Paddle Your Way to Your True South
As a natural paradise of true wilderness and adventure, Mississippi has many rivals and few equals. A great many waterways meander through the state’s towering trees to serve as water-filled roads to excitement or relaxation, whichever you prefer. Thanks to its temperate climate, canoeing and kayaking in Mississippi are possible nearly year round throughout its many parks and forestlands.
Nestled right along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park encompasses the Gulf of Mexico and barrier islands off the coasts of both Mississippi and Florida and offers beautiful scenic beaches that await any intrepid kayaker willing to test their mettle against the Gulf waters. Simply head out from Ocean Springs and paddle your way to one of the most beautiful parts of the state while you experience the peaceful ocean kayaking in Mississippi that the Coast has to offer.
Within the DeSoto National Forest, also near the Mississippi Gulf Coast, winds the Black Creek Wilderness Trail, which includes a canoeing trail that wanders peacefully through the thousands of acres that make up the ancient national forest. This scenic foray is a true measure of Mississippi’s natural beauty—sliding past high bluffs, grand old cypress trees and a true abundance of wildlife.
The largest lake in Mississippi, Grenada Lake, is one of four flood control lakes constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning in 1957 as a direct response to the great flood of 1927 nearly three decades earlier. The lake encompasses nearly 100,000 acres and is home to water sports of every kind. Although mainly a haven for fishing and motorized watercraft, canoes and kayaks are welcome and can provide a scenic tour of the surrounding Hugh White State Park.
Near the heart of the state and straddling Rankin and Madison counties, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is a 33,000-acre man-made lake fed by the Pearl River. Curled next to the Natchez Trace just outside of the state capital of Jackson, the lake began its life in 1960 and today offers the Jackson area access to a vast body of water, whether by boat, jet ski or canoe.
Of course these are just a few examples of what you’ll find when it comes to canoeing and kayaking in Mississippi. With the state’s many rivers, creeks and lakes, there are ample opportunities to experience the Magnolia State from a unique perspective. So grab a paddle, slip on a life preserver and slide onto the water for the adventure of a lifetime.