If you live in the South and want to get away for the weekend, or if you live in the North and you’re tired of snowstorms in April, pack your RV and head to Mississippi’s Hugh White State Park. This accessible park is centrally located between Jackson, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee. However, Hugh White State Park is also in a very serene natural environment.
The keyword here is “relaxing.” Grenada Lake is a tranquil body of water which is ideal for boating and fishing. Grenada Lake is also huge. So, there is plenty of room for powerboating and waterskiing. The main hiking trail goes through some of the most serene and quiet forests in Mississippi, and there are also two large golf courses at the park. In addition, Hugh White State Park has very nice picnic facilities and equally-nice beach facilities.
Perhaps most importantly for motorhome owners, Hugh White State Park has a large and well-developed RV camping area. Make your reservations early, because although there are over 100 RV parking spots, and they fill up quickly. Camping in your RV is definitely the best way to enjoy everything that Hugh White State Park has to offer.
Hugh White State Park is a straight shot south from Memphis. To reach the park, you can take Interstate 55 or the parallel U.S. Highway 51. Since they follow the same route, they go through basically the same towns, and both offer good views of the Mississippi countryside. Interstate 55 is a mostly four-lane divided highway, and Highway 51 is mostly a two-lane undivided highway with broad shoulders. Both have almost no curves to speak of, so they are both fairly easy to navigate in an RV.
We always recommend the slow and easy route when possible, but if you need to make up some time, jump on the interstate and take off. Inside the park, there is large vehicle parking near the golf course clubhouse, the boat launch, and the main fishing area.
Just below the dam and near the Outlet Channel, there are 128 reservable RV parking spots. The campground is a bit far from the designated swimming areas, but it’s close to the fish cleaning station, both golf courses, and boat launch. All sites feature electric and water hookups, along with picnic tables and outdoor grills. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates are available, so drop in for a weekend or get to know your neighbors. Campground amenities include four restroom and shower facilities, an RV dump station, a childrens’ play area, and a nearby change-of-pace cabin camping area.
Thirty-five campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. So, if you are making a spontaneous trip to Hugh White State Park you just might be able to snag a spot for your rig.
All kinds of water craft, from houseboats to canoes, are welcome here. Most power boaters go out to the middle of 64,000-acre Grenada Lake; unpowered craft and fishing boats usually stay closer to the shore. Either way, you'll love explore this massive, glistening lake.
Grenada Lake means crappie. There are other fish available here as well, but in smaller numbers. Crappie begin spawning when the water temperature cools off to about 58 degrees. The spawning peaks when the water warms to about 65 degrees and ends when it reaches 80 degrees. Crappie must be at least 12 inches long to keep, which gives you some idea of how big these fish are. They are slightly smaller along the spillway. For best results, use brightly-colored lures around flooded or submerged vegetation. Bass like the clear water, and catfish like rain runoff or flooded mudflats.
Grenada Lake has roughly 148 miles of shoreline. Pretty much all the Hugh White State Park shoreline is a sandy beach. The eastern part is a little soggier than the western part, but it’s still very nice. There are two designated swim areas near the center part of the beach shoreline, but swimming is available elsewhere too. Returning to the relaxation theme, many people like to swim in one of the shoreline’s three lake inlets. No lifeguard is on duty, but swim with a buddy and you should be fine.
Golfers won't want to forget to pack their clubs in their rig. The 18-hole, par-72 Dogwoods Golf Course is challenging but not overwhelming, making it ideal for golfers of almost all skill levels. Many players are not crazy about the bunkers, but they rave about the fairways and greens. The holes are a good mix of long and difficult ones and short and easy ones. Dogwoods is literally carved right out of the wilderness, and though it’s a very well-kept course, it retains some of that frontier ambiance.
The 18-hole, par-54 Cemetery Ridge Disc Golf Course is at the opposite end of the park. All the holes are shorter than 300 feet, all the tees are crushed stone, and all the holes are cool Mach III nets. The course may be short, but it’s quite hilly and very heavily wooded. Some holes also have water hazards. Cemetery Ridge is mostly a pitch-and-putt course. But there are a few blind throws and there is almost always at least one tree in your line of sight. So, get ready for a workout.
Hugh White State Park has four different hiking trails. Each one explores a different geographic area of this diverse park. The Lost Bluff Trail basically tracks the lake shore. As mentioned, the shore is mostly beach, but there are a few high bluffs as well. The Haserway Wetland Management Area Nature Trail is just below the dam. This wetlands area is reserved for wildlife, so look for whitetail deer and lots of different birds. The Old River Run Trail is near the dam and spillway, and hikers along the Chakchiuma Swamp Trail see lots of rare plants and flowers.