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Foliage Hotspots in Mississippi That Are a Must-See

There are more than just fall festivals to see and do this autumn in the Magnolia State.

Fall foliage generally arrives in Mississippi a little later than most of the country, but it’s definitely worth the wait. The Magnolia State is home to brilliant colors of fierce reds, stunning oranges, rustic browns, and electrifying yellows during the fall months with October and November being the stars.

If you just want to make a day trip or a weekend of it, here are some interesting places where you’re likely to see some of the most majestic fall scenes in Mississippi.


Did you know Mississippi has its very own little mountain at the Jeff Busby Park on the Natchez Trace near Ackerman?

If you perch atop Little Mountain, you can see about 20 miles on a clear day giving it one of the largest vistas in the state. The park also features a walking trail for hikers to enjoy the vibrant colors of the forest. For those who want to stay a while, there are RV pads and camping sites. The campground and park also include picnic tables and restrooms. Camping is free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For day users, picnic tables are also available.


Most people don’t think of swamps when deciding where to see fall foliage, but Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area might just change that way of thinking.

The wildlife area is in the Delta near Belzoni and features a giant boardwalk that leads visitors through a pristine swamp with 1,000-year cypress trees. These ancient and majestic trees shed rust-colored needles, giving the ground beneath them a fall carpet-like appearance.

With a highly productive ecosystem, the area attracts a diverse group of wildlife, including woodpeckers, wood ducks, and other birds.

The area is open to the public during daylight hours and also features an amphitheater, pavilion, and comfort station. A new office and education building are under construction.


The city of Crystal Springs in Copiah County is brimming with fall foliage gems at Chautauqua Park. The biggest focal point of the park is Lake Chautauqua and the lakeside areas that come alive with autumn colors, wading birds, and woodland wildlife.

There are also two walking trails to enjoy. The Treetop Trail is an elevated boardwalk where walkers can get a different perspective of the woods and the Trail of Tranquility offers an opportunity to hike through the forest and along a creek.

There is no camping at the park and except for special events, it is day-use only, but it’s an excellent place to picnic and spend an afternoon exploring.


With October and November, and maybe a little of December, featuring stunning tree-lined country roads, gorgeous scenic byways, and majestic fall sites, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Mississippi autumns.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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