Description - Mississippi lies in the heart of the American deep south. It has an overwhelmingly rural population with the majority of people living in the southern half of the state.
Copyright: Mississippi State Parks
Lake Lowndes fishing
- Mississippi can be split into five travel regions that portray very distinct attractions. The northwest area of the state is largely covered with cotton fields. Most of the vegetation in the region was destroyed over a century ago to make room for the labor intensive crop. This region lies east of the Mississippi River and west of Interstate 55 and extends south to Vicksburg. It is an extremely poverty stricken, rural area. The southern portion of this region contains Delta National Forest, Hillside, Yazoo and Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuges and Vicksburg National Military Park.
The northeastern corner of Mississippi is dissected by the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic byway that follows a Native American Trail from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. The largest community in the region is Tupelo, which lies along the scenic parkway. This region of the state contains the southern Appalachian Mountains and several natural areas. Holly Springs National Forest lies north of the trace and Tombigbee National lies south of the highway.
Central Mississippi is most noted for Jackson, the state capital. Also within the region is the Bienville National Forest, which is divided by Interstate 20 between Meridian and Jackson. Agricultural lands dominate much of this region of the state.
The southwestern corner of the state contains the terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway in the community of Natchez. Tourists flock to this southern town to see the numerous restored mansions of the plantation era. The Homochitto National Forest lies in the center of this region, southeast of Natchez.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast supports the seafood industry as well as a variety of green areas. DeSoto National Forest is the largest National Forest in the state and includes 20 miles of the Black Creek Wild and Scenic River. Gulf Island National Seashore is located on the barrier islands off the Mississippi, and Florida, coast.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities in this state vary with the region. National Forest lands pervade the state with facilities for hiking, canoeing, camping and picnicking. The Gulf Coast region provides access to water-oriented sports such as, sea kayaking, swimming, fishing and boating.
Climate - Mississippi lies mainly in the subtropics. The climate is mild with the coldest months experiencing low temperatures near 40 degrees F. Summer temperatures frequently reach 100 degrees F, 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 hills region to be somewhat cooler than the rest of the state.
Mississippi is located in the southeastern United States bordering the Gulf of Mexico and lies between the states of Louisiana and Alabama.