The rolling forested landscape of Tombigbee National Forest in Mississippi are home to a wide range of wildlife, including hundreds of different types of birds. The forest is a popular hunting destination, with large populations of white-tailed deer and wild turkey. You can also visit during migration season in the fall and spring, when you can see large numbers of waterfowl on the move.
Water activities are one of the biggest draws to the forest. Two lakes offer great largemouth and striped bass, catfish, crappie, and bream fishing. You can use the boat launches to get out onto the water, or fish from the shore from one of the piers. Motorized boating is allowed, or you can enjoy the lakes with long canoe rides.
The main RV campgrounds in the forest are located at Choctaw Lake and Davis Lake. Both offer modern camping experienced with plenty of amenities, including electrical and water hookups for your campervan. Should you want more privacy, you can disperse camp along a number of forest service roads.
Located in the northeastern corner of Mississippi, Tombigbee National Forest can be reached from a number of major cities in the region. The forest is easy to navigate by RV, with few narrow or winding roads.
If you are coming from Jackson, take I-55 out of the city, and you’ll reach the forest in around two and a half hours. From Memphis, take I-22 south out of the city, and you’ll arrive in just over two hours. From Birmingham, you’ll take I-22 north to reach the forest in around two and a half hours.
The forest is divided into two zones, which are about an hour away from each other along MS-15. The most popular RV campground is located at Choctaw Lake, which is in the southern portion of the forest. The campground is easy to access with large rigs, with just a short drive along a paved forest service road connected to MS-15.
The main RV campground at Choctaw Lake has 18 sites to choose from for your rig. All of the sites have water and electrical hookups, as well as picnic tables and fire pits. Flush toilets and drinking water access points are available throughout the campground. The lake is has excellent fishing, boating, and swimming. There are two boat launches and a fishing pier near the campground. You can also connect to a number of hiking trails leading out of the campground and along the lake. The area is popular for birdwatching and wildlife viewing as well. The sites can be reserved up to 12 months in advance. The campground fills up quickly, so try to reserve a spot as early as possible.
This campground has 24 sites, all of which have electrical and water hookups. The sites also have picnic tables and fire pits. You’ll have access to drinking water and flush toilets, as well as fishing piers and a boat launch. All of the sites in the campground can be reserved in advance online. They fill up quickly during holiday weekends, so try to reserve a spot early.
Should you want a bit more seclusion, you can also disperse camp in a number of areas throughout the forest. Just make sure you stay on public land, as there are a number of private lots in the area.
Dozens of miles of hiking trails cut through both the northern and southern section of the forest. There is a three-mile hiking trail leading out from Choctaw Lake, the main RV campground in the southern section of the forest. Foxes and bobcats are often spotted along the trail, as are dozens of species of birds. If you stay at Davis Lake Campground, you can the Tanglefoot Trail, one of the most scenic hikes in the area.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the campground. You can fish near the two main RV campgrounds in the forest, located at Choctaw Lake and Davis Lake. Largemouth and striped bass, crappie, catfish, and bream are the most popular catches in the lakes, with the best fishing starting in late spring and running through early fall.
Both Choctaw Lake and Davis Lake have boat launches and fishing piers. You’ll need a Mississippi state fishing license if you plan on fishing anywhere in the forest.
Horseback riding is popular throughout the forest, with a number of designated riding trails. The Witch Dance Horse Trail is the most used trail in the forest, stretching over 15 miles through the dense pine and hardwood groves. The trail also crosses a number of streams, giving you plenty of terrain variety throughout your ride. Do take caution while riding in the forest, as many of the trails are shared with hikers.
Tombigbee National Forest is home to a wide range of different bird species, making it a popular weekend destination for birdwatchers. Red-cockaded woodpeckers, wood storks, reddish egrets, and hooded warblers are common sights in the forest, and you’ll also be able to spot a variety of birds of prey. The best time to visit the forest for birdwatching is in the spring or fall, when you can catch large migrations of birds as they head north or south for the season.
You’ll find a great mix of small and big game species throughout Tombigbee National Forest. White-tailed deer and wild turkey are the most popular game species in the forest, and you can also hunt for rabbit, quail, and a variety of waterfowl. Take extra precautions when hunting in the fall, as there are large numbers of hikers and horseback riders in the forest. You’ll need a Mississippi state hunting license if you plan on hunting anywhere in the forest.
With a number of dedicated off-roading trails, Tombigbee National Forest is one of the best areas in northern Mississippi for ATVing and dirt bike riding. The Chickasaw OHV trail is one of the most popular trails in the area, stretching over 12 miles through the pine groves. It has been renovated in recent years, so trail conditions remain good. The trail is three miles away from the RV campground at Davis Lake.