There are nine gorgeous national park services in Mississippi. The state isn’t home to any National Parks, but it does have two National Battlefields, National Seashore and National Monument. It is also home to a National Historical Park, two National Military Parks, Parkway, and a National Scenic Trail. As you can see, it is a great place to visit for those who love history, hiking and having fun on the water. Ready to embrace the magnificence of the Magnolia State? If so, here are the best national parks in Mississippi.
7 of the Best National Parks in Mississippi
1. Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, fought from the 29th of March to the 4th of July 1863. This National Military Park also commemorates the greater Vicksburg Campaign which led up to the battle. Over 1,400 monuments and memorials dot the landscape with each one honouring the veterans of the siege.
2. Shiloh National Military Park
One of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War took place at the Shiloh National Military Park with 23,000 casualties in just two days. This was more casualties than in all of America’s previous wars combined. On a visit to this park, you can explore both the Shiloh and Corinth battlefields and learn about the impact this war had on the soldiers and on the United States. If you are into things that go bump in the night, you’ll love this park as rumour has it, it is haunted. Visitors claim to have seen ponds turn blood red and soldiers running in the night. Listen closely and you might just be able to catch the sound of drums and muskets making their way toward you.
3. Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway recreational road and scenic drive takes you through three states: Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. This breathtaking 444-mile road trip roughly follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. Along the way, you can soak in the natural landscapes including the mystery mounds in Mississippi, the waterfalls in Tennessee, and the cypress parks in Tennessee. You can also explore and enjoy the parkway via hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.
4. Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is five sections of hiking trail running roughly parallel to the 444-mile long Natchez Trace Parkway. There are more than 60 miles of trails which take you through some stunning scenery, for instance, wetlands, swamps, and hardwood forest. Along the way, you’ll also learn more about the history of the area. North of Jackson in Mississippi the Yockanookany Section totalling 26 miles is the longest of the five developed trails. The Rocky Springs Section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is a little over 6 miles long and located near Port Gibson in Mississippi. The Blackland Prairie Section is six miles in length and it is located near Tupelo in Mississippi.
5. Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches for 160 miles. It spans the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi and Florida and includes different habitats. For instance, barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitats. Millions of visitors come to this National Seashore because the lure of the emerald coast waters, magnificent white beaches, fertile marshes and historical landscapes is simply irresistible. There are many activities for all ages to take advantage of in Gulf Islands, for instance, birdwatching, star gazing, camping, hiking and sailing.
6. Tupelo National Battlefield
Between the morning of the 14th of July 14 and the evening of the 15th of July 1864, more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought at the site of the Tupelo National Battlefield. A granite monument commemorates the men who fought at the Battle of Tupelo, also known as the Battle of Harrisburg. There are also lots of sites of significance which you can visit throughout the area.
7. Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument preserves the home of African-American civil rights activist Medgar Evers. In June 1963, Medgar Evers was assassinated in the carport of the home that he shared with his wife Myrlie. His was the first murder of a nationally significant leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. As a result, this murder became a catalyst for the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.