Mississippi is home to some pretty incredible hiking spots, and luckily, you don’t have to be an avid hiker to enjoy them. There are plenty of trails that are on the shorter side, making them relatively easy to navigate. So, the next time you’re looking to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, check out one of these 10 amazing hikes – all of which are under three miles.
1. Columbus Riverwalk and Trail (Columbus)
This popular 2.2-mile walking/biking trail begins at Main Street and winds along the Tombigbee River, which means great views are practically guaranteed. Along the way, you’ll find two pavilions, bathrooms, benches, bike racks, and picnic tables.
2. Swinging Bridge Nature Trail (Coldwater)
Probably the closest you’ll ever get to walking on water, the Coldwater River used to flow in the present-day location of this trail. Rated as easy, the 1-mile trail is feasible for just about anyone and definitely worth the trek. Aside from being lined with informative panels on the history of the Arkabutla community, the redirection of the Coldwater River, and native plants and wildlife, the trail also includes a beautiful azalea garden.
3. LeFleur’s Bluff Sate Park Trail System (Jackson)
Perfect for escaping city life, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park has five trails, most of which loop and interconnect. A majority of the trails can be accessed just behind the Museum of Natural Science. Though each trail is different, they’re all well under ½ mile and many feature paved walkways and boardwalks.
4. Beaver Dam Hiking Trail (Brooksville)
Located in the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, this point-to-point trail runs 1-mile each way, making for a 2-mile round trip. The popular path winds through bottomland hardwood forest, following the bank of Oktoc Creek. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the various species of wildlife that inhabit the area, including blue herons, wood ducks, and deer.
5. Bridge of Sighs (Natchez)
Offering some of the best views of the Mighty Mississippi, this recently constructed pedestrian bridge connects the two sections of Natchez’s historic Spanish Promenade. Even if you walk just a portion of the bridge, you’ll be treated to unparalleled riverfront views.
6. Cypress Swamp Hike (Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 122)
Aside from providing unique views of a bald cypress swamp, the 0.5-mile loop trail includes plenty of detailed signage about the trees and the swamp. 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.
7. The River Trail (Columbus)
The River trail has received several updates over the years, including the addition of signage, footbridges, steps, rest areas, and interpretive kiosks. The 1.75-mile 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.
8. The Arkabutla Lake Education and Nature Center (ARK) Trail (Hernando)
This 2-mile trail is made up of gently rolling hills with little elevation gain, making it 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.
9. The Boardwalk at Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area (Belzoni)
Situated 12’ off the ground, this 1,700’ boardwalk takes you directly through the ancient forest, offering exceptional views of enormous bald cypress trees, the swamp, birds, and other wildlife. Along the way, you'll find plenty of signage that provides information about the history of Sky Lake, its bald cypress trees, Native Americans of the area, and other topics.
10. Dunn’s Falls Hiking Trail (Enterprise)
Aside from being home to the state’s tallest waterfall, Dunn’s Falls Water Park offers some great hiking. The park’s scenic 3-mile trail winds through the surrounding woods and even includes a suspended overlook along the tranquil Chunky River. The secluded park has both primitive and developed camping, so you can easily turn your hike into an overnight adventure.
Have you ever hiked any of these amazing trails? Know of another that should be on the list? Tell us in the comments section.