What Are Mississippi's Natural Wonders?

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Natives and visitors of Mississippi alike will find numerous natural wonders that capture the majestic beauty within the state. Natural wonders such as the Petrified Forest, the Gulf Islands, Tishomingo State Park and, of course, the famous Mississippi River will awe young and old alike with their ancient grandeur as well as the wide variety of wildlife these areas house.

Mississippi Petrified Forest

  • The Mississippi Petrified Forest of Flora, Miss., contains rock-like remains of ancient gigantic trees up to 15 feet in girth and more than 100 feet tall. You can walk the nature trail, which highlights many of the notable petrified logs found within the forest. You may want to take a picture on the famous petrified log referred to as caveman’s bench. The Petrified Forest offers an Earth Science Museum that includes petrified wood samples from across the country and around the globe. The museum displays samples of animal fossils, dinosaur footprints and even a complete camel cast. Nature lovers can camp out in their RVs or tents with restrooms, electricity and showers available. Gem and stone collectors should purchase a “flume bag” and learn firsthand how miners found rare gems.

    Mississippi Petrified Forest
    Petrified Forest Road
    Flora, MS 39071
    601-879-8189
    info@mspetrifiedforest.com
    mspetrifiedforest.com

Tishomingo State Park

  • Located at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains in Tishomingo, Miss., visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in this state park. Water activities available include fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing and boating on Bear Creek. Tishomingo offers cabins, RV hookups and tent camping space alike complete with restroom facilities as well as laundry. You can see various wildlife hiking on the various Appalachian foothills, rock climb or try out its 13-mile nature trail. For those who prefer less of the outdoors Tishomingo offers a swimming pool, playground, picnic area as well as its own museum on site.

    Tishomingo State Park
    105 County Road 90
    Tishomingo, MS 38873
    662-438-6914
    mdwfp.com

Gulf Islands/National Seashore

  • The National Parks Service boasts of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which serves as the home of America's largest seashore. Mississippi shares this area with Florida. The National Parks Service describes that the Gulf Islands contain "sparkling blue waters, magnificent snowy-white beaches, fertile coastal marshes, and beautiful winding nature trails." The ecosystem of the Gulf Islands supports marine, plant and animal life in the numerous fresh water marshes. John Q. Adams made this area America's first tree farm in 1828 by supporting the cultivation of oak trees to create early naval vessels. Numerous military bases line the area, so history buffs can tour these sites along the seashore. As this area expands across two states, there are multiple areas to visit; one of the more common areas is located in Ocean Springs Miss.

    Gulf Islands National Seashore
    3500 Park Road
    Ocean Springs, MS 39564
    228-875-9057
    nps.gov

Mississippi River--Tunica River Park

  • The mighty Mississippi River extends from Minnesota all the way down to Louisiana and Mississippi where the river empties into the Gulf Coast of Mexico. For those who wish to travel the entire length of the Mississippi, the Mississippi River Parkway Commission provides a comprehensive list of all the interpretive centers and cities that line the great river. Mississippi cities along the river include Tunica/Robinsonville, Clarksdale, Rosedale, Greenville, Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Lorman, Fayette, Natchez and Woodville. Cyclists can travel the 3,000-plus-mile Mississippi River Trail as well as explore the surrounding areas.

    Tunica River Park in particular offers a museum, river cruises and an ecotrail tour of the wetlands for visitors to the Mississippi River.

    Tunica County River Park
    Riverpark Drive
    Tunica, MS 38664
    662-357-0050
    tunicariverpark.com

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  • Photo Credit upper mississippi river - sauk rapids image by Brenton W Cooper from Fotolia.com
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