With the beautiful weather Mississippi has been experiencing lately, it’s almost hard to stay indoors. Luckily, the state’s diverse terrain makes it the perfect place for an array of outdoor activities, including hiking. There are a ton of trails in Mississippi; some much, much longer than others. But since hiking miles upon miles isn’t for everyone, we decided to showcase some of the state’s shorter, more manageable trails. Whether you’re looking to take a quick hike or searching for a trail the kids will enjoy, these 10 short hikes should do the trick.
1. Little Mountain Trail, 2 miles
Located along the Natchez Trace Parkway, Little Mountain Trail is classified as easy to moderate, making it suitable for people of all ages. The trail is technically a point-to-point trail that covers a distance of just under two miles; however, there is also a shorter loop trail, which is .5 miles long – both of which take hikers to the top of Little Mountain, the second highest point in the state.
2. Bear Creek Outcropping Trail, 3.3 miles
This trail, which is located in Tishomingo State Park, is rated as moderate on the difficulty scale, but with scenic views of the Appalachian foothills, huge rock formations, and fern-filled crevices that exist nowhere else in the state, it’s definitely worth the extra effort.
3. Natchez Trace Parkway Cypress Swamp Hike, .5 miles
At .5 miles, this loop trail is quite short but, according to reviews, it shouldn’t be ignored. Aside from providing unique views of a bald cypress swamp, the trail includes detailed signage regarding the trees and the swamp’s role in the environment. The simplicity of this trail combined with the awesome learning experience it provides makes it the perfect family outing, especially when young children are involved.
4. CCC Camp Trail, 3 miles
Located in Tishomingo State Park, this three-mile loop trail follows rocky outcrops and crosses several pristine springs and streams before coming to an end at the Swinging Bridge.
5. Clark Creek Improved Trail, 4.5 miles
This popular loop trail is located inside the Clark Creek Nature Area in Woodville, and is known for showing off some of the area’s best assets – waterfalls. Rated as moderate, the well-maintained trail passes by several waterfalls, and to make the trek a bit easier, stairs have been added to areas with steep inclines as well as near the waterfalls, allowing visitors access to the bottom of the falls.
6. Davis Bayou Trail, 2 miles
Located in Ocean Springs, this two-mile loop trail traverses a coastal forest and two bayous, which means alligator sightings are a real possibility. Ideal for any skill level, the Davis Bayou Trail is accessible year-round is also ideal for bird watching and biking.
7. Possum Walk Trail, 3.1 miles
The perfect combination of nature and history, the Possum Walk Trail guides visitors through the deserted communities of Possum Walk and Logtown. Interpretive signs fill the area, giving hikers information on the towns of yesteryear as well as plants and animals native to the area. Since the terrain is relatively flat, this trail is considered fairly easy and should be able to be completed by people of all ages.
8. Chewalla Lake Recreation Area Trail, 4 miles
Following the shoreline of spring-fed Chewalla Lake, this trail offers the utmost in tranquility, and since it’s located within a recreation area, hikers can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, including fishing and camping.
9. The River Trail, 1.75 miles
As part of an ongoing project by the Boy Scouts of the Pushmataha Area Council, this trail has received several updates over the years, including the addition of signage, footbridges, steps, rest areas, and interpretive kiosks. The River Trail journey begins with a 64-step descent into a floodplain, which is considered the toughest part of the trek. The rest of the loop trail is on pretty level ground, making the hike feasible for most.
10. The Arkabutla Lake Education and Nature Center Trail (ARK) Trail, 2 miles
This two-mile trail is made up of gently rolling hills with little elevation gain, meaning it’s ideal for any skill level. Located in a wildlife sanctuary, the trail affords exceptional views and includes extensive signage regarding area wildlife as well as tree identification markers.
On or off the list, what are your favorite trails in the state that are five miles or less?