In the northeastern corner of Mississippi, you can find Trace State Park, which features the 565-acre Trace Lake with plenty of space to play in and around the water. According to historians, Davy Crockett lived in the area where the park is now, which gives a historic feel to the area. In fact, in the town of Tupelo, just a few miles from the park, you can find a museum that will tell you all about Davy Crockett.
Davy Crockett was not the only celebrity from Tupelo. Elvis Presley was born in the town, and there is even a lake named after the singer. Make sure you stop by Elvis Presley State Lake while you are in the vicinity. There are a plethora of other attractions nearby, including the Tupelo National Battlefield, Lake Lamar Bruce State Lake, and Adkins Farms.
Are you looking for fishing, swimming, boating, or sunbathing? You can do all that at Trace State Park and more. For landlubbers, pack a picnic or barbecue some burgers near the water and spend the day playing frisbee, disc golf, hiking, or biking. You can also enjoy some horseback riding or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding in the park. Camping here is fun too, and you may need to stay a night or more to enjoy all the fun activities at the park. And you will have plenty of choices for camping, including more than 50 campsites at two campgrounds as well as the nine cabins. The park operates year-round, with the peak camping season running from May through August.
Just 13 miles from Tupelo in Belden, Mississippi, Trace State Park is easy to get to just off of US-278. You can take I-22 from the northern area and either MS-15, MS-32, or US-45 from the southern region. Oxford, named after the British University of Oxford, is only 42 miles to the northwest of the park. The city is known as the cultural center of the south with a plethora of writers, artists, and musicians.
While you are in the area, stop by and see Tombigbee State Park, which is only 20 miles to the southeast and has a beautiful picnic area, playgrounds, a visitor center, and an activity building. Check out the trails and natural beauty of the vicinity on your way to Trace State Park. No matter which way you come from, you will be blessed with southern beauty that you can only see in this section of Mississippi.
The park has paved roads for the most part, and the curves are not bad, so you can get in and out with your RV if you are careful. However, if you plan to venture back into the primitive areas, you will need to park the rig and go on foot, bike, horseback, or ORV. Take your time and enjoy the scenery and peacefulness of Trace State Park.
Eighteen of the 25 campsites at Deer Run Campground are right on the lake so you can see the water from your RV door or window, and you can almost fish from your front steps. The other seven sites are only a few feet more from the lake, so you just have to walk a little way to get to the water. It’s so close that if you want to catch some fish to cook on the campfire grill, which is provided, you don’t even have to leave your campsite. Speaking of cooking, you can prepare your meal inside your motorhome, too, since these sites all come with full hookups, including 20/30/50-amp electric. The picnic table provided seats up to eight people, so you don’t have to try and eat in your camp chair, balancing your plate on your lap. You can also find a restroom with showers, a meditation pavilion, and a dump station nearby. Reservations for these campsites can be made up to 24 months in advance because these are popular sites, and there are only 25 of them. During holidays and special weekends, you have to book at least three nights. The maximum length you can stay is 14 days. Pets are allowed, so bring Fluffy, but make sure you bring the leash too because your furry friend has to be supervised and restrained at all times.
Fifteen of the 27 campsites at Eagle Ridge Campground are lakefront campsites, each with its own campfire pit and grill as well as a picnic table big enough for eight people. All of these sites have full hookups and include 20/30/50-amp electric. The rest of the sites also have full hookups but only have 20- to 30-amp electric, and they are a little bit further from the lake, but you can still see the water and walk a few feet to get to it.
In the middle of the camp, you will find the laundry room, restrooms with showers, and even a conference room. Because the campground is so popular and has such a small number of sites, you are allowed (and encouraged) to reserve your spot two years in advance. That is what you call planning ahead! The minimum length of stay on holidays is three days, and the maximum days you can stay at any time is 14. Furbabies are welcome as long as they are kept restrained while you are here.
If you feel like taking a break from the RV for the night, Trace State Park has nine amazing cabins. Four of these are ADA-accessible, and they all hold six people except for cabins 4-6, which only sleep four. Each cabin is furnished and has a deck with a stunning view of the lake. Several of the cabins have screened porches with patio furniture. Linens and bedding are included as well as air conditioning, heat, satellite television, restrooms, and coffee makers. All cabins have fully equipped kitchens with a stove, refrigerator, and microwave, as well as dishes and cooking utensils. Each one has a barbecue pit and table for outdoor cooking as well. Pets and smoking are not allowed in the cabins. Reservations can be (and should be) made up to 24 months in advance.
You are going to want to get out on the lake whether you are in a motorboat, kayak, or even a jet ski or paddleboat. The 565-acre lake has an average depth of 12 feet with a maximum depth of 42 feet by the dam. You can meander around the lake to enjoy the scenery, take pictures, toss out a line and try to catch some fish, or even jump in to cool off from the Mississippi heat. Be sure to pack the life jackets and a cooler full of water.
You will love the hiking opportunities in Trace State Park, so make sure to pack your hiking shoes in the rig. For an easy hike, try the 4.5-mile loop trail that takes you along the eastern edge of the lake. The average grade here is just 5% and has an ascent of 236 feet. You can also try the 4.1-mile Boat Ramp Trail, which has an ascent of 504 feet and a maximum grade of 19%. Dogs are welcome on the trails as long as they are on a leash of six feet or shorter.
Trace State Park offers almost 35 miles of trails for various usage, including off-road vehicles like ATVs, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, side-by-sides, and dirt bikes. Jeeps and dune buggies are not allowed. Helmets are required and should be worn at all times when you are riding. There are many trails to choose from, and most are in the western section of the park, taking you along the Natchez Trace Trail. The Natchez Trace Trail is a 445-mile national scenic trail that goes from Mississippi through Alabama and Tennessee.
There are not too many state parks that offer such a large number of equestrian trails to choose from, but Trace State Park has over 35 miles of trails for you and your four-legged friends, so make sure you bring them along. The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail makes up the majority of the horse trails with sections of the trail going through forests, hills, and along the coastline for miles. Some of the areas can be steep, so be alert to trail conditions at all times.
Make sure you pack the fishing gear in the rig before heading to the park. You can catch some whoppers at Trace State Park, whether you are top fishing for bass or bottom fishing for carp and catfish. The park offers several areas prime for fishing and two fishing piers that are accessible to ADA visitors. Everyone 16 and over must possess a valid Mississippi state fishing license while fishing or when transporting fish.
Although many people still do not know what disc golf is, if you are a disc golfer, you will be happy to know that the park has a huge 18-hole course available to the public. In fact, it is even approved and recommended by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). The course is suitable for every age and ability, and it has seven holes under 300 feet, eight from 300 to 400 feet, and three that are more than 400 feet. The course length is 5,760 feet and has rolling hills and woods to contend with along the route.