Paul B. Johnson State Park is one of those small state parks created for family outings and fishing. The park is built around a medium-sized man-made lake about fifteen miles south of Hattiesburg (on Hwy 49). It has the usual stuff that one finds at these recreational state parks. They include a short nature trail, picnic tables, a campground, cabins, a disc golf course, access to the lake, and a playground.
The nature trail is 1.5 miles long and is nice but not spectacular. The trail winds through a wood of mostly pine trees. Wooden walkways span low places where the ground is marshy, and two small observation towers have been built near the beginning of the trail. These wooden structures all appear to be the same age, and several of them have signs stating that they were built by the Y.C.C. in 1979. A few boards have been replaced since that time, but many appear to be original. I weigh 260 lbs, and some of the tower boards felt a little too unstable under me. The towers didn't give views of anything in particular. Walking in the woods was nice, but the trail is close enough to Hwy 49 that I could hear traffic most of the time. In a few places, I could see the road clearly. I've added a picture with a pretty typical view. Some spots have bigger trees, but this is the trail.
I didn't go into the campground, but I drove past the cabins, and they looked pretty nice. They were brick construction and had a back porch with a view of the lake.
The lake didn't appear to be big, but it seemed big enough for a nice day of paddling in a kayak. The fee for paddling is $8 a day. They also rent canoes, but I don't remember the price.
I wouldn't make a special trip to see this park, but it was a nice place to spend an hour or two. It would be a good place for day of kayaking or canoeing on the lake and probably a good place for a picnic.
I was in Laurel for a baseball tournament and fell in love with the place. Unfortunately, I was only here for a couple of days, but was still enchanted by the hospitality of the place.
The brick streets of the downtown area were charming...made me wish that I were exploring the area on my bicycle instead of on my crutches. :-( Every little backroad seemed to call me to explore it.
The town was named for the mountain laurel that grew in the piney woods, but it is rarely found in the wild anymore because of the lumber industry that cut all the trees (back in the day when they didn't replant them). Today there are more trees than ever in Laurel, and the place couldn't be more verdant. I still didn't see any laurel bushes, but perhaps I was there when they weren't blooming.
I spent more time in Ellisville, 7 miles south of Laurel, but I plan to take a closer look at Laurel next time.
Laurel was the hometown of Leontyne Price and W.H. Mason, the inventor of masonite.
Probably the only type of person who visits this area in northeastern Mississippi is a "highpointer", one who tries to get to the highest natural elevation of each state. This hill happens to be the highpoint of Mississippi and is found in the town of Iuka not far from the Alabama border. There is not really much to see as the hill is wooded and there are radio towers on it. There is a marker in a roundabout indicating the highest point as well as a picnic table. The hill itself is just out of town.
One interesting thing to note is that the hill was the site of a Civil War battle. the union armies placed cannons on the "mountain" to help achieve a tactical advantage in the battle of Iuka. This is the only highpoint in the 50 states to be directly involved in a battle.
The Mississippi River played a vital role in the Civil War. Vicksburg was a major gateway for control of this mighty river, which is why this battle is so significant. This is the view from a bluff in Vicksburg National Military Park that overlooks the Mississippi.
Vicksburg, MS, is often referred to as the "Gettysburg of the South" because a major battle that turned the course of the Civil War was fought here for control of the Mississippi river. The tour is a driving tour, with many different statues and monuments to the different regiments from the individual states. It humbles you to think that so many people died for such a cause.
Tunica Hills (Clark Creek Natural Area)
Click here for Tunica Hills Travelogue
There is a big swimstore in the stretch where you can get gifts of any kind and also lots of swimsuits. I forget the name but it has a Huge shark coming out of the building.. like a fibreglass one... that place is pretty cool. I bought a nice bikini there. Then when you get your swimsuit you can walk down to the beach :)
While traveling in Mississippi you must at least once go along Natchez Trace Parkway. Actually it goes from Louisiana but crosses all Mississippi. It is very scenic highway. Be careful not to break your neck driving there, the nature there indeed is beautiful! The only thing is that speed limit is only 50 mph and there are cops watching for the violators. But who said you have to cover all of it? Drive aside, to the normal highway and speed as much as you want. Besides that the parkway is realy-really long and contains lots of campsites, waterfalls, trails and other very interesting things. So I recommend...
To become a member we had to be very drunk, get naked, run down a wooded path, then jump into the cold November water of Red Creek. YYEEEEEEEHHHAAAA!!!!!!
In Mississippi, you really should enjoy a visit to an antebellum home, which now have been mostly turned into bed and breakfasts.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE TRAP DOOR TO THE TOWER'S VIEWING PLATFORM WAS LOCKED. THIS WAS AS HIGH AS I WAS GOING TO GET!
THE HIGH POINT IS WOODALL MT...ELEVATION IS 806 FEET...THERE IS A TOWER AT THE TOP...NO HIKING INVOLVED.
We stopped by here on our last trip 12/12 and had a tour of the place---lots of high end shops and a...more
Big room with a good bed, clean bathroom, quiet room, fast Wifi in the room, good Airconditioning...more
This property, still known locally by its old name - The King Edward Hotel, is a beautiful, historic...more