Outdoor Recreation in Vicksburg, MS
With the Mississippi River at its border, small wonder that Vicksburg is a boating town. But with running, fishing, hiking, hunting, birding and more, there’s no need to get wet to enjoy the natural beauty here.
Mississippi, Yazoo Rivers Offer Boating, Kayaking
In addition to the Mississippi, there’s plenty of boating, canoeing and kayaking on the Yazoo River and Lake Centennial, where Everglades-like conditions provide safe harbor for bald eagles, blue herons, pelicans and more. The water’s also the locale for the annual BluzCruz Marathon, a 22-mile canoe and kayak race on the Mississippi. The race is held during Riverfest, an annual April festival that also includes an arts and craft show, live music and plenty of food.
Paddlers often stumble across birders, and no wonder. In addition to the eagles and other rare avian residents of the area, Vicksburg’s also home to Mississippi’s only Audubon Nature Store, where all purchases help the organization's conservation work throughout the state.
Tara Wildlife Popular for Hunters, Corporate Retreats
Rural enthusiasts on both land and sea enjoy getting out to Tara Wildlife, about 30 miles northwest of town. Tara has 17,200 acres of oxbow lakes and bottom-land hardwood forests, as well as 12 miles of river frontage, making it a deer and turkey hunter’s paradise. It also sports a new 5,700-square-foot conference center, making it a corporate retreat destination as well. Tara is home to the annual Guns of Vicksburg Sporting Clay Shoot every August, an event sanctioned by the National Sporting Clays Association.
Runs, Races and Parks Keep Downtown Vicksburg Busy
Back in town, the river’s the center of activity for the Over the River Run, a five-mile run and race/walk across the Old Vicksburg Mississippi River Bridge. The race has gone on for more than two decades and brings in hundreds of enthusiastic participants, many of whom also take part in the 10K and 5K portions of the Run Thru History Race, a 32-year-old tradition that begins in Vicksburg National Military Park and draws more than 1,000 runners.
The city center also is home to the Art Park at Catfish Row, a $2.8 million adventure into the history of the Mississippi River and the paddle-wheel steamboats that used to travel it. A splash fountain, garden walks and murals along the Levee Street flood wall are all part of the park’s charm.
Vicksburg is well aware of its natural beauty, so a tip of the hat to the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which keeps an eye on 15 playgrounds, eight baseball fields, five softball fields, Olympic-size pool and 10 tennis courts owned by the city.
Check out more fun things to do in Vicksburg, MS.