Roosevelt State Park, located in southwest Mississippi and sitting on just 20 acres of land, is a nature escape unlike any other in the state. The park surrounds Shadow Lake and overlooks Bienville National Forest, providing visitors with more than a view scenic views of the lake and forest. This quaint park has been around for decades, drawing RVers from all over to witness the breathtaking views year round. Although it is not especially rich in history, its origin story is still quite interesting. It was one of the many state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. However, it is unique in the fact that it lacks the typical signature stone architecture that the Civilian Conservation Corps is famous for. Instead, buildings are scarce in the park, with much of the lure coming from the simple beauty of the nature it encompasses. Of course, visitors enjoy the disc golf course, waterslide, pool, picnic areas, sports fields, gift shop, and water sports on the lake. The park also features multiple camping options, including over 100 RV camping sites, some of which have full hook-ups. Whether you rough it in a tent, or bring your RV and get a full hook-up site, camping in Roosevelt State Park is sure to be an experience you won't soon forget.
Roosevelt State Park can be accessed using I-20, either east or westbound. If you are coming from the east on I-20, take exit 77, turn left onto Highway 13 and continue a short while until reaching the park entrance. If you're coming from the west, take the same exit and then turn right onto Highway 13, which will take you right to the entrance. As a result of the park being built in the 1930s, the roads are very old. They have been improved since first being built, but it's been a while since they've been renovated, so there are some bumpy and uneven areas that might be difficult to maneuver in a big rig.
Visitors may also find some of the turns rather sharp and the sudden drop-offs quite daunting. For this reason, you should always exercise extreme caution when navigating the roads, especially during the fall months when leaves and pine needles cover the roads and make it difficult to see exactly where the edges are. Since the park is fairly small, an extra vehicle isn't totally necessary, but if you are traveling with an especially large rig, towing an extra vehicle is recommended since it is easier to maneuver the roads in a car.
The campground on the east side of the lake is made up of 42 campsites, most of which have full hook-ups. If you get a site without a full hook-up, it's not a huge deal since they are all near the centrally located bathhouse and dump station. The sites are within the forest and offer a good amount of shade, although the exact amount varies from site to site. One thing that doesn't vary from site to site is the included grill and picnic tables. Although no "premium" sites are offered at this campground, many of the sites still provide exceptional views of the lake. If you don't want to spend the day at the lake, the campground is also near the swimming pool and sports fields, so many families like it. Reservations are available for this campground, although not totally necessary if you're visiting during non-peak months,
The campground on the west side of the lake offers 67 campsites, 22 of which are considered premium, located right on the lake's shore. This is the newest and most popular campground at the park and features a swimming beach for campers. Some of the sites are a little more cramped than the other campground, but you still don't feel like you're on top of your neighbors. The great thing about the campsites at both campgrounds is they are all approximately the same size. The max RV length is 40 feet for all sites. You don't have to worry about a site not fitting your rig as long as it's 40 feet or less. All of the sites feature picnic tables and grills and full hook-ups. All of the roads and parking spurs at both campgrounds are paved and mostly level, which makes hooking up your RV easy.
None of the sites at this campground are first-come, first-served. Same day reservations are available, but you have to call the park to make them. Without a reservation, there is no guarantee that a site will be available for you.
Like the other campground, no sites are specifically first-come, first-served. They tend to fill up fast when reservations are available since everyone loves spending a day at the beach. However, you can call ahead on the day you plan to arrive and see if any sites are available. If there are, you can book one over the phone before you arrive, but that's as close as first-come, first-served as you get at this campground.
Since Shadow Lake is the main focal point of the park, it's not surprising that boating and fishing are both popular activities at Roosevelt State Park. Fishing is available year-round, although any fisherman over 16 must have a Mississippi fishing license before casting their line. RV visitors can expect to catch bass, crappie, bream, and catfish. Water sports such as skiing and leisure boating are also permitted on the lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Roosevelt State Park features an 18-hole disc golf course that takes you throughout a large chunk of the park. The shots vary in difficulty and setting, with some being wide open shots and others taking you through wooded areas. The disc golf course can be used by anyone in the park, free of charge. Whether you're playing just to learn or keeping score, it can be a fun way to spend a few hours during your RV vacation at the park.
Swimming isn't allowed in Shadow lake since it's a popular boating and fishing destination, but that doesn't mean you can't go for a dip while staying at Roosevelt State Park. A large 2,600 square foot pool overlooks Shadow Lake, providing endless fun for the entire family. The pool varies in depth and even includes a zero-depth splash pad that is ideal for small children. Beside the swimming pool is a 36-foot high water slide with plenty of twists. It's not hard to imagine the pool and water slide are popular attractions, so you can expect them to be busy while they're open.
The park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, plus dozens of species of birds and wildflowers. From virtually anywhere in the park you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, especially during the fall months when the adjacent Bienville National Forest is ripe with warm oranges, yellows, and reds. Shorebirds are also common along the lake and fishing pier. You can even soak up the biodiversity of the area right from your RV campsite.
Several nature trails throughout the park provide the perfect setting for hikers to explore the area. The trails are especially good for beginners since they lack any rugged terrain and are mostly less than a mile long. The longest trail in the park is the Civil War Hill Trail, which is popular with both nature lovers and history buffs. The trails provide an easy way to immerse yourself in nature and get around the park without having to move the camper.
Be sure to pack your tennis rackets in your rig because two tennis courts are available within the park to use day or night. The courts are open year round and lighted when the sun sets. It's not every day you get to play tennis in such a picturesque setting, so if you play, you definitely won't want to miss this opportunity. A small fee is charged to use the courts, but most visitors agree that it is worth the money.