In the northeast corner of Mississippi, JP Coleman State Park is located on an old Chickasaw Native American village. The park is just 10 miles north of the small town of Iuka, which got its name from one of the village chiefs. Being on the banks of the Tennessee River, Indian Creek, and Pickwick Lake, there is plenty of water fun for you and your family on your RV camping visit to the park. With over 47,000 acres of clear blue water, you can go boating, fishing, swimming, or even do some waterskiing or paddleboarding on the lake. At the north end of the park is a marina that offers boat ramps, ice, snacks, restrooms, and more.
Make sure you reserve a spot to stay while you are visiting the park because there are only 69 RV campsites to choose from, and they go fast, especially on weekends and holidays. They also have nine tent sites, three cottages, three townhouses, and 16 motel rooms. The park offers a ton of amenities, including full hookups, bathhouses, fish cleaning stations, laundry facilities, modern restrooms, and plenty of recreational activities even the kids will enjoy.
You can go boating, biking, hiking, and they even have a pool and mini-golf course at the park, making it a unique park experience. It doesn’t get very cold in Mississippi in the wintertime, so it is possible to enjoy most of these activities year-round. The pool, mini-golf course, and marina store are closed during the off-season, which is from Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend.
Just off of MS-25, you will find JP Coleman State Park on the border of Mississippi and Alabama in the northeast corner of the state. You’ll be just over an hour northeast of Tupelo, which is where Elvis Presley was born. If you have wanted to visit Memphis, Tennessee, it is only two hours to the west of the park. It’s also just three hours to Nashville, making it easy to visit the Grand Old Opry House and many other notable Nashville-area landmarks.
Driving your rig on MS-25 should not be a problem since it is a main thoroughfare. Once you exit off of the highway onto the smaller roads nearing the park, you may find some narrow and curvy areas that can be tricky to navigate a larger rig. It is best to take it slow and easy if you are driving a big RV or pulling a trailer no matter what kind of road you are on. And once you get close to the park, you’ll have to be alert to any wildlife that may be crossing the road. The park roads are mostly paved and straight since they are an RV and trailer use park. You may need to watch for potholes or low hanging branches as you look for your campsite.
The JP Coleman State Park Campground offers guests several different camping choices, including 69 Class A RV campsites with electric, sewer, and water. The campground, which is centrally located, boasts nine wooded sites by the pool, mini-golf, and playground, and 60 that are located on two loops closer to the lake. Eleven of these sites are on the waterfront and are considered to be premium sites. You’ll have a fire ring with a grill to cook on as well as a large picnic table that seats eight. And there is plenty of space around the campfire ring for your group to stretch out and relax. The campsites can accommodate RVs and trailers from 20 to 40 feet in length. The bathhouse and restrooms are located near each camping area, and you can find an RV sanitary dumpsite by the marina. Go ahead and bring Fluffy because pets are welcome. Just be sure to supervise them and keep them restrained at all times. Reservations can be made up to 24 months in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute to book your spot.
This park has more options than most when it comes to staying overnight. If you are seeking a more luxurious stay for this trip, you can choose from 20 furnished duplexes overlooking Indian Creek. These one-bedroom cabins have satellite television, beds, full kitchens, linens, bathrooms, screened porches, picnic tables, and grills. Some of them have fireplaces and all have air conditioning and heat.
If you need a larger place, there are three furnished cottages that have two bedrooms with a full kitchen, living room, and dining room. You’ll also have satellite television, bedding, bathrooms, a grill, and a picnic table with a gorgeous view of the lake. There are also three townhouses and 16 motel rooms, some of which are ADA accessible. All of these are furnished and provide all bedding and full kitchens as well as a deck or patio overlooking the lake. Pets are not allowed in any of the buildings so if you brought your pooch, you’ll have to stay in one of the RV sites.
While many people still have no idea what geocaching is, if you have children, you probably already know all about it. If not, it’s time to learn more. This universal treasure hunt is a fun way to get outdoors and show the kids that there is more to technology than playing video games and texting. All you need is a device with GPS, like a cell phone. Get on the geocaching website to find some coordinates in the JP Coleman State Park and then head out to find the treasures.
Although there are no officially named trails in JP Coleman State Park, there are several paths in the park from the water’s edge to the campgrounds, from the campgrounds to the picnic areas and playground, and many of them just going through the wooded area by the campsites. As long as you put on some bug repellent and watch out for poison ivy, you can get out there and make your trail wherever you want. Just do not harm any plants or other vegetation and try not to disturb the wildlife.
Do you like weird collections? Then you will want to make a trip into Iuka to see the unique collections at the Apron Museum. This quirky museum is the only apron museum in the United States. Some of these aprons date back to the Civil War while others are more modern and tied to pop-culture like the aprons dedicated to popular television shows and movies like Family Guy and Star Wars. You can even see an apron with a napkin stapled to it, signed by Tom Cruise.
There are not too many parks that provide mini-golf, but JP Coleman State Park has one open from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. If you have a large group, you need to make a reservation because this is a popular activity at the park. You won’t need to pack your clubs or golf balls because the park provides the clubs and balls for you. There is a small fee, but it is worth it to spend some quality time with your kids doing something fun outdoors.
You should pack the fishing equipment and a big net in the camper before heading to JP Coleman State Park because there are several places to fish. Pickwick Lake has over 47,000 acres of fishing and is teeming with bass, walleye, sauger, catfish, bream, and crappie. Everyone from 16 to 65 needs a fishing license in the state of Mississippi. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have one. The park office sells them, but make sure you bring cash. The park also sells bait and other fishing and camping supplies at the marina like ice and snacks.
You have several options where you can take a swim here. Choose to cool off in the pool, lake, river, or creek. The pool is only open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 10 AM to 6 PM on Wednesdays through Sundays. If you want to swim any of the other days, you can always hop in one of the other bodies of water. The lake is a favorite of many swimmers during the summer, so don’t forget to pack the beach toys in the RV before heading to the park.