The Clark Creek Natural Area in southwestern Mississippi is one of the Magnolia State's most beautiful outdoor treasures. Comprising more than 700 acres, it is highlighted by some 50 waterfalls, ranging in size 10 to more than 30 feet in height. Creation and protection of this fabulous area came about in 1978. Steeply sloping loess bluff hills host a mixed hardwood and pine forest dominated by beech and magnolias. Uncommon trees found in the area are Southern sugar maple, serviceberry, umbrella tree, pyramid magnolia, chinquapin oak, big leaf snowball, silverbell, and witch-hazel. Here, visitors discover a variety of colorful migrating and resident birds; invertebrates; poisonous snakes; a rare land snail; the Federally endangered Carolina magnolia vine; and the State endangered fish, the Southern red belly face. The forest tract provides excellent habitat for another threatened species in Mississippi - - the black bear.
The Clark Creek Primitive Trails were a good workout. Once I got on the primitive trail system I really enjoyed the hike. We hiked the entire loop (5 hours) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The system is quite a hike for those expecting a flat grade, it's not! It's more like a roller coaster with some challenging areas. I think the system could use a little clarification in trail directions at some points along the south side but having to rely on instinct was sort of fun. After all you're not in a forest 100s of miles out you're just a few miles from anything, not saying you can't get lost. We really enjoyed the hike, I think I'll use it for training for section hikes along the AT.
My biggest complaint, the primitive trails are not marked from the improved trails. Maybe a little more thought could go into promoting the entrances/exits.
My happy place. I can't say anything anyone hasn't, just want to correct something - Clark Creek, including the primitive trail, is open every day, not just from March until October. I've hiked the primitive every month of the year. Now, if it has been raining, the primitive can be very, very treacherous, but the trail is open.
Our first time hiking this weekend at Clark Creek. We really enjoyed our trip (From Morgan City Louisiana) Very clean and well maintained. There was a few challenging steep hills but it was great and there is several resting spots. We only hiked the improved trails. We brought a printed map (I suggest you do) and was able to follow most of it with a few signs along the way. BUT we could not figure out how to venture onto the primitive trail to find the 3rd waterfall. There is no signs and there is a lot of little trails that branch off so it is very confusing. Looking at the map now, I'm guessing once you come to the dead end of the improved trail you have to jump in the creek and hike it to the primitive trail. But have no clue where the beginning of that trail starts near the parking area.. we looked down every small trail they had. We are planning another trip next month and will try hiking the actual creek. some people had aqua shoes on. The water was very very low so there was very little water in the creek but enough to splash to cool off. We stayed at Tunica Hills campground just 8 miles down the road..great weekend trip! My suggestions: bring water, snack, bug spray, printed map, good shoes & hiking stick
Most of these recordings are NOT the primitive trail! Hardly anyone does it because it is really hard! Many of the trails are not clearly marked. We got off track several times doing the full primitive loop. It was extremely difficult at places with terrible inclines. You really must be in good shape in order to do it. My husband just moved to Mississippi from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and wanted to find a hike similar to home. The path is just eroded at places. Simply gone and you have to find our own way around. It was poorly marked that we unknowingly got off at so many intersections. If you are just going for a short hike to see some waterfalls, do the improved trail. The vegetation is dense and it's wonderful seeing the many native species of plants. We also saw many toads and skinks which was fun. If you are wanting to really push yourself and almost get lost in the woods, the full primitive loop is tough. You will get your feet wet walking through streams. From what we can tell, most people don't do it and that is completely understandable.
Beautiful trail. Slightly overgrown right now, but easily navigable. Bring bug spray for ticks. Also, honor box payment amount is now $4 (this site has it listed, incorrectly, at $3). Bring lots of water and snacks. Lots of hills and elevation changes.
I did hike it and took scouting photos, twice so far. Great hike, bring lots of water, perhaps a walking stick. Primitive trail requires strong knees and some basic climbing skills to get below Waterfall #3. Also getting to falls #4-6 is also a good hike. You end up in the creek bed. Saw huge rattlesnake on primitive trail. Hiking along the various creeks might actually be faster than the trails, but also could bring you to a dead end. Going back with film crew soon.