With more than 20 state parks in Mississippi, it’d be easy to overlook a few. And while popular parks, like Tishomingo State Park, definitely live up to the hype, they’re not the only ones worthy of a visit. Keep reading for 11 lesser-known state parks that are sure to amaze you.
1. Roosevelt State Park
Great views abound at this state park, thanks to a scenic overlook that provides a panoramic view of 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. Roosevelt State Park is located at 2149 MS-13, Morton, MS 39117.
2. Legion State Park
Tucked away in the small town of Louisville, Legion State Park is the 4th of the original state parks built in Mississippi. Drenched in both history and scenic beauty, the park is as "unspoiled today as when the Choctaw Indian nation first inhabited the area centuries ago." Legion State Park is located at 35 Legion State Park Dr., Louisville, MS 39339.
3. Clarkco State Park
This state park is situated on 815 acres of gently rolling woodlands just south of Meridian. Offering camping, cabin rentals, hiking, and water sports, it’s perfect for everything from an afternoon outdoors to a rustic getaway. Clarkco State Park is located at 386 Clarkco Rd., Quitman, MS 39355.
4. George P. Cossar State Park
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. George P. Cossar State Park is located at 165 Co Rd. 170, Oakland, MS 38948.
5. Natchez State Park
Natchez is most often associated with beautiful antebellum homes and the Natchez Trace Parkway; however, the charming town is also home to this 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. Natchez State Park is located at 230B Wickcliff, Natchez, MS 39120.
6. Tombigbee State Park
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. The park is located at 264 Cabin Dr., Tupelo, MS 38804.
7. Holmes County State Park
Filled with gorgeous hardwood forests that are home to a variety of wildlife, great photo-ops are abundant at Holmes County State Park. The park is also perfect for water recreation, since it’s home to not one but two lakes – English, a 45-acre lake, and Odum, a 14-acre lake. Holmes County State Park is located at 5369 State Park Rd., Durant, MS 39063.
8. Great River Road State Park
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. Great River Road State Park is located at 101 State Park Rd., Rosedale, MS 38769.
9. J.P. Coleman State Park
With a river, freshwater lake, and 50’ 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. J.P. Coleman State Park is located at 613 Co Rd., 321, Iuka, MS 38852.
10. Wall Doxey State Park
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. Wall Doxey State Park is located at 3946 MS-7, Holly Springs, MS 38635.
11. Shepard State Park
This Gautier park encompasses 395 acres, which are brimming with bike trails, nature trails, campsites, and more. It also provides access to the Pascagoula River, which according to legend, is where members of the Pascagoula Indian tribe drowned themselves in order to avoid fighting another tribe. It’s said that they sang as they walked into the river, earning it the nickname "The Singing River." Supposedly, on quiet nights the Indian’s death chant can still be heard. Shepard State Park is located at 1034 Graveline Rd., Gautier, MS 39553.
So, did you know about all these state parks? Did we include your favorite? Have another park to add to the list? Tell us in the comments section.