U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Tombigbee National Forest


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Forest Information

The Tombigbee National Forest, located in northeastern Mississippi, is comprised of 66,576 acres. There are two developed campgrounds, both of which met the selection criteria.

The term "Tombigbee" might mean "coffin-maker" or "river of coffins." Strange name for a National Forest but it illustrates the Forest's connection to the nearby Tombigbee River and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian Nations. The story go, during Hernando De Sota's sojourn into this area, the resident native Americans came in contact with the explorers. Many contracted diseases which produced high fever. To these people, the cool, free-flowing river water was the "cure" for fever. By the time DeSota left the area, the river was reported to be "full of the dead" from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations and so it came to be called Tombigbee River. This grim story is soon forgotten by today's visitors to the Tombigbee National Forest. For many the word "tombigbee" has come to means a great family camping vacation and hours of discovering the wonders of a southern hardwood forest.

The Tombigbee National Forest is convenient to the Natchez Trace, initially a hunting trail and later a post road for the growing United States. Davis Lake Recreation Area's campground is located near the Trace, in the section of the Forest near Tupelo, MS and while Choctaw Lake campground is just south of Ackerman, MS. Besides being excellent stops while exploring the Natchez Trace, these campgrounds offer excellent fishing opportunities.

Each of Tombigbee's picturesque campgrounds offer the luxury of electric and water hook-ups along with a peaceful setting for relaxing and contemplation making them popular with recreational vehicle (RV) and motorhome camping enthusiasts. However, car and tent campers will find several secluded sites for the enjoyment. The lakes provide land piers in the campgrounds for bank-fishing, along with boat ramps and a fishing pier in the nearby day-use areas. The few developed hiking trails offer good opportunities for a few hours of exploring.

The primary recreation opportunities found in the Tombigbee National Forest center on camping and fishing and both are excellent. The Natchez Trace is possibly the best known attraction to the Tombigbee National Forest. However, if one is looking for a convenient location to enjoy the culture and gambling opportunities in Philadelphia, MS or the activities offered by Mississippi State University, the Tombigbee National Forest is an excellent place to stay.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS Suite 500-N 200 S. Lamar St. Jackson, Mississippi 39201 601-965-1600 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Tombigbee P.O. Box 912 Highway 15 South Ackerman, Mississippi 39735 662-285-3264

Fred and Suzi Dow