Last Updated on May 6, 2023

Tishomingo State Park 45 miles north and east of Tupelo left a lasting impression on my heart. It both surprised and captivated me. Stepping onto the trails, stunning vistas unfolded before me. Forests of cedar, oak, hickory, beech and pine enveloped me with their aromatic foliage.

Walking further, I was greeted by cascading falls and vibrant wildflowers scattered throughout the deep woods. Rugged limestone bluffs towered overhead, adding a dramatic touch to this mesmerizing landscape.

Tishomingo State Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream – perfect for hikers, nature lovers, RV’ers, campers, birders or photographers looking for exceptional scenery to capture.

Tishomingo Park

This gem, located in the far northeast corner of Mississippi, has a rich history dating to prehistoric times. The park covers more than 1,500 acres, offering visitors plenty of space to explore and enjoy activities including canoeing and rock climbing. 

Nestled among the dense foliage and rock formations, there are attractions that make this park truly outstanding. From the incredible Swinging Bridge spanning Bear Creek to the caves used by the Chickasaw Indian Tribe for countless years, Tishomingo State Park is a place of wonder and discovery.

Delving deeper still, verdant rolling hills stretched before me, inviting me in.

Streams throughout the park are dotted with moss-covered rocks, creating the perfect place to sit and listen to the melodious trickle of flowing water.

Tranquil Haynes Lake in the distance sets the scene for a peaceful picnic or relaxing boat ride. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty rejuvenates me, and I was grateful for the opportunity to explore this stunning park.

Tishomingo Hiking Trails

Swinging bridge Tishomingo State Park.
Swinging bridge Tishomingo State Park. Photo by John Goodrow

The Outcroppings Trail, also known as Trail #7, is my favorite hiking trail in the park. The trailhead begins and ends at the Swinging Bridge.

Built in 1939, the Swinging Bridge is a 200-foot-long narrow wooden span supported by heavy metal suspension cables in a zig-zag pattern. This suspension bridge is not for the faint of heart, as it sways and bobs with each step, but the surge of adrenaline when the bridge creaks is balanced by the stunning views of the park’s natural beauty.

The anchoring arched brick structures at either end of the bridge have withstood the tests of time.

On my first trek across, I thought the bridge’s wooden boards appeared dauntingly worn and rough, but I forged on ahead anyway to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Bear Creek. I heard the sounds of rushing water underneath those well-worn slats. Believe me, crossing that bridge is an experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Swinging Bridge is a marker to end the CCC Camp Trail and the starting point for the Outcroppings Trail. It leads to a marked trail along stunning rock outcroppings and lush greenery. The trail’s elevation changes and its diverse terrain made it a challenging, but rewarding hike.

The highlight of Outcroppings Trail is the breathtaking panorama of the Bear Creek Valley. That is after viewing a spectacular waterfall and ancient cave outcroppings at the peak of the climb.

The Bear Creek view near the end of the hike is a perfect spot to take a break and soak in the tranquility of the surrounding nature. The hike, although moderately challenging, has easy-to-follow markings throughout.

There are six other hiking trails available for your enjoyment: Flat Rock Trail (3 miles long), Saddleback Ridge Trail (3/4 mile long), Natchez Trace Trail (2 miles long), CCC Pond Trail (3/4 mile long), CCC Camp Trail (3 miles long) and the Bear Creek Trail (1 ½ miles long). 

Other Activities at Tishomingo State Park 

Wandering through the idyllic Tishomingo State Park, I was struck by how much it had to offer – other places and experiences you won’t want to miss.

If you’re a history buff, the pioneer cabin built in the 1840s showcases life for early settlers in Mississippi. Earlier than the family of Elvis Presley whose birthplace home is in Tupelo.

Tishomingo State Park has excellent fishing opportunities. A required fishing license can be purchased at the park office.

For those more interested in observing the local flora, there are plenty of nature walks where you can get up close and personal with this stunning landscape.

Tishomingo State Park Camping

As an outdoors enthusiast, I was impressed by the amenities offered at this park. Whether you prefer to rough it in a tent or enjoy the creature comforts of an RV, there’s a camping option here to suit every preference.

For those wanting to take their camping experience to the next level, choose the rustic cabins. As for me, I love the challenge of primitive camping, and I appreciate the opportunity to connect with nature. Whatever your specific camping preference, this park has you covered.

Primitive Tents at Tishomingo State Park

For those who enjoy primitive camping, Tishomingo State Park offers 14 tent sites for your outdoor adventure. Some are in the heavily wooded area, others are adjacent to Haynes Lake, with restrooms and shower facilities nearby.

For tent-only sites, the prices start at $17 per night.

Safari-Style Tents at Tishomingo State Park

Safari style tents at Tishomingo State Park.
Safari style tents at Tishomingo State Park. Photo by John Goodrow

No tent? No problem.

Tishomingo State Park offers six safari-style tents for daily rentals. If you want to camp, but not deal with the hassle of setting up yourself, come and enjoy a peaceful fire by the lake.

These spacious and modern tents have Adirondack chairs and a grill with lake views. You can purchase wood at the park office to keep your campfire going.

With furnished tents, you don’t have to worry about anything – just show up and enjoy the outdoors. Prices start at $75 per night.

RV Sites for Camping at Tishomingo State Park

For those who seek a bit more luxury, bring your RV to Tishomingo State Park. These spacious lots come with electricity and water, making it easy to power up and clean up after your stay.

In addition, there are picnic tables for outdoor dining and a playground for the kids. There are 62 pads for RVers, with 52 providing a 50-amp connection. Pets are welcome.

CCC Rustic Cabins at Tishomingo State Park

The six rustic CCC cabins at Tishomingo State Park date back to the 1930s and provide a unique glimpse into Mississippi’s past. Each CCC cabin comes with a fully furnished kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. Screened patios are great for relaxing, and each unit has a grill and picnic table outside.

These basic stone and wood cabins wear the CCC label as they were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression. The CCC was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 5, 1933 as relief for the massive unemployment of young men and it accomplished many state and national park improvements and construction projects across the country.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit

Preparing for outdoor adventure is essential when planning a trip to Tishomingo State Park. First and foremost, a packing list is crucial. I recommend sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.

Safety is also a top priority when exploring the park’s stunning natural beauty. Familiarize yourself with the park’s rules and regulations and never wander off-trail or disturb the wildlife.

No matter what form of lodging you choose, taking a break from Wi-Fi and cellular service will allow you to truly appreciate all of nature’s bounty that Tishomingo State Park offers. 

During my trip to Tishomingo State Park, the park’s stunning natural beauty blew me away. There were towering trees, babbling brooks, and breathtaking views. The park was the perfect escape from my daily routine, allowing me to slow down and take in the serenity of Mother Nature. The Park was the ideal place to get in touch with nature and leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If You Go

Stream during hike on Trail 7.
Stream during hike on Trail 7. Photo by Gwyn Goodrow

The nearest international airports to this area are in Memphis, Tennessee (130 miles west) and Huntsville, Alabama (110 miles east). From either Memphis or Huntsville, the easiest route is U.S 72 heading south on State Highway 25 located just south of Iuka, Mississippi.

The park entrance is approximately two miles south of Tishomingo, Mississippi on State Highway 25. For travelers on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, exit at Milepost 304.

Again, Tueplo is not far away, neither is Muscle Shoals, Alabama, about 40 miles west.

Author

  • John Goodrow

    John Goodrow is a retired U.S. Navy veteran and former computer technician turned freelance travel writer and photographer. With a unique perspective on travel, he shares his experiences through captivating storytelling and stunning visuals.