Natural Beauty in Mississippi and Alabama
From the Gulf Coast to mountain streams and rivers, Mississippi and Alabama offer plenty of inspiring views. Get outside today and explore some of the beautiful natural gems around you.
Lose yourself in a woodland paradise at Mississippi’s Clark Creek Natural Area, located in Woodville. Steep hills throughout this 700-acre area give rise to nearly 50 waterfalls, 10 of which are more than 30 feet high – a rare sight in the Magnolia State. Test your endurance on the three-mile hiking trail and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Mississippi’s natural beauty. Keep your eyes open for wildlife including migrating birds that populate the area in the spring. Find more information about the Clark Creek Natural Area, including photographs of some of the waterfalls, at www.mdwfp.com/parks-destinations/ms-state-parks/clark-creek.aspx.
Enjoy a completely different view of Mississippi’s landscape from Horn Island, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Considered the jewel of the Mississippi barrier islands, Horn Island is beautiful in its unadulterated state; large sand dunes, swaying fields of sea oats, inland lagoons and tall pine trees make for a truly relaxing experience. Look for osprey nests in the trees and be on the lookout for other wildlife that call the island and its waters home like deer, rabbits, starfish and more. Join Horn Island Charters for an adventure to this pristine island where you can comb the beaches, float in the warm ocean waters and bird watch. You can even camp overnight under the stars. Plan your personalized experience at www.hornislandcharters.com.
Immerse yourself in Alabama’s beautiful vistas by taking a daytrip on any part of the Alabama Scenic River Trail. Considered the longest water trail in any state, at 631 miles, there is plenty to see from towering stone cliffs and wildlife preserves to secluded bayous and charming babbling creeks. The trail begins at the Georgia state line and ends at Fort Morgan, crossing nine lakes along the way. Some of the trail’s main waterways include the Alabama River, the Tennessee River and the Coosa River. Bring your kayak or canoe along for a day on the water, or take advantage of the many campsites for an overnight adventure. There are also numerous historic sites along the way including Fort Morgan, which was constructed in the early 1800s and played an important role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. You can download a complete brochure on the Alabama Scenic River Trail at www.alabama.travel/tours-and-trails/alabama-scenic-river-trail. Additional information is available at www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com.
Take some time to explore Alabama’s Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge and you might just catch a glimpse of some of the area’s rare species of birds including grasshopper sparrows, loggerhead shrikes, northern bobwhites and short-eared owls. Spanning more than 1,000 acres, the refuge comprises hardwood forests, grasslands and croplands and is named for Key Cave, which is located on the northern shore of Pickwick Lake. Visitors can walk or bike along the refuge’s 2.5 miles of trails and enjoy the quiet solitude of this picturesque area. Find out more about the refuge at www.fws.gov/keycave.
With spring quickly approaching, Mississippi and Alabama are bursting with natural beauty. Take some time to enjoy all there is to see throughout the region.