JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Summer in Mississippi can be a perfect time to get out into the great outdoors. There are plenty of places across the state where Mississippians can get their nature fix.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through three states, including Mississippi. People can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping along the Parkway.
Some of the favorite sites along the Trace in Mississippi are Tishomingo State Park, Pharr Mounds, Chickasaw Village Site, Bynum Munds, Jeff Busby Park, French Camp Historic Village, Cypress Swamp, Reservoir Overlook, Rocky Springs and the Windsor Ruins.
The boat tour agency Capital City Kayaks is for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
Crystal Lake, the body of water that’s now home to kayak tours, lies between an alignment of two cities, Jackson and Flowood, and two counties, Hinds and Rankin.
This urban park is located on 305 acres of woodlands that are home to nature trails, a public nine-hole golf course and driving range, picnic areas, playgrounds and Mayes Lake for fishing. There are campsites and utility hookups, campground bathhouses and comfort stations. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Children’s Museum are located within the park.
Many public parks are located throughout the Reservoir area. Visitors can enjoy bike trails, boat launches, pavilions, and outdoor recreation areas.
The Vicksburg National Military Park is jam-packed with attractions that serve as a testament to the location’s prominent place in American history. More than 1,400 memorial monuments, tablets and markers dot the 1,800-acre park to honor soldiers who served on both sides of the Civil War.
The USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum are also located within the park.
The trail, from Port Gibson to Raymond to Vicksburg, has significant sites associated with Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign to seize the River City. This is a self-guided driving tour.
The 40-acre complex brings to life Mississippi’s rich agricultural heritage. Walk down Main Street of the “Small Town, Mississippi.” The Children’s Barnyard and Multi-Purpose Center reopened in 2020.
Comprising more than 700 acres, the Clark Creek Natural Area is highlighted by some 50 waterfalls, ranging in size from 10 to more than 30 feet high.
Home to more than 100 animals the Hattiesburg Zoo offers a day-long adventure of fun. The animals at the zoo include Wallabys, Golden Eagles, Porcupines, Zebras and a family of Sloths.
The other attractions include the Mining Expedition, High Ropes Adventure Course, Electric Train and Splash Pad.
The Longleaf Trace is located in South Mississippi. The 44-mile linear park extends from Hattiesburg through Sumrall, Bassfield and Carson to Prentiss. Visitors can run, bike, hike or take part in the equestrian trail. The trace also includes areas for camping.
The Mississippi Petrified Forest is located in hills with ravines hollowed out by nature during the past century. The size of the petrified logs indicates that as living trees, the stone giants were over 100 feet tall.
The area includes a nature trail, museum, gemming mine flume, a campground and a gift shop.
The 65-foot waterfall was once used as a power source for a gristmill. The park is a natural wildlife refuge featuring a picnic area with barbecue grills, a gristmill pond, hiking, and swimming areas.
The Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium is an educational ministry of French Camp Academy. The Observatory, which is the largest in Mississippi, has more than 25 telescopes and other optical instruments.
The beaches in Biloxi are one of the city’s biggest draws. The Biloxi Beach is just steps away from the casinos and attractions on Biloxi Boulevard.
Chair and umbrella rentals are available during beach season at several spots.
Horn Island is an island in the Gulf Islands National Seashore that is accessible only via private boat. Popular activities on the island include swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, beach combing, bird watching, boating, and camping.
The Mississippi areas are home of a historic fort and barrier islands. Some of the activities include swimming, bicycling, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, beach combing, bird watching, boating, and camping.