De Soto National Forest

Quick Facts

De Soto National Forest


(601) 965-1600


Things To Do


The De Soto National Forest is characterized by gently rolling terrain covered by southern pine ridges and hardwood bottoms with clear, tea-colored streams meandering throughout. Year-round recreation opportunities abound for the hiker, bicyclist, camper, canoeist, ATV rider, horse enthusiast, hunter, and fisherman. Length of stay limits do apply within the camping areas. Visitors who seek solitude will be able to find within one of the state's two wilderness areas -- the Black Creek or Leaf -- both located on the De Soto. The district is also home of the Mississippi's only national Scenic River, Black Creek, famous for its wide, white sandbars and relaxed floating pace.

Two National Recreation Trails, the Black Creek and the Tuxachanie, offer over 60 miles for hikers to explore the pinewoods. Other trails on the district included Bethel and Rattlesnake Bay ATV trails, Big Foot horse trail, Leaf hiking trail, and Bethel bicycle trail. Nature observers will delight in experiencing the varied ecosystems found on the De Soto National Forest, from dry, sandy longleaf pine/scrub oak ridges to frequently flooded tupelo/bald cypress swamps, and from the steep upland hardwood forests of Ragland Hills to the vast pitcher plant savanna at Buttercup Flats.

Map of De Soto Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 31.029500, -88.979680



  • Boating

    The Black Creek, famous for its wide, white sandbars and relaxed floating pace, is great for canoeists and kayakers. Several landing points along the river make ingress and egress easy.

  • Camping

    Several campgrounds are located throughout the forest's recreation areas.

  • Fishing

    With several lakes and the Black Creek, De Soto NF offers visitors a great variety of fishing options.

  • Hiking

    The Black Creek and the Tuxachanie trails offer over 60 miles for hikers to explore the pinewoods.

  • Horseback Riding

    The Big Foot horse trail offers about 22 miles of riding, ranging from moderate to difficult. The Big Foot horse camp includes parking areas, hitching rails, primitive camping, sanitary facilities, drinking water for horses only (not for human consumption), picnic tables, and grills. Two ponds and Tuxachanie Creek provide water for animal use. Big Foot is open year-round unless weather conditions require the area to be closed.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Bethel ATV/ Motorcycle Trail is a 37 mile trail established for all terrain vehicles of widths no greater than 48 inches (primarily four-wheelers and motorcycles). The north loop consist of 18 miles of trail and the south loop consist of 19 miles of trail.

  • Water Sports

    Many visitors enjoy a relaxing float down the Black Creek.

Phone Numbers


(601) 965-1600