From state parks to hidden locales, these 13 places in Mississippi are perfect for all those adventure seekers out there.
1. The Tanglefoot Trail, Houston to New Albany
The longest of the state’s Rails to Trails’ conversions, the Tanglefoot Trail spans 43.6 miles, and takes adventure seekers on a history-filled journey through fields, forests, meadows, and wetlands, navigating the same paths as the Chickasaws and Meriwether Lewis.
2. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the award-winning Tishomingo State Park is a must for outdoor enthusiasts. The park has landed spots on several national "top" lists, including the "Top 25 Canoeing Spots," "Top 50 Hiking Trails," and "Top 50 Fishing Spots." Additionally, the park’s location also makes it great for rock climbing. The rocky outcropping and bluffs found in Tishomingo don’t exist anywhere else in the state.
3. The Petrified Forest, Flora
The only one of its kind in this part of the country, Flora’s Petrified Forest has been 36 million years in the making, and offers visitors the chance to view fossils that exhibit perfectly preserved details. Exploring this natural wonder is a breeze thanks to a self-guided nature trail, which includes many points of interest and informative markers.
4. Sky Lake, Belzoni
Believed to have been occupied by Native Americans several thousand years ago, the area that is now Sky Lake is actually an abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. The area is home to several ancient bald cypress trees in varying sizes, with the biggest measuring 47’ in circumference and 70’ in height – one of the tallest in the state. Visitors can take in all Sky Lake has to offer via a 1700’ boardwalk or a 2.6-mile paddling trail, both of which navigate the ancient forest.
5. The Natchez Trace, Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee
This 450-mile foot trail, known as the "Old Trace," was traveled by traders, missionaries, early settlers, and Indians for thousands of years. Today, visitors to the Natchez Trace can take part in everything from hiking and horseback riding to exploring historic sites, such as Indian Mounds and the ghost town of Rocky Springs.
6. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS), Gulfport
The IMMS’ Dolphin Interaction Program is exactly the kind of thing adventure seekers’ dreams are made of. Those taking part in the hour-long program will have the opportunity to feed, touch, interact, and, of course, swim with a dolphin. The one-of-a-kind experience will surely be remembered forever. For more information, click
7. St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Adams County
At over 24,000 acres, this refuge provides plenty of room for fishing, hunting, photography, hiking, and bird watching. The refuge’s diverse habitat, which consists of bottomland hardwoods, cypress swamps, upland hardwoods on the loess bluffs, and small cliffs, is home to a variety of wildlife, making for some of the best views in the state.
8. The DeSoto County Greenway Trails (locations throughout Desoto County)
The DeSoto County Greenways program is made up of trails, which are perfect for everything from walking and hiking to horseback riding and biking. Aside from traditional trails, the area is filled with water trails that are ideal for canoeing and kayaking. Visit the area in December and January and you’ll up your chances of spotting bald eagles, waterfowl, and a variety of gulls. And be sure keep your eye on the sky since formations of ducks, geese, pelicans, gulls, herons, shorebirds, and songbirds are common sights during the fall and winter seasons. Click
for more information.
9. 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.
10. Old Cove, near Eupora
About as hidden as you can get, the Old Cove is something that many locals don’t even know about. The 350-acre piece of land is sunken about 100’ – 150’ below the surrounding surface, making it difficult to see, especially if you don’t know what to look for. The trek down is a bit rugged but completely worth it. Those making it to the bottom of Old Cove will have the opportunity to thoroughly explore the hardwood bottomland canyon, which is home to a number of rare plants and animals. To learn more, visit the
11. George B. Cossar State Park, Oakland
Definitely one of Mississippi's best kept secrets, Cossar State Park is a sportsman’s paradise. Not only does the park’s Enid Lake provide world-class fishing but the vast amount of open space and variety of game that inhabit the park make for wonderful hunting opportunities.
12. Seminary Canoe Rental, Seminary
As the only outfitter on the Okatoma with facilities on the creek, Seminary Canoe Rental can provide an experience like no other. Rated the #1 "float in the state," adventure seekers can enjoy a day of canoeing or kayaking, and then turn in for the night in one of the four on-site cabins. Learn more by visiting
Seminary Canoe Rental
13. Clark Creek Nature Area, Woodville
The Clark Creek Nature Area encompasses 700 acres and includes about 50 waterfalls, which range in size from 10’ to more than 30’ in height. Some minimal hiking is required to access the waterfalls but is fairly easy since there are both primitive and improved trails. The nearby Tunica Hills Campground offers RV hook-ups, cabin rentals, and primitive camping, making an overnight stay totally doable.
What are some of your favorite places to visit in the state when you’re feeling adventurous?
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