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Mississippi State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
DeSoto National Forest
Mockingbird ©
Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
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The De Soto is characterized by gently rolling terrain covered by southern pine ridges and hardwood bottoms with clear, tea-colored streams meandering throughout the forest.

At 378,538 acres, the De Soto Ranger District is the largest district in Mississippi and is within easy driving distance of the coastal areas and Hattiesburg. Year-round recreation opportunities abound for the hiker, bicyclist, camper, canoeist, ATV rider, horse enthusiast, hunter and fisherman. Vast expanses of national forest lands are perfect settings for bird watching and rejuvenating the spirit. There are picnic facilities, group shelters, and scenic surroundings for church socials, organizational events, and family reunions.

Visitors who seek solitude will be able to find it within one of the De Soto?s two wilderness areas, the Black Creek or Leaf. Black Creek, Mississippi?s only National Scenic River, is famous for its wide, white sandbars and relaxed floating pace. 170 miles of trails on the De Soto are available for hikers, ATV riders, mountain bike riders, and horse riders. Black Creek Trail and the Tuxachanie Trail, two National Recreation Trails located on the De Soto Ranger District, offer over 60 miles for hikers to explore the piney woods. Other trails on the De Soto include Bethel and Rattlesnake Bay ATV trails, Big Foot horse trail, Leaf hiking trail, and Bethel bicycle trail.

The nature observer may delight in experiencing the varied ecosystems found on the De Soto, from dry, sandy longleaf pine/scrub oak ridges to frequently flooded tupelo/bald cypress swamps, and from the steep upland hardwood forest of Ragland Hills to the vast pitcher plant savanna at Buttercup Flats.

DeSoto National Forest is located near Hattiesburg, Wiggins

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 22 Bethel Trail needs work. by RFoster
park review stars; one to five On July 21st 2020 I arrived after a two hour drive expecting a GREAT trail ride only to find that most of the trails were blocked by down trees and overgrown with vegetation. The staging/picnic area was overgrown and neglected. If cleaned up, this will continue to be a great place to ride.
May 17 Concerning Alcohol
park review stars; one to five I thought I would clear up the question of alcohol in DeSoto National Forest. First you must understand that the National Forest is regulated by the US Forest Service and there are no prohibitions on alcohol. National parks WITHIN the forest, on the other hand, are regulated by the National Park Service and in the parks alcohol is prohibited. So, while there are no alcohol prohibitions in DeSoto National Forest, if you are visiting one of the public parks maintained by the National Park Service you must adhere to their prohibition.
November 21 beware
park review stars; one to five Just finished an overnight backpack hiking trip....returned to my car and had back window bashed out....multiple campers in the campground at fairly bridge landing heard and saw nothing....yeah right....the trails are not worth hiking considering the cost of replacing your to find other trails...
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Mississippi State Parks