One With Nature | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

One With Nature

Jackson may be a mid-sized city, but it has one thing going for it due to its land size: lots of green space in the city and metro area. Here are a few walking trails that allow you to commune with nature while getting some exercise in.

LeFleur's Bluff State Park (3315 Lakeland Terrace)

Want to do some hiking? Try out LeFleur's Bluff, which has about 305 acres of 
lake and forests.

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive , 601-576-6000)

Yes, you can learn about nature in Mississippi through the exhibits at MMNS, but did you know that you can also learn by using the walking trails? The museum has trails of different levels designated by colors. The Old Pond Trail, the yellow one, is .16 miles and mostly paved with sections of boardwalk-type decking. The hardest is purple, the Pearl River Trail, a one-way .81-mile trail that connects the upper trails to Mayes Lake. This one may be closed during periods of high water. Keep in mind that to use the trails, you have to pay museum admission, and the museum closes at 5 p.m. each day.

Ridgeland Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail (Natchez Trace Parkway, mileposts 101-103, Ridgeland)

This trail, which parallels the path between Highland Colony Parkway and Harbor Drive, has lots of greenery, animals, plants and more. At some point, you'll find the Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail.

Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail (Natchez Trace Parkway, mileposts 105.6-100.7)

Travel 10 miles through lots of foliage on the Natchez Trace. Some places of note on the trail include Choctaw Agency (milepost 100.7) and the Reservoir Outlook (milepost 105.6), a popular destination for Pokemon Go fans.

Clinton Community Nature Center (617 Dunton Road, Clinton)

The nature center features 2.1 miles of shaded walking trails, an amphitheater, native plants, wildlife and more.

Mississippi River Basin Model (Buddy Butts Park, 6615 McRaven Road)

This one involves a bit of adventuring. The model is located in Buddy Butts Park next to the soccer fields. The first sign that you've found it is a giant rusty water tower. It's a bit overgrown, but don't let that stop you. Just be aware of any spiders or creatures that may be lurking. The model itself is a little bit of a walking distance, but once you get there, you can wander among the different river control structures. I recommend bringing friends. For those who want to traverse normal trails, the park has those as well.

Mississippi Petrified Forest (124 Forest Park Road, Flora, 601-879-8189)

This trail is particularly short, but with all the petrified trees, it's full of Mississippi's prehistory. When you're done, you can check out the gift shop, gem-mining flume, pavilion and more.

Flowood Nature Park (4077 Flowood Drive, Flowood)

This 40-acre park is home to paved trails that lead you through woods and across ponds.

Jackson neighborhoods

Here's the neat thing about living in a city: You don't have to necessarily search for a proper walking trail. You can make one right here in Jackson. Of course, keep in mind that you should frequent an area that has easily accessible sidewalks and also make sure you're being safe and smart.

This list is not complete. See and add more at jfp.ms/naturetrails2019.

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