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Jackson, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) – It’s springtime in Mississippi and the weather is perfect for those first outdoor excursions with family and friends. There’s just something about getting “out there” to experience the natural beauty of Mississippi, to reconnect with your surroundings, to learn something new about nature or to seek a new thrill. In April and all year long, Mississippi comes to life with outdoor adventures for everyone.

Visitors can enjoy spring and summer activities while also exploring what’s coming up for the fall season. Hunting, fishing, nature trails, water sports, camping …the list goes on with an abundance of opportunities to enjoy Mississippi’s beautiful, unspoiled natural settings.

Mississippi has five distinct regions to help visitors better understand and plan your trip. All five regions offer a variety of RVing and camping locations, as well as other overnight accommodations. Below is a snapshot of the five specific regions and a taste of the outdoor splendor each one has to offer:

Hills Region

With nearly 90,000 acres of public outdoor recreation lands, this region, in the rolling hills of northeast Mississippi, is home to some of the best hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation in the state. The Holly Springs and Tombigbee National Forests, nine wildlife management areas and land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make this area a haven for a variety of wildlife such as deer, turkey, quail, ducks and small game. A large variety of freshwater fish abound in the lakes and rivers of the Hills Region. Cyclists will enjoy the challenge, natural beauty and history of the 300-mile Natchez Trace Parkway or biking through J.P. Coleman State Park with views of Pickwick Lake. For birdwatchers, the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center is home to the Audubon Society in Mississippi and an incredible annual hummingbird migration.

Pines Region

Known for its trophy white-tailed deer, large flocks of turkeys and coveys of quail, the nearly 200,000 acres of land open for public hunting, fishing and other activities make the Pines Region a place you’ll want to experience over and over. This area, in the east-central part of the state, includes two national wildlife refuges 11 state-owned wildlife management areas and the Bienville National Forest. Freshwater fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and canoeing are all popular outdoors activities here. From the Cypress Swamp on the Natchez Trace Parkway to the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, birdwatchers will enjoy seeing the red-cockaded woodpeckers and orange-crowned warblers. Equestrians will appreciate the Shockaloe Horse Trail, a 23-mile trail listed in the National Register of Trails.

Coastal Region

The Coastal Region includes more than 375,000 acres of public hunting and fishing lands ensuring plenty of access to the area’s wildlife. A national wildlife refuge, the DeSoto National Forest and ten state-owned wildlife management areas are located throughout this southernmost part of the state. The 40-mile Longleaf Trace from Hattiesburg to Prentiss is a favorite trail that attracts hundreds of cyclists each year. Saltwater fishing is a highlight here with light tackle backwater options as well as the true thrill of offshore deep sea fishing. Fishing off the Mississippi Gulf Coast with one of our charter boat captains is a wonderful way for friends and family to spend the day reeling in a memory of a lifetime. The Coast also boasts incredible sites for birding enthusiasts with the famous Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, the Crosby Arboretum and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Kayaking the Pascagoula River or to barrier islands off the mainland is a peaceful way to see it all firsthand. There are also more extreme outdoor experiences to be had in the Coastal Region with parasailing and skydiving.

Capital/River Region

The area from the capital city of Jackson to the west and southwest is the Capital/River Region with rolling hills and wooded forests. The 33,000-acre Ross Barnett Reservoir, on the northeast side of Jackson, provides a huge area for fishing, boating and water sports. The entire region includes 82,000 acres of public hunting and fishing lands with six state-owned wildlife management areas, one national wildlife refuge and the Homochitto National Forest. Biking trails through untouched wilderness settings and historical attractions such as the Vicksburg National Military Park give visitors an up-close view of the natural beauty and a glimpse into our state’s past. With more than 50 waterfalls, the Clark Creek Natural Area near Natchez is a unique place in the state for hiking and exploring. Jackson is home to many national and world-class equestrian events.

Delta Region

Traditionally known as the heart of Mississippi’s agricultural region, the Mississippi Delta is also internationally-known as the birthplace of blues music. Adventure seekers will also appreciate the Delta Region’s many outdoor possibilities. This area is the state’s premier location for waterfowl hunting and includes opportunities for deer, turkey and dove. More than 110,000 acres of public hunting and fishing lands are home to the Delta Region, including 12 state-owned wildlife management areas, five national wildlife refuges, the Delta National Forest and numerous lakes, rivers and streams. Biking the 300-mile Mississippi River Trail is a great adventure through the home of the blues. Other biking trails include the Great River Road State Park at Rosedale and the Delta National Forest at Rolling Fork. Birding and eco-trails are available at Tunica’s RiverPark and in the “oasis of trees” at Leroy Percy State Park. Canoeing and kayaking are popular on the Little Sunflower River, and hiking and equestrian trails can also be found throughout the area.

Learn more about these regions and starting planning your trip by visiting http://www.VisitMississippi.org, or by calling 1-866-SEE- MISS.

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