Chewalla Lake Recreation Area Trail is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Holly Springs, Mississippi that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length4.1 miElevation gain190 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyFishingHikingNature tripsPaddle sportsWalkingRunningBeachForestLakeRiverViewsWildlifeNo dogs
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Getting There

This easy 4 mile out and back winding track offers scenic views of a spring fed lake, large trees and meadows. This trail follows the shoreline of Chewalla Lake, a 260 acre spring fed lake located in the Holly Springs National Forest Chewalla Lake Recreation Areas name is from the Choctaw word Chiho-la, meaning Supreme Being. Like Owl Creek, this was a special place for Native Americans, who once built a ceremonial mound where the lake now stands. A small mound commemorating the site has been reconstructed near an overlook of the lake. This recreation area offers a beautiful and tranquil setting for enjoyment of the outdoors. Visitors can enjoy a cool and scenic view of the 260 acre lake, which is popular with fishermen and swimmers in the warmer months. Facilities include 36 campsites (9 have electrical hookups), 40 picnic units, boat ramp, mooring dock, accessible fishing pier, swimming beach, childrens playground, group picnic pavilion, restrooms with flush toilets and showers, drinking water, 1 mile walking trail, and a sewage dump station. a spur trail crosses a covered bridge to an island near the swimming area. A longer trail hike is available as the trail continues past the swimming area through a a nice mixed forest setting including some very large white oak trees and shortleaf pines. The forest is made up oaks, hickory, pine, beech, tulip poplar and some very large dogwoods. At the trail intersection with Chewalla Dam road, follow the road for 300 feet and a spur trail leads right down to the rocky steam below the dam. Follow the trail to the spillway and then follows the creek for a few hundred feet and then turns back toward the dam and follows the meadow/forest setting until the the end of the dam. You can follow the trails through the forest but these trails are not mapped. At the trail intersection on the east side of the dam turn left and to to the top of the dam and follow the dam for some really nice views of the lake on the way back out. Chewalla Lake Recreation Area is open year-round weather permitting. Chewalla is a fee area. The fee station is located just beyond the entrance gate. No attendant will be on duty. Therefore, users should make sure that they have correct currency before arriving at the recreation area.

A paved parking lot is located at the trailhead near the fishing pier and boat ramp. Restroom facilities are availalbe at the trailhead and near the picnic and swimming area.

Chewalla Lake Recreation Area Holly Springs Ranger District Holly Springs, MS 662-236-6550 http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mississippi/about-forest/districts/?cid=stelprdb5213035

Directions from Holly Springs, Mississippi: Take U.S. Highway 78 to the Lake Center exit, turn west onto Highway 178, turn north onto Higdon Road and drive three miles to the entrance.

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Reviews (32)
Photos (42)
Activities (25)
Completed (56)
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Annie Garcia
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HikingGreat!
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Tom Spatig
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Hiking

Great early winter stroll through the woods!

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chad Brown
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Hiking
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Kassandra Bernskoetter
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Hiking

The trails on the south and east side of the lake are horse trails. Of course you can hike them, but that’s why the grass gets tall and they seem like they aren’t maintained. They are well marked. The trails on the west side are good for hiking. Park off the dam road so you don’t have to pay the $5 parking fee at the main entrance. (Dam road is the road just south of the park entrance road.).

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chad Brown
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Hiking

The levee needed to be bush-hogged. Grass was 2 feet tall. Another section of trail near the spillway way completely grown up. Pretty lake though!

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Peter Gairhan
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Hiking

The trails and park are so poorly taken care of that I will never go back.

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Michael Roberts
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Rock climbingBlowdownBugsClosedMuddyOff trailOver grownRocky

All in all a great trail. Not much for markings but not hard to figure out either. Went with e wife and kids and had a great day.

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Forrest Burton
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Hiking

The trail is open during lockdown/ quarantine but you will have to pick up trail from Virginia pine trail. Great hike on this beautiful spring day.

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Tom Spatig
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Hiking

Decent shape, except boardwalk area (broken and/or slippery), well marked, easy terrain, quiet solitude, perfect social distancing escape hike!

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Chuck Savage
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Hiking

This trail has multiple ways in which to go. My recording shows the trail option the right after you cross the first bridge over a creek. The trail needs a good bit of maintenance as I had to get off trail a couple of times due to fallen trees. The route I did is shorter due to me not going all the way down the the dam. The trail that leads off of the dam also needs a lot of maintenance as well. Overall, good trail but needs some work. There are other trails in the park that might be worth seeing.

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Bob King
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Hiking

The hike to the dam was beautiful and pleasant but after that the trail in the forest was poorly maintained, basically just paint on trees and had many many tiny ticks on us. The forest trail needs more work to have a more pleasurable hike.

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D.L. Smash
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Hiking

a couple hours of walking next to the lake... there's a recreation so park in there with an area for swimming

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Randall Hines
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Hiking

First trip out here. First part of the hike was unremarkable. Lots of erosion and the hike is unshaded. After you get past the swimming hole it is much better. Bugs are ridiculous but that is to be expected. Saw two snakes while out. First one got away as quickly as possible, second one wanted to stare us down. I will come back because I want to kayak on the lake.

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Mandy Johnson
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my husband and I did the Virginia Pine trail. overall ok but got a little lost once we got to the campground on where the trail picked back up. We look forward to doing the other one soon.

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David Prager
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Hiking

A solid recreation area/campground hike. Features an Indian mound and an overlook of Chewalla Lake. The section through the woods south of the campground will need to be reblazed soon. Also, you can combine this route with part of the Virginia Pine Trail to form a semi-loop.

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Sari Mae Tierney
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Hiking

Under construction on the early parts of this trail but overall well marked.

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Sam Dodd
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This is the 1st park I went to using this park. I didn't read that is was there and back (my fault) so we went further until we run into people who said we should turn around. We walked about 6 miles instead of 4, but it is ok. it wasn't real hard or steep. there are no signs (that's bad). the 1st mile is very easy and it is a beautiful area. This a great 1 to 2 hour walk on a pretty afternoon.

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Larry Jarrett
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First to Review

This is an easy either 2 or 4 mile loop from the boat ramp to the swimming area and back for a 2 mile loop or for a 4 mile loop by hiking to the east end of dam and back. The spring fed lake and surrounding forest provides a pristine setting with overlooks and some very scenic views. The trail winds around the lake and surrounding hills populated with some impressive white oak and shortleaf pine trees.

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Lea VanMerkestyn
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Hiking
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Shawn Shafer
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Mia Lorusso
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lowanna g
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Curtis & Dani Waters
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Kalyan Sinha
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