Beat the Heat on the Bear Creek along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Summertime along the Natchez Trace Parkway is certainly a magical time. Lush green foliage and limitless blue skies are signatures of the historic 444-mile pathway. Summertime also brings another, less welcoming, feature to the Natchez Trace: heat. There’s no denying it, if you aren’t under a shade-tree with a glass of tea in your hand, you might feel like you’re going to melt away. But no worries–there are fun ways to stay cool this summer on the Parkway. If you find yourself on the Natchez Trace in need of a refreshing activity, we suggest you check out the Bear Creek near Tishomingo in Northeastern Mississippi. 

Bear Creek

Bear Creek runs right through beautiful Tishomingo State Park, just a stonesthrow off of the Natchez Trace. Tishomingo State Park offers canoe trips down the Bear Creek featuring scenic views of the Appalachian foothills, relaxing waterfalls and bubbling rapids. If you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife, too! As you float between high rocky bluffs and white sandbars, you’ll be reminded of the immense beauty that Mississippi and the Natchez Trace have to offer. The Bear Creek canoe trip is more watching than working. The calm waters push you gently downstream for approximately two hours, finishing up at the historic swinging bridge in Tishomingo State Park.

Tishomingo State Park
Bear Creek

The two-hour float costs $30 per canoe. Tishomingo State Park provides everything you’ll need to get downriver (canoe, paddles and lifejackets), but they advise you to bring your own lunchbox sized cooler for the float. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the river, but make sure to pack some cold drinks and sandwiches because you’ll want to stop for a snack on one of the many scenic sandbars along the river. We recommend calling ahead and making advanced reservations. Once your trip has been booked, park officials say you need to report to the Park Office 30-minutes prior to departure time, just so they can do a head count for safety. You’ll be leaving your car at the park’s Swinging Bridge Area and are transported upstream to begin the float trip

Tishomingo Swinging Bridge

If you are interested in more information regarding Tishomingo State Park and the Bear Creek canoe trip click HERE. To view a pricing schedule for other park activities, click HERE.

Contact Tishomingo County Tourism:

  • 1001 Battleground Drive, Iuka, MS 38852
  • 1-800-FUN-HERE (1-800-386-4373)

If you need a break from the sweltering summertime heat, the Bear Creek Canoe trip might be just what the doctor ordered. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great ideas about experiencing the amazing Natchez Trace!



Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center: 662-680-4017

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