Embracing the Great Outdoors in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Beth Scharwath February 19, 2024

Nestled in the heart of Mississippi, Hattiesburg offers a remarkable array of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Whether you're a seasoned hiker, a waterpark enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Hattiesburg has something for everyone. In this article, we'll take you on a journey through the city's pristine natural gems, including its national forest, exhilarating waterparks, and the scenic Long Leaf Trail.

Hattiesburg's National Forest: A Natural Jewel

Hattiesburg's crowning jewel of natural beauty is the De Soto National Forest, encompassing over 500,000 acres of diverse ecosystems, rolling hills, and lush forests. Located just a stone's throw away from the city, this vast expanse of natural wonder offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking and Wildlife Observation

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the serenity of De Soto National Forest is by exploring its extensive network of hiking trails. These trails cater to hikers of all skill levels, from easy strolls to challenging backcountry hikes. The Longleaf Trace Trail, which we'll delve into later, is an excellent starting point for those seeking a leisurely walk amidst towering pine trees and native flora.

For wildlife enthusiasts, De Soto National Forest is a true paradise. The forest is home to a diverse range of species, including deer, bobcats, coyotes, and a variety of bird species. Birdwatchers will be thrilled to spot woodpeckers, owls, and even the elusive red-cockaded woodpecker, a federally endangered species that calls this forest home.

Camping and Picnicking

For those who want to extend their outdoor experience overnight, De Soto National Forest offers several campgrounds, each equipped with basic amenities and set amidst stunning natural surroundings. The Big Biloxi Recreation Area is a popular choice for campers, with its serene setting along the Biloxi River ideal for fishing and paddling.

If you prefer a more casual outdoor experience, you can enjoy a picnic at one of the forest's designated picnic areas. Picnicking with your loved ones amidst the tranquility of nature is an excellent way to create cherished memories.

Canoeing and Kayaking

The waterways within De Soto National Forest offer a unique opportunity to explore the region from a different perspective. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in the Black Creek, Bouie River, and Leaf River systems, providing both novice and experienced paddlers with a serene escape into the wilderness. Paddle through cypress-lined waterways under the shade of ancient trees, and watch the beauty of nature unfold around you.

Wet and Wild: Hattiesburg's Waterparks

When the Mississippi heat becomes too much to bear, Hattiesburg's waterparks are your answer for a refreshing and thrilling day out. Two prominent waterparks in the area, Flint Creek Water Park and Pep's Point Water Park, offer a wide range of aquatic fun for visitors of all ages.

Flint Creek Water Park

Located just 15 miles northeast of Hattiesburg, Flint Creek Water Park boasts a sprawling 600-acre lake, perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. The park offers picnic areas, a playground, and hiking trails for those who prefer to stay on dry land. However, the real highlight here is the water activities.

The lake is a popular spot for water skiing and tubing, providing adrenaline-pumping adventures. For a more leisurely experience, rent a paddleboat or a canoe to explore the lake at your own pace. Fishing enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to cast their lines, with the lake stocked with various fish species.

Pep's Point Water Park

Nestled amidst the natural beauty of South Mississippi, Pep's Point Water Park offers a delightful mix of water-based attractions and outdoor fun. The park is home to an impressive 25-acre lake, perfect for swimming and relaxing on sandy shores.

Pep's Point is also known for its exciting water activities. The park features a thrilling water slide, a splash pad for the little ones, and paddleboats for a leisurely ride on the lake. It's a fantastic destination for families seeking a day of aquatic adventure and relaxation.

Long Leaf Trace Trail: A Path to Serenity

Stretching over 40 miles through Hattiesburg and the surrounding area, the Long Leaf Trace Trail offers a serene and picturesque escape for walkers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts. Named after the longleaf pine trees that line its path, this scenic trail is a testament to Hattiesburg's commitment to preserving its natural beauty.

Cycling and Walking

The Long Leaf Trace Trail is a paradise for cyclists and walkers. The well-maintained trail provides a smooth, paved surface for easy riding and walking. As you journey along the trail, you'll encounter stunning landscapes, from pine forests to open fields and wetlands.

For those who prefer a leisurely walk, the trail's gentle gradients and serene surroundings make it a perfect choice for a relaxing stroll. The trail also includes several rest areas equipped with benches and picnic tables, where you can pause to take in the natural world's beauty.

Birdwatching and Photography

The Long Leaf Trace Trail is a haven for birdwatchers and photographers alike. As you traverse the trail, keep an eye out for the various bird species that call this area home, including red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, and the elusive painted bunting.

Photographers will find endless opportunities to capture the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that grace the trail. Sunrise and sunset shots, framed by the longleaf pines and the changing colors of the seasons, make for unforgettable photographs.

In Conclusion

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a city that embraces the great outdoors with open arms. From the pristine beauty of De Soto National Forest to the wet and wild adventures at Flint Creek Water Park and Pep's Point Water Park and the tranquil serenity of the Long Leaf Trace Trail, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming Southern city.

Whether you're seeking an adrenaline rush, a leisurely stroll through nature, or a peaceful day of picnicking and birdwatching, Hattiesburg has it all. So, pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and dive into the natural wonders of Hattiesburg, where outdoor adventures and unforgettable memories await.

If you're looking to buy or sell your home in Hattiesburg, there's no one better to guide you through the process than Beth Scharwath, your trusted Hattiesburg REALTOR®. With her expertise and dedication, Beth will make your real estate dreams a reality. Don't miss out on the opportunity to work with a true professional. Visit her website today at BethScharwath.com to get started on your real estate journey!

Let Me Work For You

Let's unlock the door to your dream home together! As your dedicated full-time real estate agent with Re/Max Real Estate Partners, I bring over 25 years of experience specializing in the Hattiesburg area market. Whether you're buying, selling, or investing, my expertise in sellers, new construction, listing homes, single-family residences, and cutting-edge online marketing ensures a seamless and rewarding experience. Let's connect today to make your real estate goals a reality!