Vicksburg
Considered Vicksburg’s most historic structure, this “architectural gem” was named one of the 20 most outstanding courthouses in America by the American Institute of Architects.
8. Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee
This 444-mile scenic parkway begins in Natchez and continues into Alabama and Tennessee. Recognized as one of the state’s biggest assets, the Natchez Trace Parkway guides travelers through 10,000 years of history - a journey that is accompanied by views that are out of this world.
9. The Sculpture Garden at Delta State University, Cleveland
Located on the lawn of the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the DSU campus, this sculpture garden was the creation of painter Pam Matthews. Since its inception in 2000, the noteworthy collection has grown to include over 20 permanent pieces. Between new pieces being added every couple of years and the ever-changing exhibits, the diverse garden is truly a sight to see.
10. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, and Winston Counties
Located just south of Starkville, this refuge was created in 1940 from lands obtained through the 1930’s Resettlement Administration. Workers sowed new hardwood and pine forests and dug out lakes and ponds, creating the perfect environment for an array of wildlife and the ultimate outdoor recreation area.
Did you know about all of these places? What other incredible man-made Mississippi sites would you add to this list? We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments section below.