Find history, recreation, and scenery in the Magnolia State of Mississippi.
Mississippi’s Gulf Coast might be the most well-known camping area in this Southern state, but excellent options can also be found further inland. Tour the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, find a patch of the Appalachian Mountains, or set up on lakeshores. Campers will find 25 state parks, numerous National Park Service units, recreation areas, and national forests, as well as deluxe RV parks and everything in between.
Some of the state’s most divine camping is found along the Gulf Coast. Gulf Islands National Seashore protects over 135,000 acres of the mainland and barrier islands in Mississippi and Florida. Hike amid the sand dunes, hit the waters in a boat or kayak, go deep-sea fishing, or explore wonders under the waters. Further inland, Clark Creek Nature Area is a fascinating landscape, with 700 acres of bluffs and pines. The National Park Service’s Davis Bayou Campground can accommodate tent and RV camping within the National Seashore. Private RV parks and glamping rentals can be found in beachside towns like Ocean Springs and Biloxi. Or, venture along the coast to find Gulfport and Bay St. Louis and more.
One way to explore the state is with a drive along the NPS’s Natchez Trace Parkway. Crossing three states, the bulk of the parkway runs diagonally across Mississippi along a 444-mile route paralleling the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. It offers a trek through time, following pathways formed by Native Americans, early European settlers, and more. The National Park Serve offers three first-come-first-served primitive campgrounds along the Natchez Trace. Campsites are free and can accommodate both tents and RVs. Plan a longer stop in Natchez, which has several private RV parks and glamping options, including Natchez State Park. This town overlooks the Mississippi River and offers a lot of character.
Northern Mississippi is home to the state’s mountains. They may not be as high as other peaks, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t scenic. This small section of the Appalachians is home to Tishomingo State Park, an unexpected land of ferns, waterfalls, and craggy bluffs. A wooded campground offers RV sites and primitive tent camping. Two grand lakes provide recreation and scenery. Sardis Lake is a popular camping area to the west, and Bay Springs Lake is a favorite in the east. The Army Corps of Engineers operates several waterfront campgrounds.
While some camping locations in Mississippi may require fees, there are options for free camping as well. The De Soto National Forest, for example, offers free dispersed camping in designated areas. Keep in mind that these free campsites usually have limited or no amenities, so come prepared for a more primitive camping experience.
You can explore more about camping in Mississippi, including free camping options, by visiting Hipcamp.
The cost of camping at Mississippi State Parks varies depending on the type of campsite and amenities provided. Tent camping sites typically range from $15 to $25 per night, while RV sites with hookups can range from $20 to $35 per night. Prices may be higher for sites with additional amenities such as water, electricity, and sewer hookups. To learn more about Mississippi State Parks and their camping fees, visit Hipcamp.
To reserve camping in Mississippi, you can visit the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) website, which allows you to make reservations for state parks. For other campgrounds, you can check their individual websites for reservation options. Additionally, you can learn about public parks and campgrounds in Mississippi on Hipcamp.
No, you cannot camp anywhere on the Mississippi River. However, there are numerous campgrounds and designated camping areas along the river, both in public parks and on private land. Some of these campgrounds offer riverfront camping, while others are located nearby. It's important to choose a designated camping area to ensure you're following local regulations and respecting the environment. You can find campgrounds on the Mississippi River near Jackson, Picayune, Vicksburg, and Lucedale.
Remember to always follow the rules and regulations of the specific campground or park where you're staying, and practice Leave No Trace principles to help protect the environment and ensure a great experience for future campers.