"Mississippi: Desoto National Forest" United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by Stephen-KarenConn

  Sunrise over Turkey Fork Lake, Desoto Natl. Forest
by Stephen-KarenConn

Desoto is the southernmost and largest of Mississippi's four National Forests. East of Hattiesburg and north of the Gulf of Mexico, Desoto contains 378,538 acres of gently rolling terrain with longleaf pine ridges and hardwood bottoms, as well as frequently flooded tupelo/bald-cypress swamps. The mild climate here in the deep south means year-round opportunities for hiking, camping, canoeing, bicycling, fishing, and more. I was camping in Desoto National Forest at Turkey Run Campground in December when I took the accompanying photo.

For the person who really wants to get off-the-beaten-path there are two wilderness areas in the forest: Black Creek and Leaf. Black Creek is also the only National Scenic River in Mississippi and is noted for its wide sand bars and leisurely float trips. The clean water is clear but tea-colored by tannin from the surrounding forest. There are 170 miles of hiking trails in the Desoto district, including two National Recreation Trails: Black Creek Trail and Tuxachanie Trail.

Location:In southern Mississippi, east of Hattiesburg and north of Gulfport.

U.S. Forest Service
654 West Frontage Road
Wiggins, MS 39577

Phone: 1-601-928-4422
Website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/mississippi/desoto

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 23, 2004
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