Tishomingo State Park is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, north of Tupelo, Mississippi. Activities in the park including canoeing, rock climbing, fishing and hiking.
The park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. Many of the original buildings are still standing. The park is named for an early leader of the Chickasaw nation, Chief Tishomingo.
The Natchez Trace Parkway, the main highway of the early 19th century, now a modern scenic parkway, runs directly through the park. Tishomingo’s landscape of massive rock formations and fern-filled crevices is found nowhere else in Mississippi. Massive moss-covered boulders dot the hillsides, and colorful wildflowers border old Indian trails. Archaeological excavations suggest the presence of Paleo Indians in the area of the park as early as 7000 B.C.
The park has a 13-mile long trail system ranging from short and scenic loops to a six-mile long trek that follows Bear Creek as it wanders through the park. The 3.5-mile Bear Creek Outcropping Trail is probably the most spectacular trek you can take. The trail starts at another distinctive feature of Tishomingo, a 200 foot long swinging bridge that passes over boulder-strewn Bear Creek. After crossing the bridge the trail passes by a series of cliffs, outcroppings and overhangs, including 60 foot Jean’s Overhang, the largest in the park. The area is extremely popular for rock climbing and bouldering. A free permit can be obtained at the parks office. Helmets and other safety equipment are required at all times.
From the swimming pool you can hike two miles through hardwoods and mountain laurel along Bear Creek to 45-acre manmade Haynes Lake. Swimming isn’t allowed (you wouldn’t want to anyway), but a concessionary rents a limited number of canoes, rowboats, paddleboats and bicycles. The lake is well stock by the state of Mississippi and offers plenty of opportunity to catch catfish, crappie, bream and smallmouth bass. If you don’t care to rent a boat you can always fish from the lengthy dock that twists its way into the lake. A boat ramp offers public access and gasoline engines up to 10 horsepower are allowed.
The trip starts eight miles north of park headquarters. Visitors can enjoy a three-hour lazy paddle through quiet forest along the placid waters of Bear Creek. Class I riffles make things interesting and rope swings along the way allow you to crash into one of several natural pools along Bear Creek. Visitors should be ready to assist with put in and pull out of canoes and should be in shape to handle the eight-mile long trip.
Tishomingo has a 62-site campground located along the shores of Haynes Lake. Recreational vehicles up to 32 feet can be accommodated. The modern heavily wooded sites include paved pads, water and electrical hookups, picnic tables and a fire ring. A dump station, flush toilets, and showers are also available. There are additional accommodations for tent camping adjacent to the RV park.