Description - Mississippi's six National Forests form a majestic gateway to over one million acres of unspoiled timberland. Beyond the sights and sounds of civilization, a Forest visitor may wander through lush cypress swamps filled with insect-eating pitcher plants, centuries-old virgin pines and towering oaks, or blooming dogwood and giant magnolia trees. The National Park Service sites in Mississippi range from National Battlefields and an Historic Park, to a National Trail and a National Seashore.
- Mississippi's six National Forests include the Bienville, the Delta, the DeSoto, the Homochitto, the Holly Springs, and the Tombigbee. Within the Holly Springs are over 40 lakes constructed by the Soil Conservation Service. The lakes provide abundant recreational opportunities, especially warm water fishing from the banks or from small boats. The Delta National Forest covers one of the few hardwood forests remaining in the Mississippi Delta and the only bottomland hardwood National Forest in the nation. The Delta lies within the Mississippi Waterfowl Flyway and serves as an excellent place to watch the habits of migratory species of waterfowl. The De Soto which is mostly "pineywoods", covers a gently rolling terrain with stands of longleaf, slash and loblolly pine. The winding streams, unique to the Forest, form bottomlands that grow hardwood timber.
Mississippi's National Park Service sites include Brice's Cross and Tupelo National Battlefields, Natchez National Historic Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, and Gulf Islands National Seashore. Within the Gulf Coast National Seashore, there are sparkling blue waters, magnificent snowy-white beaches, fertile coastal marshes,19th century forts, shaded picnic areas, winding nature trails, and comfortable campgrounds. Brice's Cross and Tupelo National Battlefields, and Vicksburg National Military Park all commemorate the Civil War. Natchez National Historical Park celebrates the history of Natchez, Mississippi and interprets the pivotal role the city played in the settlement of the old southwest, the Cotton Kingdom, and the Antebellum South. The Natchez Trace Parkway generally follows the old Indian trace, or trail, between Nashville, Tenn., and Natchez, Miss. Sections of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail are found alongside the Natchez Trace Parkway near Natchez and Jackson, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Recreation - Secluded areas for hunting and camping, meandering streams for canoeing, placid lakes for swimming, boating, and fishing, and tree-lined trails for hiking or horseback riding are found on the six Forests. The recreation areas on the National Forests in Mississippi enable visitors to enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
Recreation activities on the Park Service sites in Mississippi is as varied as the sites themselves. They provide opportunities for walking, hiking, viewing historic sites, and picnicking. The Gulf Coast National Seashore offers more opportunities than the other sites, including camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, bird watching, walking, and historical sight-seeing at the forts.
Climate - Mississippi's winter climate is generally mild with the coldest months experiencing low temperatures near 40 degrees F. Summer temperatures frequently reach 100 degrees, with coastal breezes providing cooling relief. Humidity is highest in August and September, reaching an average close to 90%. The highest rainfall comes during the spring months, but December and January are wet, too. Expect temperatures in the northeastern region to be somewhat cooler than the rest of the state.
Mississippi's six National Forests and its National Park sites are dispersed over the entire state. A map is a available on each page describing an individual forest or activity within a forest.