Put Your Best Foot Southward
Nature abounds throughout Mississippi, as its vast swaths of wilderness begrudgingly give way to the cities and towns that crop up from the Gulf to Tennessee. Virgin hardwoods and tall pines tower over nature’s pedestrians in the many protected state parks while the call of wild birds provides a natural soundtrack along with the breeze through the branches or the steady swash of the ocean.
Two of the best examples of a hiker’s paradise can be found along either the Black Creek Trail or the Tuxachanie Trail that wind their way through the DeSoto National Forest. With over 60 miles of trail to traverse, these roughly cut paths offer a first class tour of the natural wonder that Mississippi has to offer.
Tishomingo County and its Tishomingo State Park may not hold renown outside the state, but where the Appalachian foothills end, your hiking adventure begins. Just north of Tupelo, the state park not only offers ample hiking trails, but also ample opportunity for canoeing, rock climbing and fishing. It's home to some of the higher elevations in the state and provides a beautiful backdrop for any hiker feeling up to a challenge.
As the Natchez Trace Parkway winds its way through the state, it not only offers wonderful driving scenery, but also an abundance of Mississippi hiking opportunities. A crisscrossing of trailways make the Natchez Trace parkway a perfect stop virtually anywhere along its winding path for hikers seeking a walk through nature.
Moving along Vicksburg’s broad, towering bluffs, the Vicksburg National Military Park offers a different spin on the hiking experience by presenting nature and history together in one place. A vast array of trails twists through Vicksburg National Military Park and takes visitors on a tour of Vicksburg’s long military history and its role in the Civil War.
No matter your mood, Mississippi hiking options include a trail to meet your needs. The towering forests of the state are ripe with hiking trails for any visitor or resident. But trails may not be necessary, a compass and a stout pair of hiking boots can take you anywhere you want to go. Just head off into the wilds and let your senses soak in Mother Nature as she was meant to be.