Trip Date 04/17/2019
Posted On 06/24/2019 16:44:08
Camping | Mississippi | Tishomingo | Mississippi Campgrounds | Campgrounds in Northern Mississippi | Hiking at Tishomingo State Park | Mississippi State Parks
In our nearly two years of being RV owners, we have spent time camping in RV parks as well as national and state parks, Corps of Engineers facilities and more. All things considered (price, on-site amenities, personal space, recreational options, etc.), there are pluses and minuses to each. Of the public and private campgrounds at which we have camped in nine states up to this point, the State Parks in Texas often rank as our favorites.
Tishomingo State Park, located in the city of Tishomingo, was our first camping experience at one of the Mississippi State Parks. If this park is any indication of the other Mississippi campgrounds, it won't be our last! The spacious campsites, tall trees, beautiful scenery and great hikes are all just as awesome as at our previous favorite parks.
If you are in search of campgrounds in northern Mississippi, this post is one for you to read. Tishomingo State Park is a destination in itself - especially for those who are nature lovers. With many unique rock formations, structures courtesy of the CCC and more, the hiking at Tishomingo State Park is quite enjoyable. The campsites are spacious and the park is peaceful, yet there are many recreational activities available to keep both the young and not-so-young entertained!
Campground Amenities at Tishomingo State ParkChief Tishomingo, the leader of the Chickasaw nation, is the namesake of Tishomingo State Park which sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Located in northern Mississippi very near the Mississippi-Alabama state line, the park is a must visit for anyone who prefers campgrounds over RV Parks. In addition to 8 primitive campsites (no hook-ups), the park has 61 sites with both electric and water plus six rustic cabins and one more modern cottage.
In addition to sizable rock formations popular with climbers, the park has a lake and a creek as well as a number of still standing structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. When compared to many more modern roads and buildings, the quality of their work is quite amazing. (If only they had built the road which circles the chapel and leads into and out of the dump station! It was definitely in need of some maintenance work during our stay.)
There is a single dumpster located near the entrance to the camping area as well as firewood provided by Friends of Tishomingo State Park that is available for donations. Bathhouses at the park were clean and in working order. Each has toilet stalls, sinks and shower / changing rooms with shower curtains for privacy.
The campsites surround a part of Haynes Lake opposite the boat ramp. While the lake is available for fishing and boating, there is a seasonal swimming pool easily reached via car after crossing under the Natchez Trace Parkway. Hiking enthusiasts may also opt to hike along Bear Creek crossing from one trail to another to eventually reach the pool. An additional fee of $6.00 per adult and $4.00 for children aged 3 to 12 is charged for entrance to the swimming pool area.
Additional recreational amenities include a playground with more equipment than most parks. Swings, monkey bars and a playscape are all located together.
There is a sandy court with a net for those interested in playing a game of beach volleyball as well as a large multi-purpose field. There's also a covered stage presumably used for the various annual events offered at the park such as the Ole Tyme Music Gathering and the Fall Fling for the Young-at-Heart.
Discs are available for rent at a cost of $3.21 each and can be used at any of the three Disc Golf Courses. The Chickasaw Disc Golf Trail is located near the park's cabins and other play equipment. The Warrior Ridge and Tushka Run Disc Golf Courses are nearer the lake and campsites.
During our mid-April 2019 stay, the park was litter free and well maintained ... and all decked out for Easter!
The cost for our two night stay with electric and water totaled $47.08 ($23.54 per night) including sales and other taxes. (Rates for seniors age 65 and over and for primitive sites are $16.05 per night.) We expected to pay an additional $8.00 in day-use fees upon arrival at the park ($4.00 daily per vehicle). Upon check-in, however, we learned that the added fee is not charged to overnight guests.
Campsite Amenities at Tishomingo State ParkReservations can be made and sites can be selected online through Reserve America. Payment in full is required in order to complete the reservation process. With an advance reservation, check in at the park office is very quick and easy - just get a map and head to your site!
Of the 61 sites with electric and water, 22 have 30-amp and the remaining 39 have 50-amp electric. Our pre-reserved Campsite 13 was a paved and level back-in site with 50-amp electric and on-site water.
In addition to the many tall trees perfect for providing afternoon shade, amenities at our site included an uncovered wooden picnic table, a grill and a fire pit. (I originally thought that the fire pit was made by a previous camper. On our walks about, however, I noticed that all sites had similar stone surrounded pits.)
The only downside to the site was the huge step that we had to take to get from the lowest step on our stairs to the ground. Had we realized this before we were fully set up, we could have better centered our RV on the parking pad!
The campground dump station was located between sites 14 and 15, just across the road and a little further into the campground from our site. Site 13 is extremely spacious and was trash and litter free upon our arrival (and our departure!).
The site is surrounded by numerous tall trees which provided great shade. The overhead canopy and the large open area make for a perfect space to sneak in a quick outdoor workout with an awesome view of the geese.
Best of all, however, there is a good selection of trees perfect for hanging hammocks with a view of the lake. The geese seemed to like our site just as much as we did!
One of my favorite aspects of our campsite was the view that we had out our back window - although it did make it difficult to stay up to date on the blog!
We had good phone and data service with both Verizon and T-Mobile, our two cellular service providers. Broadcast television available in the park was limited to a few PBS stations.
Favorite Campsites at Tishomingo State ParkAs we never left the park during our two night stay, we took the opportunity to walk the camping loop several times in search of our favorite sites. The numerous tall trees throughout the park give Tishomingo State Park a very appealing setting. The beautiful lake filled with geese during our spring time visit made us wish that we had more than two nights reserved. Hopefully we will be able to make a return visit sooner rather than later!
When available, we always prefer 50-amp sites with water that are long enough to accommodate both our RV and tow vehicle. Our favorites which meet that criteria include:
- Our favorite site without a view of the lake is Site 38;
- Although it is a little shorter than our other favorites, Site 34 does have a lake view and it appears that with our RV parked as far back as possible, we would have room for our tow vehicle as well;
- Site 13 (our site during our two night stay) as well as Sites 14, 30, 32 and 33 all have views of the lake;
- Although it appeared not reservable during our stay, Site 46 is level, appears to have full hook-ups (50-amp electric, water and sewer) and has a nice lake view; and
- Our overall favorite, Site 48, seems to have full hook-ups (50-amp electric, water and sewer) along with an awesome view of the lake. The site is level, has a flowering tree at the back of the site and also a nice selection of trees where we could hang our hammocks to relax!
Since we liked Tishomingo State Park so much, we also selected our favorite 30-amp sites just in case all of the 50-amp sites are already reserved for the dates on which we have an opportunity to return:
- Peeking outside of the RV door when parked in Site 44 will reveal a nice lake view;
- Site 57 sits at the beginning of the loop at the far end of the campground and has a nice view of the lake;
- Although Site 35 is private and well shaded, it sits away from the lake; and
- Site 29 is also nicely shaded and sits on the opposite side of the road from the lake.
During our walk about the campground, we also made note of a few sites that we would hope to avoid during a return visit:
- Sites 1 and 2 are very near a swampy area and our concern is that there may be a greater number of mosquitos nearby during the summer; and
- The pads at Sites 9 and 17 have holes and are in desperate need of maintenance.
Hiking at Tishomingo State ParkWith miles and miles of trails available within Tishomingo State Park, we did not have the time to check out all of the hiking options. After reviewing the hiking trail guide and the map showing the various viewpoints, we set our sights on seeing the Pioneer Cabin, the Swinging Bridge and the Waterfall. Making it to these three sites, we were sure to get some exercise as well as a taste of what the park has to offer.
Tishomingo State Park has 7 trails which total about 13 miles of hiking available:
- Named after the pond which it circles, the CCC Pond Trail is 3/4 of a mile in length and begins near the
Well House (aka Pioneer Cabin) which was built in the late 1800s;
Hiking Tishomingo State Park's CCC Pond Trail
- The rock formations along the 3/4 mile Saddleback Ridge Trail used by the Chickasaw Indians has some small caves;
- The 1.5 mile Beach Creek Trail takes hikers from the park's swimming pool to the Pioneer Cabin;
Pioneer Cabin at Tishomingo State Park
- At two miles in length, the Natchez Trace Trail passes under a bridge along the Natchez Trace Parkway;
- Starting and ending at the Swinging Bridge, the two mile long Outcroppings Trail winds around (and
through) Bear Creek passing a variety of rock formations and a waterfall;
Beginning our Hike along the Outcroppings Trail Hiking the Tishomingo State Park Outcroppings Trail Rock Outcropping, hence the name of the Outcroppings Trail Tishomingo State Park Waterfall
- Before ending at the Swinging Bridge, at three miles in length the CCC Camp Trail passes by the
camp where men of the Civilian Conservation Corps lived while building the park; and
End of CCC Camp Trail
- Hiking the three mile long Flat Rock Trail passes streams and rock formations.
Mississippi RV ParksPrior to our two night stay at Tishomingo State Park, we spent three nights each at two RV Parks in Mississippi. Check out our post titled Review: Plantation RV Park for an overview of our stay in Natchez. To read more about our stay in Vicksburg, take a look at Review: River Town Campground.
Mississippi State ParksTishomingo was the first Mississippi State Park that we have stayed at, and we were quite impressed. What are your favorite state parks in Mississippi?
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