Believe it or not, Louisiana and Mississippi are great places to hike and experience the raw wilderness. Tunica Hills is one of the most popular hiking areas in the state. Experience bayous and waterfalls while hiking this ecologically diverse region.
In addition, visitors can enjoy birding, horseback riding, RV and tent camping, hiking, and biking in this upland hardwood forest. There are so many nature trails we can't possibly list them all.
Louisiana's Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a hidden gem on the Louisiana-Mississippi state border. It is surrounded by hiking trails, camping areas, wildlife, natural vegetation, and nature preserves. This region boasts diverse ecosystems, including oak-hickory and bottomland hardwood forests, black bear and deer habitats, and a cypress swamp.
This article will outline the 10 best hiking trails in Tunica Hills! Each section has some great hiking trails, so we break it down by section for you.
1. Tunica Hills State Wildlife Management Area
Just an hour north of Baton Rouge, Tunica Hills State Wildlife Management Area offers a wilderness hiking experience like no other. Tunica Hills Wildlife Area is a 668-acre tract of land (201 acres in the Wildlife Management Unit and 442 acres in the Conservation Management Area).
Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area is an exciting and challenging place to hike. The area sports three trails, with Trail A being the longest and most difficult. In addition, there are other hiking trails near Tunica Hills, each with unique features and attractions.
Tunica Hills provides a rich, natural habitat for diverse fish and wildlife, including migratory songbirds, wintering waterfowl, and the Louisiana black bear. The native landscape includes bayous, steep ravines, large trees, and more. Now, you can start planning your bayou hiking adventure.
Visitors will find four camping facilities located in and around the park. Dogs are welcome on a leash. The camping areas offer various options, including primitive camping, RV, and tent camping sites. The following trails at Tunica Hills WMA all begin in one parking lot Old Tunica Trace Road.
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Tunica Hills Trail A
To enter this trail, you will need a Louisiana Wild Stamp, Louisiana Hunting, and/or Fishing License. Trail A begins with a nice uphill walk but soon levels off to a vast old roadbed.
You will notice the hilltops look unique and unusual. This is caused by the erosion of the windblown loess soil, which makes up the soil and leaves behind gravel hilltops. This is what gives this area its unique geological features.
After a short walk, you will drop down into your first bayou on the trail. Further along, the second bayou features a sandy bottom and pockets of quicksand.
A challenging section of the trail is not well-marked, but that does not take away from the rest of this incredible trail. If you want to, once you finish this trail, continue to the other trails to extend your hiking adventures!
Distance: 4.1 Miles
Elevation Gain: 331 Feet
Tunica Hills Trail B
Credit: Kathy Hayden / AllTrails
Tunica Hills Trail B also requires permits to enter. Entering these areas without proper licenses could lead to fines. So if you're looking for a hiking trail in Tunica Hills that offers a bit of everything, you should check out the Tunica Hills Trail B.
The Tunica Hills Trail B is also great if you're looking for a scenic hike. You'll be able to see both the Mississippi River from the trail. Once complete, keep the adventure going by taking another one of the trails from Tunica Hills State WMA.
Distance: 3.4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 344 Feet
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Tunica Hills Trail C
Credit: Juanita Menard / AllTrails
Tunica Hills Trail C is a loop that offers hikers a challenge and adventure down steep bayou banks and plenty of plant life. This area is open to hunting during certain times of the year.
If you're looking for a hiking trail in Tunica Hills, Trail C is a great trail that offers various areas to explore. If you want to keep hiking, you can have more nearby hiking trails.
Experience geological diversity like no other in the state as you hike the heavily wooded trail. The trail is well-marked with colored posts to keep you on track. You will encounter some steep climbs down into the bayou before ending up on a wide-open trail at the end.
Distance: 3.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 311 Feet
2. Clark Creek Natural Area
Clark Creek Natural Area is a Mississippi State Park located 20 miles west of Woodville, Mississippi. The park was created and protected in 1978. Be sure to bring cash because there is an entrance fee of $1 per person and $4 per vehicle.
The 700 acres it encompasses support 50 waterfalls, some 10-30 feet high. The steep loess bluffs have a hardwood and pine forest with beech and magnolia trees as the dominant.
Uncommon trees in the area are Southern sugar maple, serviceberry, umbrella tree, pyramid magnolia, chinquapin oak, big leaf snowball, silverbell, and witch-hazel.
Clark Creek Trail to Waterfall Trail
Credit: Jeffrey Cantin / AllTrails
Clark Creek Trail to Waterfall Trail is an out-and-back trail. This is a place that always blows the minds of first-time visitors. You can explore the forests, waterfalls, and animal life.
This place has well-built stairs for visitors to use around the forest and observation decks for visitors to enjoy. You could see chipmunks, salamanders, or possibly birds of prey.
Distance: 3 Miles
Elevation Gain: 627 Feet
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Clark Creek Primitive Trail
Credit: Google Sites
The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it an excellent option for those new to hiking—several scenic vistas along the way, including a waterfall and a gorge.
The trail winds its way through oak and hickory forests. You can also see a waterfall and lush vegetation along the way. Bring your dog on a leash and hike this loop trail through a naturally wooded area.
There is a short trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. The hike is relatively easy. The trail is well-maintained and offers excellent views of the waterfall and the surrounding area.
Distance: 4.3 MilesElevation Gain: 961 Feet
Clark Creek Improved Trail
Credit: Anna Bonin / AllTrails
This loop trail is popular for birding, trail running, and hiking. The trail is well-maintained and offers excellent views of the waterfalls in the area. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
The Clark Creek Improved Trail is also popular among avid hikers. It offers plenty of opportunities to explore different areas. See some of the most beautiful waterfalls in this area.
You'll enjoy spectacular views of the falls as you make your way to them. The trail is well-marked and safe for hikers of all levels of experience. The trails are peaceful, and the scenery is beautiful, no matter what time of year you visit. Clark Creek is only a few hours from New Orleans and a great place to make a day trip or stay a weekend.
Distance: 2.8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 429 Feet
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3. Mary Ann Brown Nature Preserve
Credit: Stephanie Smith / AllTrails
Mary Ann Brown Nature Preserve is located about 40 miles from St. Francisville and on the edge of Tunica Hills. The area was given to The Nature Conservancy by private donors Mr. and Mrs. L. Heidel Brown in memory of their daughter, Mary Ann.
The preserve is full of oak and hickory trees, with several streams and ponds to explore. This habitat is home to a variety of species of wildlife. The property contains plants and animals you cannot find anywhere else in Louisiana. As this area gets warmer, its chipmunks become more active and visible.
Famous for his bird paintings, John James Audubon found inspiration in this area with its diverse wildlife and trees. There are a lot of hills and a permanent stream on the property. This unique feature supports the immense diversity of woody plants in the preserve.
The sweet loess soil and the microclimate created by the deep ravines provide an environment with unique plant and animal life. In addition, the landscape has stunning geological features. The trails are well-maintained, so you can be sure you won't get lost. There are also several overlooks along the trails to take in the views.
Management activities have focused on trail construction, restoration of old fields back to diverse native forests, and control of non-native weeds. The loop nature trail is popular and considered relatively easy. Dogs are welcome if they stay on a leash. The MaryAnn Brown Nature Preserve is a great place to spend a day hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
Distance: 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 91 Feet
4. West Feliciana Parish Parks
Credit: Kathy Hayden / AllTrails
West Feliciana Parish has several parks that are perfect for a day hike. The Parks have 6 miles of hiking and biking trails that will appeal to hikers of all levels. You can follow plenty of activities and trails to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving.
They're located in one of the most beautiful parishes in Louisiana. A state-of-the-art park, West Feliciana Parish Parks and Recreation, is a multi-purpose facility in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
The facility includes playgrounds, soccer, baseball, and softball fields, a rodeo arena, and more! This makes West Feliciana Parish Parks an excellent choice for anyone looking for fun and hiking that the whole family can enjoy.
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 318 Feet
5. Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge
Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge runs along the southern part of the lower Mississippi River. It is located just 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. The refuge has two trails open to hikers, and hunters are not allowed. Big Cypress Trail is the easiest and ends at a giant bald cypress tree.
The refuge is near the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge protects some of the vast bottomland hardwood forests in the region. There are also three ATV trails in the refuge, which are open to all users. Hunters are allowed on the ATV trails.
The trails are well-maintained and include a variety of wildlife sightings, such as alligators, snakes, and deer. However, the area does flood. The area is a refuge for many species of migratory birds, perfect for anyone who loves birdwatching.
Distance: not available
Elevation Gain: not available
6. Woodriff Falls
Woodriff Falls is in West Feliciana County, just 8 miles from St. Francisville, Louisiana. A series of cascades down rocky ledges, the falls are surrounded by rocks. Explore an extra unique feature – the cave that is behind the falls. Once you reach the top of the falls, enjoy the beautiful scenery and spectacular water flow.
Take in some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. Hikers can also choose to extend their trip by connecting to other trails in the area. If you want a longer hike, continue hiking down the trail to see several other waterfalls and beautiful lakes.
The trail to the falls is moderately difficult. Be mindful of slippery rock paths along the way. The scenery along this trail is beautiful, and the hike is relatively short. Enjoy your day at a gorgeous waterfall in an unexpected place.
Distance: not available
Elevation Gain: not available
7. Tunica-Biloxi Nature Trail
Credit: Paragon Casino Resort / Facebook
Tunica-Biloxi Nature Trail is a one-mile-long boardwalk over the Coulee Des Grues waterway. Large beautiful trees shade the boardwalk. Walk the Timber Pedestrian Bridge and take in the sites and sounds of the Louisiana wilderness.
The trailhead is located near Marksville, Louisiana. The Tunica-Biloxi Nature Trailhead is an excellent option if you're looking for a short hike that will take you through some beautiful scenery.
Visit the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center (CERC) at the trailhead for an educational experience. The 40,000-square-foot building houses:
- Tunica-Biloxi Tribal offices
- a museum exhibit hall
- conservation and restoration laboratory
- meeting rooms
- distance learning center
- gift shop
Learn about native history and indigenous people who still live in the region. In addition, the museum exhibits topics such as geology and animal ecology. The trails at the nature center are wheelchair accessible, while the trails in the wildlife management area are not.
Distance: 1 Mile
Elevation Gain: 1 Foot