“marvel at the stately cypress trees with plunging roots”
Water tupelo and bald cypress trees can live in deep water for long periods. After taking root in summer when the swamp is nearly dry, the seedlings can stay alive in water deep enough to kill other plants. This trail leads to an abandoned river channel. As the channel fills with silt and vegetation, black willow, sycamore, red maple and other trees will gradually replace the bald cypress and tupelo. Don't hurry, the change will take several hundred years. Walk the loop around the swamp and marvel at the the stately cypress trees with roots plunging into the still waters. In the summer when the water is blanketed with algae, it seems as though you could step right onto it, but you may not want to once you look closer at that bumpy log and realize that it is actually an alligator!
Great short stop. Nice stop to get out and stretch your legs for a minute.
Note, there is no true address so when you are on Natchez Trace Parkway look for mile marker 122.
Also, a very clean roadside bathroom is one stop, less than half a mile, before you get to the swamp.
Get your fill of danger at mile marker 122, where alligators lurk beneath the smooth surface of the swamp. Walk the loop around the swamp and marvel at the the stately cypress trees with roots plunging into the still waters. In the summer when the water is blanketed with algae, it seems as though you could step right onto it, but you may not want to once you look closer at that bumpy log and realize that it is actually an alligator!
This was one of the best surprises of our trip. I picked this as a place for a quick stop to stretch our legs & see a cool swamp as we passed through the area. So glad we did! You drive for miles on the Natchez Trace Parkway (which connects the Mississippi River to Nashville, TN) and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.
Other reviewers said its rare to see gators, but we spotted a bunch! All small ones but once we took our time and sat and watched for a while we discovered just how many were there! On tree limbs, hidden in the water, & all over really. We saw turtles & an eagle too. Very cool spot to see them in their natural habitat.
The walk across the boardwalk and around the loop took less than ten minutes if just walking through and the grass is overgrown in areas so exercise caution.
Side note, as we continued south you come out along the banks of the large Ross R Barnett Reservoir and spotted even more gators swimming along the shore line - which was also super cool to see!
Due to a possible tornado in the summer of 2020 this park is now a mess. Hopefully they will get the MANY fallen trees cleared out soon.
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Tupelo-Bald Cypress Swamp
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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