Bienville National Forest
Bienville National Forest
Things To Do
Welcome to the Bienville National Forest. Located in the heart of Mississippi, the forest includes 178,000 acres of public land managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Management allows both the use and protection of natural resources so that timber, wildlife, recreational opportunities and water are available for Americans today and in future generations.
The Bienville National Forest was established in 1934. It was named after the French-Canadian soldier and colonist, Jean Baptiste Bienville, who founded Mobile in 1702, Natchez in 1716 and New Orleans in 1718. Most land acquisitions are destined to become the Bienville National Forest were directly purchased from four large lumber companies: Adams- Edgar Lumber Company, Bienville Lumber Company, Eastman Gardner Lumber Company and Marathon Lumber Company.
Scott County's 86,000 acres of National Forest land is open to public hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. Shockaloe Riding Trail, part of the Bienville National Forest, provides hiking and horseback riding trails, hitching areas, water, comfort stations, camping, picnic tables and grills. The 26-mile route is a favorite of horse lovers throughout the country.
Campsites are available at Marathon Lake Recreation Area. The campsites have hookups and many are handicapped accessible. A dump station is available. The area has a volunteer campground Host on site most of the time.
Bienville NF has several lakes with excellent freshwater fishing.
There are several short hiking and interpretive trails throughout the recreation areas in the forest. Visitors can walk a 1.7-mile trail at Marathon Lake Recreation Area.
The Shockaloe Trail is a nationally recognized trail and is listed in the National Register of Trails. A trip along the trail allows the rider or hiker to view more than 60 years of forest management practices in the area. Some notable items of interest are: Superior Trees, Wildlife Water Holes, Timber Management Practices, Wildlife Openings, Flatland Hardwoods, Endangered Species, and Prescribed Burning. There are two Base Camps each has a pavilion and an open area for parking. Have at least two adults in your party. Park trucks and trailers in spaces provided. Keep all facilities clean. Carry first aid supplies with each party. Be careful crossing roads. No public telephones available. In case of emergency, contact Scott County Sheriff's Office (469-1511). Wearing orange/bright colored clothing during deer hunting season is recommended.
There are three Wildlife Management Areas inside the forest, where hunting is allowed. Check with local authorities for regulations.