Mississippi is filled with a diverse collection of parks that offer guests everything from natural rock climbing opportunities to American Civil War history exhibits. Many of the parks are based around the Mississippi River, while others take advantage of the state’s swampy and hilly regions. A visit to Mississippi can easily include spending each night in a new state park, and guests would find that they almost never run out of activities with each new destination they visit.
1.Buccaneer State Park
After being devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it took many years for Buccaneer State Park to complete restoration efforts. The park, however, has since bounced back and is once again fully functional. It is located in the picturesque beaches of Waveland, Buccaneer, and is interspersed with giant oak trees, marshlands, and even the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors to the park can enjoy camping, hiking, beaches, sunbathing, water activities, biking, disc golf, a waterpark, and even pavillions to host celebrations in. There is a fee to enter the park, and various activities have separate fees so it is best to contact the park directly either by telephone or through their website.
1150 South Beach Boulevard, Waveland, MS 39576, Phone: 228-467-3822
2.Clark Creek State Park
Considered by locals to be one of the Magnolia State’s most alluring outdoor parks, the Clark Creek State Park is comprised of more than 700 acres, contains approximately 50 waterfalls, and is home to a large collection of wildlife. The waterfalls within the park range in size, with some reaching heights of more than 30 feet. In addition to diverse waterfalls, there are many uncommon trees found within park boundaries, including the Southern sugar maple, umbrella tree, witch-hazel, and even pyramid magnolia trees. The area offers exceptional opportunities for bird and other wildlife watching, but given that the park is fairly remote, it is recommended to do proper research beforehand to ensure a safe trip.
366 Fort Adams Road, Woodville, MS 39669, Phone: 601-888-6040
3.Clarkco State Park
Originally founded in 1938, the Clarkco State Park is situated just south of the Meridian, down near the border between Mississippi and Alabama. It is comprised of roughly 815 acres of easily explorable woodlands, and offers guests the opportunity to camp, rent cabins, and partake in various water sports during their visit. Visits to the park require payment of a fee, all of which goes back into maintaining the park and paying essential staff. Guests who want a more active experience when visiting Clarkco State Park may be happy to know there are playgrounds, playing fields, tennis courts, disc golf courses, and even a small waterpark to provide entertainment.
386 Clarkco Road, Quitman, MS 39355, Phone: 601-776-6651
4.De Soto National Forest
The De Soto National Forest is dominated by gently rolling hills that are most often covered in pine trees and gently flowing streams. This national forest is frequented by both locals and tourists, and offers many activities to inspire even the most adamant city dweller. Year round activities include hiking, bicycle trail (and off trail) riding, camping, canoeing, ATV adventures, horseback exploration, hunting, fishing, and even camping. There are over 60 miles of trails to explore, offering hikers a large variety of difficulty and length for their expeditions. The area is prone to flooding and storms, however, so it is recommended to contact the park directly before planning a visit.
Brooklyn, MS 39425, Phone: 601-528-6160
5.George P Cossar State Park
The George P Cossar State Park offers a combination of natural and manmade attractions to bring delight to a wide variety of visitors. Located on the shores of the pristine Enid Lake, this state park is the perfect gateway for hunters to access the nearby, and wildlife game abundant, Holly Springs National Forest for open hunting opportunities. For those who wish to have a more peaceful and comfortable visit, George P Cossar State Park has 15 air-conditioned units for guests to rent during their stay. There are also six duplex cabins for rent, three stand-alone options for those seeking privacy, and 76 developed camping sites for those who don’t mind bringing their own gear.
165 County Road 170, Oakland, MS 38948, Phone: 662-623-7356
6.Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Gulf Island National Seashore is a water lover’s paradise, offering 160 miles of coastline on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in both Mississippi and Florida. This coastline is more than just beaches, however, and includes barrier islands, an abundance of maritime forests, a collection of historic forts, various bayous, and diverse marine habitats. Wildlife watchers can easily spend day after day seeking out new species to observe, and water sports lovers can easily spend weeks canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in all the different water conditions present. There are always various activities happening year round, so be sure to check out the events calendar provided by the park systems for the most up to date information.
3500 Park Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, Phone: 228-230-4100
7.Holly Springs National Forest
Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the Holly Springs National Forest is situated in north-central Mississippi and is comprised primarily of pristine small lakes that are tucked away in forest groves. These conditions, the combination of forests in conjunction with many small lakes, heavily encourages the natural reproduction of wildlife, making the Holly Springs National Forest a hunters and photographers paradise. In addition to providing hunting and photographing opportunities, this national forest also actively works towards restoring the lands to their natural conditions by promoting indigenous ecosystems within the 155,000 acres of national forest land.
6052 Hwy 15, Ackerman, Mississippi 39735, Phone: 662-236-6550
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8.J. P. Coleman State Park
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Given the ideal location of being situated on a rocky bluff that overlooks the Tennessee River, the J.P. Coleman State Park is the dream location for water sports lovers of all varieties. Visitors to the park can expect everything from sailing to swimming opportunities, fishing, canoeing, and even skiing in the colder months. Having access to various lakes and rivers increase the chances of catching different types of fish, and for guests who wish to extend their stay and enjoy the park more there are plenty of lodging options. The park contains 69 RV campsites for those bringing their own rig, 9 primitive camp sites for those bringing tents, and even 20 cabins for those that want to bring as little gear as possible.
613 CR 321, Luka, MS 38852, Phone: 662-423-6515
9.John W Kyle State Park
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The John W Kyle State Park is located approximately 25 miles away from the historic University of Mississippi campus, which makes it a prime choice for visitors to spend the weekend when heading to Ole Miss for a football weekend. There are 200 developed campsites, many of which are RV friendly, as well as 20 different cabins and two independent golf villas for guests to stay in. For entertainment options, the park is home to Mallard Pointe Golf Course, fishing and boating activities on Sardis Lake, and plenty of large community spaces to host luncheon meetings and banquets alike.
4235 State Park Road, Sardis, MS 38666, Phone: 662-487-1345
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10.Lake Lincoln State Park
The Lake Lincoln State Park is located near enough to highways and major thoroughways that access is easy from many different directions, while simultaneously being large enough that once guests are in the park they can escape into nature as they desire. The park is comprised primarily of large hardwood trees, and offers a collection of options when it comes to staying the night, from rustic campsites to fully equipped cottages. Activities in Lake Lincoln State Park include a beach with swimming access, hiking trails, a picnic shelter that is perfect for spending hot days under, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and even a disc golf course.
2573 Sunset Road NE, Wesson, MS 39191, Phone: 601-643-9044
11.Lake Lowndes Park
Being in close proximity to both Mississippi State University, as well as the Mississippi University for Women help make Lake Lowndes Park an easy choice for recreation opportunities for families and individuals visiting either of the schools. The park is home to an amphitheater, a disc golf course, a full service gym, picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis courts, plenty of hiking trails, and even 150 acres of freshwater fishing. There is camping onsite that can accommodate a variety of preferences by featuring developed camping sites, cabins, and even a couple vacation cottages for those who want to spend their trip with a bit more luxury.
3319 Lake Lowndes Road, Columbus, MS 39702, Phone: 662-328-2110
12.LeFleur's Bluff State Park
Providing a natural relief in the heart of Jackson, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is filled with lush green trails and waterways that provide visitors with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. There are primitive campsites for those guests that wish to enjoy their stay, and the 305 acre park has plenty of activities to keep guests busy for many days on end. The park is named in honor of Louis LeFleur, who was a French-Canadian explorer that established a trading post in the area back in the late 1700s. The park requires a daily use fee which included access to all amenities, including a disc golf course, playgrounds, and picnic shelters.
3315 Lakeland Terrace, Jackson, MS 39216, Phone: 601-987-3923
13.Legion State Park
Legion State Park was originally designed and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program that employed unmarried, young men in the 1930s and early 1940s. Legion State Park is tucked away in Mississippi’s red hill country, an area renowned for its rolling landscape and diverse natural attractions. The park flawlessly combines modern comforts with natural beauty, and every manmade structure within the park was carefully designed to not only blend in, but actually enhance the beauty of the area in which it is located. This park offers camping, hiking, boating, swimming, and more, and everything excluding camping is covered by the daily entrance fee.
635 Legion State Park Road, Louisville, MS 39339-8803, Phone: 662-773-8323
14.Leroy Percy State Park
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When it comes to visiting a park that has a lot of history, Leroy Percy State Park is second to none. This park is the oldest state park in Mississippi, and was originally designed and constructed in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is most well known for its artesian springs, Spanish moss covered oak trees, and groves filled with cypress trees and intertwined with hiking paths. Leroy Percy State Park features a wildlife management area, and the seasonal hunting of deer, squirrel, turkey, ducks, and doves is integral to maintaining the natural ecosystems of the park and surrounding areas.
1400 Hwy 12 W, Hollandale, MS 38748, Phone: 662-827-5436
15.Mississippi River State Park
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The Mississippi River State Park is ideal for family vacations, given its variety of family friendly activities and camping locations. Although this park is technically located on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River, it is very easily accessed from the Mississippi border. The Mississippi River State Park contains seven different bodies of water that provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and other leisure activities. Surrounding the bodies of water are plenty of hiking and walking trails, some that go through forests and others that feature hard packed surfaces for greater accessibility.
2955 Hwy. 44, Marianna, AR 72360, Phone: 870-295-4040
16.Natchez National Historical Park
© NPS Photo
The Natchez National Historical Park in comprised primarily of three National Park Service owned properties that are on display for the public, Melrose, Fort Rosalie, and the William Johnson House. The location of the part dates back to pre-civil war America, and the Melrose estate was originally the home to a wealthy cotton planter. The sites have since become protected historic monuments and have been restored to their former glory to help educate the public. Guests are permitted to tour the grounds, as well as inside the buildings, and there are often tours available for those seeking a guided learning experience.
640 South Canal Street Suite E, Natchez, MS 39120, Phone: 601-446-5790
17.Paul B. Johnson State Park
The Paul B. Johnson State Park is located in the midst of Mississippi’s pine belt region, a section of the state well known for its pine forests and rolling landscapes. The park is surrounded by deep, dense forests, and the park itself is considered to be a gateway for guests to explore these picturesque forest lands. Aside from natural attractions, there are a selection of facilities available for use at the park, including picnic tables and grills, pavilions, various playgrounds, a disc golf course, and even a splash pad. When weather permits, guests can explore hiking trails and enjoy water activities on the 225 acres of Geiger Lake.
319 Geiger Lake Road, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-582-7721
18.Percy Quin State Park
One major attraction of the Percy Quin State Park is its year round mild weather, which helps ensure that a visit at any time of the year has the potential to be pleasant and filled with activities. This park was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is located a short one and a half hours from New Orleans. Located within the park are opportunities for both RV and tent camping, cabins for rent, and even a small collection of motel rooms. There is an 18 hole golf course for guests to enjoy, and boating is possible on Lake Tangipahoa.
2036 Percy Quin Drive, McComb, MS 39648, Phone: 601-684-3938
19.Roosevelt State Park
Guests visiting the Roosevelt State Park can expect plenty of facilities, camping sites, and outdoor activities to occupy their leisure time. For those guests who love water activities, Shadow Lake is a must visit. It is a 150 acre freshwater lake that can be used for fishing, boating, water skiing, tubing, swimming, and more. For guests who prefer keeping their feet dry, there are tennis courts, a disc golf course, miles of nature trails to explore ,and even a performing arts and media center to utilize. Overnight camping is possible in both RVs as well as tents, and there are cabins as well on a reservation based system.
2149 Hwy 13 S, Morton, MS 39117, Phone: 601-732-6316
20.Shepard State Park
With seasonal events happening year round, Shepard State Park is great for both holiday retreats and everyday getaways. The park contains approximately 395 acres of land, which is filled with various types of trees, wildflowers, hiking and biking trails, and more. There are tent camping sites for those visitors that prefer to rough it, and developed campsites for those who wish to bring an RV or camper. The park also contains a bathhouse, picnic shelters, and even an 18-hole disc golf course to keep guests entertained. Information on camping sites, events, and weather condition can all be found on the park’s website or by contacting them via telephone.
1034 Graveline Drive, Gautier, Mississippi 39553, Phone: 228-497-2244
21.The Natchez Trace
The Natchez Trace is unlike anything else in the area. It is a trail that takes walkers and bikers through 18 different communities, spanning three different states, and is filled with plenty of attractions, natural destinations, and more. Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi are all represented on The Natchez Trace, and participants exploring the trail will have ample opportunity to stop at classic restaurants, hidden parks and trails, and even out of the way monuments. The Natchez Trace is a unique way to explore this small section of the United States, and guests who have the chance should definitely seize the opportunity for a memory filled adventure!
101 N Natchez St, Kosciusko, MS 39090
22.Tishomingo State Park
From the main entrance, which features a unique bridge over a ravine, to the hidden trails and gems located throughout, Tishomingo State Park is a must experience destination in Mississippi that is fun for the whole family. The park has all the common amenities, picnic areas, rivers, lakes, playgrounds, and the like. But it also features more unique attractions like rock climbing destinations, massive rock formations, and wildflower trails that were once travelled by Native Americans. Tishomingo State Park is located along the famous Natchez Trace Parkway and is a perfect day trip for families and individuals alike who are looking for fun, wholesome outdoor adventures.
105 CR 90 - P.O. Box 880, Tishomingo, MS 38873, Phone: 662-438-6914
23.Tombigbee State Park
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Conveniently located approximately six miles just south of Tupelo, Mississippi, the Tombigbee State Park is a premier outdoor destination for a huge variety of outdoor recreation activities. The proximity to Tupelo, one of Mississippi’s destination shopping and dining locations ensures that a family visit to Tombigbee State Park and surrounding area can be fun for the entire family. The park offers camping accommodations, both tent and RV, and has a collection of picnic areas, grills, pavilions, and facilities for guests to utilize at their convenience. Whether families are looking for an offgrid trip filled with hikes and fishing, a chance to shop in Tupalee, or a mixture of both, Tombigbee State Park is a great hub when visiting the area.
264 Cabin Drive, Tupelo, MS 38804, Phone: 662-842-7669
24.Vicksburg National Military Park
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Civil War historians and casual visitors alike will appreciate a trip to Vicksburg National Military Park, not only because of the deep history of the region, but also due to the beautiful surrounding landscape and sweeping vistas. Vicksburg was key to the Confederate Army’s defensive position, and was held for a total of 47 days against the Union siege. The modern military park is home to reenactments of the battle, memorials for fallen soldiers, and museums that tell a full story of the local, and national, history of the area.
3201 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183, Phone: 601-636-0583
25.Wall Doxey State Park
The key feature of Wall Doxey State Park is the centrally located spring-fed lake that is ideal for boating, swimming, fishing, and more. Surrounding this 60 acre pristine lake the rest of Wall Doxey State Park, which is interwoven with hiking trails, picnic sites, a disc golf course, playing fields, and even an interpretive center filled with local history and knowledge. Wall Doxey State Park is a short 40 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, and an even shorter 7 miles from Holly Springs, Mississippi. Contained within the park are camping sites, both primitive and RV friendly, that are available through a reservation system.
3946 Hwy 7 South, Holly Springs, MS 38635, Phone: 662-252-4231
25 Best Mississippi State & National Parks
- Buccaneer State Park, Photo: bilanol/stock.adobe.com
- Clark Creek State Park, Photo: tayphotodesign/stock.adobe.com
- Clarkco State Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- De Soto National Forest, Photo: Steven/stock.adobe.com
- George P Cossar State Park, Photo: Nik_Merkulov/stock.adobe.com
- Gulf Islands National Seashore, Photo: Wirepec/stock.adobe.com
- Holly Springs National Forest, Photo: fredlyfish4/stock.adobe.com
- J. P. Coleman State Park, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- John W Kyle State Park, Photo: Umaporn Y/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Lincoln State Park, Photo: Aleksandra/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Lowndes Park, Photo: vulkanov/stock.adobe.com
- LeFleur's Bluff State Park, Photo: waynemullen1/stock.adobe.com
- Legion State Park, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Leroy Percy State Park, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Mississippi River State Park, Photo: Nadezhda Pakhom?va/stock.adobe.com
- Natchez National Historical Park, Photo: NPS Photo
- Paul B. Johnson State Park, Photo: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com
- Percy Quin State Park, Photo: Sotnikov_EM/stock.adobe.com
- Roosevelt State Park, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Shepard State Park, Photo: Fahkamram/stock.adobe.com
- The Natchez Trace, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Tishomingo State Park, Photo: fredlyfish4/stock.adobe.com
- Tombigbee State Park, Photo: All king of people/stock.adobe.com
- Vicksburg National Military Park, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Wall Doxey State Park, Photo: fredlyfish4/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com