The Southern US is home to some of the prettiest state parks in the U.S. If you have not added a swing through Mississippi to your plans, you will want to after reading about some of these idyllic settings for outdoor fun! Be sure to check out the on-line portals for these state parks to stay up to date on camp ground options & conditions.
1. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo
This breathtakingly beautiful park has won numerous awards, including being listed in Reserve America’s “Top 100 Campgrounds.”
This park offers seven hiking trails that range in length from ¾ to 3 miles and in difficulty from easy to moderate. The trails feature scenic natural springs, waterfalls, rocky creeks and streams, cliffs, rock walls and huge outcrops. Rock climbing, which requires a helmet and a free permit (available at the park office), is a popular activity on the trails, particularly at the formation known as Jean’s Overhang. Bear Creek crosses a number of points along the trail system and can be explored by canoe on one of the float trips offered at the park.
Three popular disc golf courses are also available, and an Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool is open during late spring and summer. The park offers 62 developed RV campsites, which have both water and electricity.
The park’s Nature Center, which re-opened in 2016, offers displays of Tishomingo county heritage, nature, art, animals, arrowheads and memorabilia from the Civilian Conservation Corps.
2. Buccaneer State Park, Waveland
Buccaneer State Park’s beautiful restoration was completed in 2013, after hurricane Katrina devastated this area in 2005. Located on the beach in Waveland, Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands and the Gulf of Mexico. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700’s when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Today this area is centrally located to numerous family-friendly attractions such as Stennis Space Center / NASA, Old Town Bay St. Louis, Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Shrine, World War II D-Day Museum, Aquarium of Americas, and more!
3. Davis Bayou Area/Gulf Islands National Seashore, near Ocean Springs
Part of the national seashore, there’s never a shortage to see or do at this 51-site campground. From a two-mile nature trail that traverses the coastal forest to saltwater fishing, visitors to Davis Bayou are in for a real treat. This park maintains several facilities for visitors to enjoy. Such as the William M. Colmer Visitor Center which enables travelers to explore indoor exhibits about the shore and the islands. There is also a Visitor Center Fishing Pier which is an excellent site to cast a line. There are also several short hiking trails through the area.
For a small fee, visitors may also launch their boat and park a vehicle for a day on the water.
Or if your crew just prefers to hang out, there is a large area for picnics including five picnic shelters.
Gulf Islands National Seashore officials announced plans to conduct small controlled burns within the Davis Bayou Area near Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The planned burns are scheduled to be conducted between early February and early March so be sure to check their website and/or call ahead for updates.
4. Sardis Lake Recreation Area, Lafayette, Panola, and Marshall Counties
Sardis was built as a flood control facility in the 1930s and recreation was not mentioned in the original plans. Soon after the Dam’s construction, however, visitation skyrocketed. Today, the employees of Sardis Lake take great pride in building and maintaining some of the top recreation facilities in the country.
Whether planning a one-day outing or an extended camping trip, you can find a wealth of activities to fill your days and nights. Camp in one of the modern campgrounds, or picnic, or swim, or rent a pavilion for a family reunion or find a spot somewhere on our 98,000 acres to boat, hunt, fish, go birding, or walk a trail. There’s an abundance of natural beauty at Sardis Lake and plenty of activities for all campers to enjoy.
Mississippi is often referred to as “The Hospitality State” and with so many great parks to choose from we can see why! If you haven’t visited Mississippi in your RV, you will definitely want to add this state to your travel plans. With awesome parks, fantastic food, and friendly people, you are sure to make some marvelous memories in Mississippi!