One of my family’s favorite places to go hiking is Tunica Hills. It’s a beautiful piece of heaven that is located right over the state line in Woodville, MS. If you have never been before, go ahead and plan a trip with your family. Here are a few things you need to know before going:
The trailhead is called “Clark Creek”
Most people try to put “Tunica Hills” into their GPS and it leads them into the middle of nowhere. Be sure to type in “Clark Creek” and it will lead you straight to the trailhead. From Baton Rouge, it’s a little over an hour’s drive.
It’s $4.00 cash to park. It’s based on the honor system, so be honest! You’ll have to park first, walk up to the trailhead, and you’ll see the envelopes and a box to put your cash in, along with a parking tag to go in your vehicle.
You may want to bring a backpack
A backpack is necessary if you plan to hike for the day. I bring multiple water bottles, snacks, cliff bars, and sometimes sandwiches if I know we’ll be out there for the day.
There are different trails to choose from
There are three major routes to take, the improved trail, the primitive trail, and the creek bed. The improved trail is a nicely carved out portion of the route if you just want to take a stroll through the woods. The primitive trail is a little more adventurous and the longest. The creek bed is off the beaten path but is the most fun. But be prepared, there are giant boulders you will have to climb over and water to hike around.
Bring a change of clothes and a towel
If you plan to hike in the creek bed, there is a good chance you may get a little wet. If you don’t, then your kids will! There is a bathroom at the trailhead you can utilize before and after your hike.
Wear Chacos, old tennis shoes, or hiking boots
Parts of the trail may have lots of slippery leaves, water, or you may find yourself climbing over a fallen tree. Not to mention the uphill drudgery you have to do to get back to the parking lot. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. I like to bring a separate pair of shoes for the ride home, just in case mine get wet along the hike.
There are multiple points along the path where you will see little waterfalls. You can find them by looking at the map along the trail.
You don’t have cell phone service
What a perfect way to disconnect from social media and enjoy the beauty of nature. Use your phone to take pictures and videos. You’ll want to look back on the sweet memories that were made.
Bring your dog on a leash
People bring their dogs on leashes, big and small. They always have a blast!
It can take a few hours up to a whole day to hike it
You can hike as little or as long as you’d like. The creek bed hike, which is my personal favorite, usually takes a couple of hours from start to finish, depending on your speed.
There are no bathrooms on the trail
The hike back to the parking lot is tough
Since Tunica Hills is very “hilly,” the hike back to the car is pretty much all uphill. It just about kills you, but the challenge is well worth it.
You can tent camp nearby at Tunica Hills Campground
If you’re into camping, there is Tunica Hills Campground about 10 minutes away. It is the perfect fall weekend adventure for the family that is cost-effective and filled with opportunities to make memories.