Recreational Trails along the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Material provided by Land Trust For The Mississippi Gulf Coast

Harrison County

Cedar Lake Island Nature Trail – Biloxi

Please call the Land Trust at 228-435-9191 to arrange for access to this property.

Cedar Lake Island played an important role in Mississippi’s economy in the 1920s, as the home of the Vinny logging community. The town dwindled when the sawmill closed. Ruins are visible onsite. The Land Trust has worked to preserve this piece of history in partnership with the Mississippi Heritage Trust. The 0.5-mile out-and-back trail (1-mile round trip) includes a boardwalk, scenic vistas of the Tchoutacabouffa River, and excellent birdwatching opportunities. Access is free but by appointment only, in order to help us prevent overuse and damage to fragile archaeological artifacts. We encourage school groups to contact us about educational field trip opportunities. The map below shows directions to the property from Exit 44 on I-10.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Enchanted Nature Trail – Pass Christian

Experience the wonder of nature through the interactive and educational Enchanted Nature Trail at Henderson Point. Designed with children in mind, the trail contains different interactive play stations including the marsh overlook, story circle, insect hotels, animal wood carvings and sign posts, and the vine tunnel.  Visitors are encouraged to create nature collages and fairy houses along the trail and in the story circle area.  A “fairy” house is situated near the story circle to provide storage for various items including paper and crayons for tree ring etchings, a variety of nature scavenger hunts, and other materials for schools and educational groups.

Future interactive stations will include a listening station and binoculars at the marsh overlook.  Other possibilities include a butterfly garden and berry picking.

Through multiple phases of development the Enchanted Nature Trail at Henderson Point (ENT) will evolve into a nature trail and activity center that engages the smallest of visitors through multi-sensory experiences based on art and ecology. This is a unique opportunity to create a place for children specifically that encourages creativity, curiosity, observation, and exploration of nature.

Please contact the office if your school or educational group would like to use the supplies.

The trail is located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and Fort Henry Road in Pass Christian, MS. Turn North onto Fort Henry Road from U.S. Highway 90 and you will see a driveway on your left that leads to the parking area.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Tchoutacabouffa Nature Park Trail – D’Iberville

The Land Trust believes in conserving and protecting outdoor areas for recreational use, including this nature park along the banks of the Tchoutacabouffa River in D’Iberville.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Jackson County

Shearwater Park – Ocean Springs

Shearwater Park—complete with benches, trees, and a walking path—is the perfect place for birdwatching and quiet contemplation surrounded by quintessential coastal scenery. The park abuts Ocean Springs’ Inner Harbor, where boats of all shapes, sizes, and colors bob gently in their berths. Squadrons of pelicans, shearwaters, and other shorebirds perch leisurely atop the wooden pylons that support the piers, taking flight or diving into the water as the mood strikes. Herons wade in the water, fishing for their dinner. Brilliant white egrets roost in the trees at the close of day: a breathtaking sight.

The park represents the resilience of the local community. Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in 2005, damaging the home that once stood on site. The City of Ocean Springs used grant funds to purchase the property, creating a public green space to provide enjoyment for visitors while buffering future storm surge, in partnership with the Land Trust. The Historic Ocean Springs Association also partnered in the park’s development, adding the John Blossman Memorial Garden. This fenced area includes benches and water fountains for both people and pets.

The City transferred ownership of the park to the Land Trust in 2015, ensuring the public’s ability to bask in the beauty of the Inner Harbor in perpetuity.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Twelve Oaks – Ocean Springs

Turn North onto Hanley Road from Bienville Boulevard. Turn left onto the gravel driveway where the paved road ends. Park outside the gate and walk-in. Look for an arrow-shaped trail marker on your left. Please keep to the trail, as the historic home onsite is used by our Artist-in-Residence Program and is not currently open to visitors.

Twelve Oaks is named for the numerous Live Oaks sprinkled among a spectacular setting of native plants and Old Fort Bayou. Many of the oaks are believed to be over 400 years old and they make a tremendous impression when one stands beneath their widespread canopy. The walking trail, with an observation deck, offers visitors hiking and birding opportunities. Habitats onsite include a mixed pine and oak forest with a mature canopy, a seepage slope forest, headwater bay swamps, and a large area of tidal marsh.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Weeks Bayou – Ocean Springs

The Land Trust conducted a restoration project at Weeks Bayou as part of a team effort aimed at improving water quality and providing students with an outdoor classroom. The site includes a mini-nature trail that showcases both wooded and estuarine landscapes.

We appreciate all our volunteers, funders, donors, and partners who helped make the restoration a success—especially the City of Ocean Springs, Climb CDC, Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Mississippi Power, Mississippi Habitat Stewards, the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Chevron, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Cypress Environmental Science and Engineering, 3 Point Eco-logical, LLC, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Southern Company.

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain

Hancock County

Scenic Byways

Courtesy: Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain