Residents of the Magnolia State are lucky enough to experience the wonder that is Mississippi on a daily basis. So rather than focus on that, we decided to take things a bit more literally –
natural wonders. From historically significant sites to amazing formations, Mississippi has a lot to offer. Need proof? Read on and see for yourself.
1. Petrified Forest, Flora
Estimated to be about a thousand years old, these petrified trees formed as a result of severe floods, which tore down everything in their paths – including large trees. Over the years, subsequent floods deposited sand and silt over these sunken giants and, in turn, the petrification process began. Today, we are left with amazing fossils that exhibit perfectly preserved details.
2. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo
In terms of natural beauty, not much has changed at this state park since the days when Indians inhabited this very land. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Tishomingo offers a breathtaking landscape made up of massive rock formations and fern-filled crevices that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
3. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Jackson County/Harrison County
Part of the National Parks Service, this national seashore features beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, islands, bayous, nature trails, and campgrounds. While most of the seashore is accessible only by boat, the Davis Bayou area can be accessed by automobile.
4. The Mississippi River
From Native Americans to European travelers to the Civil War, this historically significant river has played a major role in our country. At a little over 2,300 miles, the Mighty Mississippi is slightly shorter than the Missouri River; however, the two rivers combined form the longest river system in North America. The wonder that is the Mississippi River can be observed in numerous places in the state, including Tunica, Clarksdale, Rosedale, Greenville, Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Lorman, Fayette, Natchez, and Woodville.
5. Red Bluff, near Foxworth
Known as “Mississippi’s Little Grand Canyon,” this geologic formation has been created by the natural erosion of the nearby Pearl River. Standing at approximately 400 feet above sea level, Red Bluff consists of exposed red clay, soil, sand, and other sediments. The amazing sight, which continues to naturally erode, has actually been the reason that Mississippi Highway 587 had to be moved…on more than one occasion.
6. Loess Bluff, Vicksburg
Loess refers to the natural formation of hills and sharp bluffs, which are distinguishable by their distinctive coloring. These formations have occurred as a result of windswept sand and clay that was most likely deposited during the last Ice Age. Loess bluffs can be found along the lower Mississippi Valley, with some of the best examples in Natchez and Vicksburg (pictured).
7. Natchez Trace, Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee
This 450-mile foot trail, known as the "Old Trace," was travelled by traders, missionaries, early settlers, and Indians for thousands of years. Today, visitors to the Natchez Trace can select from five different trails and take a one-of-a-kind historical stroll filled with rocky outcroppings, steep ridges, and the “sunken” section of the trace.
8. Clark Creek Natural Area, Woodville
Located in southwestern Mississippi, the Clark Creek Natural Area encompasses more than 700 acres. From the mixed hardwood and pine forest to the 50 waterfalls that fill the area, it’s easy to see why Clark Creek Natural area is referred to as one of the state’s “most beautiful outdoor treasures.”
9. The Cypress Preserve, Greenville
Referred to as “a natural treasure in the Mississippi Delta,” this preserve was established in 1940 by the Greenville Garden Club. Encompassing 16 acres, the area’s varying terrain includes sloughs, an area of mixed woodland, and a meadow. The preserve has seen many changes since its inception, including the addition of benches and an observation deck.
10. 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. A part of Sky Lake’s history can be seen in the trees since the area is home to several ancient bald cypress trees. The trees, some more than a thousand years old, range in size with the biggest measuring 47 feet in circumference and 70 feet in height – one of the tallest in the state.
Wow! Mississippi truly is wonderful. What are some other natural wonders in the state? Share your thoughts below.