Where to Camp in the Magnolia State
Mississippi is a state known for its rich history and careful preservation of the old southern culture and the memory of those who fought for the south during the Civil War. It is also known as the birthplace of blues music and the home of famous musicians, authors and public figures such as Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, William Faulkner, B.B. King and Jim Henson.
When visiting Mississippi, it’s not hard to understand where these famous artists got their inspiration. Its graceful hills, mighty trees and raging rivers make this state a natural beauty, perfect for spending some time in the great outdoors.
Here are our favorite places to camp in Mississippi.
1. Tishomingo State Park – Tishomingo
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Tishomingo State Park is steeped in history and scenic beauty. The famous Natchez Trace Parkway, the premier highway of the early 1800s and a modern scenic parkway, runs directly through the park. Today’s visitors to Tishomingo State Park discover the same timeless natural beauty that enchanted the Indians centuries ago. Tishomingo offers a unique landscape of massive rock formations and fern-filled crevices found nowhere else in Mississippi. Massive boulders blanketed in moss dot the hillsides, and colorful wildflowers border trails once walked by Native Americans. Learn more.
2. Puskus Lake Recreation Area – Oxford
The Puskus Lake Recreation Area is a lovely place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Holly Springs National Forest. Those looking for an alternative to crowded, concrete recreation areas will delight in Puskus Lake’s natural beauty and quiet setting. Its remote setting convenient to Oxford provides a perfect atmosphere for camping, fishing, hiking and relaxing. Learn more.
3. Natchez Trace Parkway – Tupelo
There are more than a dozen campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, three in the park, and many others just outside the park. The three Parkway campgrounds are free, primitive, and available on a first come, first serve basis. They do not offer electricity, showers, or dump stations. They are spread out along the Parkway: Rocky Springs (Milepost 54), Jeff Busby (Milepost 193.1) and Meriwether Lewis (Milepost 385). Many of the other campgrounds along the Parkway corridor offer electricity, showers, and dump stations. Learn more.
4. Buccaneer State Park – Waveland
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating storm in the history of the United States, came ashore. Winds of over 160 MPH and a tidal surge of nearly 30 feet completely destroyed all of Buccaneer State Park’s structures, waterpark and support facilities. The park has been under varying stages of reconstruction over the last eight years. The final phase of reconstruction was completed in November of 2013. Today, Buccaneer has been beautifully restored. Learn more.
5. Clear Springs Recreation Area – Meadville
The campground, adjacent to Clear Spring Lake, consists of two loops. One is along a ridge above the lake and the other is at lakeside. Most camp sites offer a delightful view and some are terraced. The pavilion located in the day-use area is the only indication left of its Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) origin. In general, the campground is beautifully manicured, picturesque and reflects “loving” care. One unusual feature is a bicycle shower located at the trailhead of Tally’s Trail. Learn more.
6. Arkabutla Lake – Hernanda
Located in both Tate and DeSoto counties in north Mississippi, Arkabutla Lake’s remote location is an ideal setting for a serene retreat. However, if you are looking for a vacation full of fun and excitement, don’t worry…Arkabutla is still the right destination for you! Located just 30 minutes from Memphis, TN and Tunica, MS, there is no limit to the fun awaiting you and your family. Learn more.
7. Davis Bayou Campground – Ocean Springs
The Davis Bayou Area is the only Mississippi area at Gulf Islands National Seashore accessible by car. The area offers many recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy including fishing, hiking, biking, birdwatching, picnicking, and ranger-led programs. There are no swimming beaches in the Davis Bayou Area. Learn more.
8. Piney Grove – New Site
The Piney Grove Campground is on Bay Springs Lake, along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in northeastern Mississippi. It’s ideal for families and groups of friends looking for lots of water recreation. Learn more.
9. Paul B. Johnson State Park – Hattiesburg
Located in the heart of Mississippi’s pine belt region, Paul B. Johnson is the gateway to a natural wonderland marked by majestic long-leaf and loblolly pines, delicate dogwoods and ancient oaks. The deep forests surrounding Paul B. Johnson State Park provide a picturesque setting for a variety of outdoor activities. Learn more.
10. Hugh White State Park – Grenada
Located on scenic Grenada Lake, Hugh White State Park offers the finest outdoor recreation amenities available, all nestled in a setting unmatched in natural beauty. Grenada Lake is best known as a haven for crappie fishermen, but is also well-stocked with bass, bream and catfish. Hugh White State Park is centrally located between Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in Mississippi that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.
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