By Kevin Tate
If your freezer’s full of game and you find it still too cold to fish, a walk in the woods can be a great way to take advantage of a clear, cool, sunny day, and Tishomingo State Park has just the ticket.
The site of one of the last obvious toes of the southern foothills on the Appalachian mountain chain, the park offers a surprising mix of landscapes with hills and hollows reminiscent of the Smokies and very different from nearly everything else in the state.
Sandstone canyons and rocky bluffs are set alongside Bear Creek, a tributary whose size and volume would qualify it as a major river out West. Between, the park includes seven distinct, well-maintained and marked trails that combine in increments for more than a dozen miles of easily-explored wandering.
The trails are all either easy or moderate in difficulty and none are more than three miles long, though some may be easily combined into a single hike. In no case are the trailheads more than a short drive’s distance one from another.
On the trail
Trail maps can be found online and are available free at the park, which charges a $3 entry fee for each vehicle containing up to six people. Every occupant beyond six adds 50 cents to the price.
Walking terrain in the park varies from level bottomland to timbered hillside steps to broken rock and shallow stream crossings. Standard hiking boots with good socks should be the only equipment necessary, though some might find a hiking stick welcome in places. A canteen or water bottle and, this time of year, a spare jacket would all be a plus, but none of the trails wander too far from civilization so you should be able to carry as much or as little as you like and do well either way.
The park welcomes dogs on leashes, and the trails are clearly marked in both directions with painted blazes.
Tishomingo State Park is roughly 45 miles from Tupelo, 25 miles from Booneville, 30 miles from Fulton, 14 miles from Iuka and 36 miles from Corinth. It’s south of Highway 30, not far from the intersection of Highway 25 and the Natchez Trace Parkway. For more information, contact the park office at 438-6914 or email Tishomingo@mdwfp.state.ms.us.