Paddle, Glide, Discover: The Top Wildlife-Watching Paddle Board Destinations in Mississippi.
Mississippi, known for its rich history and scenic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for nature enthusiasts to experience its wildlife up close and personal – from the gentle glide of a paddle board. Imagine drifting through serene waters, surrounded by lush vegetation, and witnessing a menagerie of wildlife both on land, in water, and in the sky. Here, we present a curated list of 20 captivating paddle board wildlife viewing locations in Mississippi, each offering its own enchanting experience.
. Horn Lake.
Description: Nestled in the northern part of Mississippi, Horn Lake is a hidden gem for paddle board wildlife enthusiasts. The waters here are a mirror of tranquility, providing the perfect canvas for your wildlife adventure. As you gently glide through the calm waters, the towering cypress trees create a natural tunnel, casting dancing shadows on the surface. Keep your eyes peeled for the great blue herons that gracefully wade in the shallows, their long necks and elegant postures a true marvel to behold. And don't be surprised if a playful otter family makes an appearance, darting in and out of the water, their curiosity piqued by your presence. Along the shore, turtles often sunbathe on logs, occasionally slipping into the water with a gentle splash, as if inviting you to join in their aquatic world.
2. Ross Barnett Reservoir.
Description: The Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson is a haven for bird enthusiasts and paddle boarders seeking a unique wildlife spectacle. As you embark on your paddle board journey, the sky above becomes a theater of aerial acrobatics. Watch in awe as ospreys and bald eagles soar with grace, their wings spread wide against the backdrop of the clear blue sky. Along the shoreline, white-tailed deer emerge from the thickets in the early morning hours, their delicate movements adding a touch of elegance to the scenery. The tranquil waters provide a glimpse into a world where nature's beauty takes center stage, creating an experience that's as serene as it is captivating.
3. Okatoma Creek.
Description: In the heart of southern Mississippi, Okatoma Creek winds its way through dense forests, offering paddle board enthusiasts a truly immersive wildlife experience. As you navigate the crystal-clear waters, the gentle ripples create a soothing melody, complemented by the chorus of frogs and birds that serenade your journey. Beavers are known to be active along the banks, their industrious spirit evident in the meticulously constructed dams that interrupt the flow of the creek. The lush foliage lining the creek provides a haven for various bird species, each adding its unique melody to the natural symphony. This is a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to connect with nature on a profound level.
4. Grenada Lake.
Description: Grenada Lake is a treasure trove of wildlife wonders waiting to be discovered from your paddle board. As you embark on your adventure, keep your eyes trained on the water's surface. River otters are known to make appearances, their sleek bodies gracefully gliding through the water, their playful antics a joy to witness. As the sun dips below the horizon, the landscape transforms, and the skies become a canvas painted with shades of orange and pink. This is also the time when bats emerge, darting through the sky in pursuit of their evening meals. Witnessing this twilight dance from your paddle board is an experience that etches itself into memory.
5. Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Description: The Gulf Islands National Seashore offers a paddle board wildlife adventure unlike any other. Venture into the Gulf's turquoise waters, and you might find yourself sharing the waves with a pod of playful dolphins. These intelligent creatures often approach paddle boarders, as if acknowledging the connection between humans and the sea. Glancing below the water's surface reveals a hidden world – graceful stingrays elegantly glide beneath you, their movements as captivating as the waves above. The salty breeze carries the melodies of seabirds overhead, creating an immersive experience that intertwines with the natural rhythms of the Gulf.
6. Pascagoula River.
Description: The Pascagoula River is a sanctuary for paddle board enthusiasts seeking an encounter with Mississippi's elusive wildlife. The waterway winds through serene landscapes, bordered by towering trees and verdant marshes. One of the river's most enchanting residents is the river otter. With a watchful eye, you might catch sight of these playful creatures as they frolic in the shallows, their quick movements leaving traces of ripples in their wake. Nesting bald eagles are a common sight along the riverbanks, their powerful presence a reminder of the majesty of Mississippi's wilderness. Paddling along the Pascagoula River is a journey into the heart of nature, where each stroke of the paddle reveals a new chapter in the river's story.
7. Sardis Lake.
Description: Sardis Lake, with its tranquil waters and stunning scenery, is a haven for paddle boarders seeking a rendezvous with Mississippi's waterfowl. As you gently paddle along the shoreline, a world of avian wonders unveils itself. Egrets wade gracefully in the shallows, their stark white feathers contrasting against the shimmering blue water. Warblers hidden among the trees serenade you with their melodic songs, creating an auditory tapestry that complements the visual beauty around you. The stillness of the lake allows you to immerse yourself in the moment, connecting with the rhythm of nature in a way that's both soothing and invigorating.
8. Tishomingo State Park.
Description: Tucked away within the hills, Tishomingo State Park offers a paddle board adventure that's a blend of natural beauty and historic charm. Bear Creek meanders through the park, flanked by limestone bluffs that rise dramatically from the water's edge. This unique landscape sets the stage for encounters with white-tailed deer, which often make appearances along the creek. In the early morning light, their graceful movements create a serene tableau against the backdrop of the lush foliage. As you navigate the clear waters, the park's rich history is palpable, transporting you to a time when Native American tribes once roamed these lands.
9. Black Creek.
Description: Black Creek, a designated National Wild and Scenic River, is a true gem for paddle board wildlife enthusiasts. The journey along its sinuous waters is a venture into a world untouched by time. The dense canopy overhead creates a tranquil tunnel of greenery, and as you glide along the water, the symphony of birdsong becomes your soundtrack. Keep a watchful eye on the banks, where river otters may make a surprise appearance, their playful antics adding a touch of whimsy to your paddle. With every twist and turn of the creek, you're enveloped in the magic of Mississippi's wilderness, a testament to the state's commitment to preserving its natural wonders.
10. Lake Lamar Bruce.
Description: Lake Lamar Bruce is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of northern Mississippi. As you paddle across the serene waters, you'll be captivated by the untouched beauty of the surrounding landscape. The lake's calm surface reflects the towering trees that line its shores, creating a picturesque scene that's straight out of a nature painting. Keep your eyes peeled for great blue herons that often grace the water's edge, their majestic silhouettes adding a touch of elegance to the scene. In the early morning hours, the tranquil atmosphere is punctuated by the calls of songbirds that flit among the branches. Paddle at your own pace, allowing yourself to become fully immersed in the tranquility that this serene destination offers.
11. Davis Bayou.
Description: Embrace the serenity of Davis Bayou within the Gulf Islands National Seashore as you embark on a paddle board adventure like no other. The salt marshes and mangroves that flank the bayou are a haven for coastal wildlife. Herons, ibises, and pelicans are among the winged inhabitants that grace the waters, their elegant movements and vibrant plumage adding a touch of color to the landscape. Paddling through the bayou is a sensory experience, where the briny scent of the ocean mingles with the chorus of birdcalls overhead. With each stroke of the paddle, you become part of the delicate ecosystem that thrives along the bayou's shores.
12. Enid Lake.
Description: Enid Lake beckons paddle board enthusiasts to discover its hidden treasures. The lake's tranquil waters mirror the rolling hills that frame its banks, creating a visual symphony that's both soothing and inspiring. As you embark on your paddle, keep an eye on the shore for a chance to spot American alligators basking in the sun. These prehistoric creatures add a sense of wonder to the landscape, a reminder of the ancient connections that bind Mississippi's natural world. Paddle at a leisurely pace, allowing yourself to become fully immersed in the beauty that surrounds you, from the water's surface to the skies above.
13. Pearl River Wildlife Management Area.
Description: Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. As you paddle through the cypress swamps, you'll feel like an explorer venturing into a primeval landscape. The towering trees create a natural cathedral, and as you navigate the winding waterways, you might be graced by the presence of barred owls, their distinctive calls piercing the silence. The reflections on the water's surface add a surreal quality to the experience, blurring the lines between the real and the mirrored world. The Pearl River Wildlife Management Area is a testament to the delicate balance between the untamed wilderness and the human spirit of exploration.
14. Little Black Creek Water Park.
Description: Little Black Creek Water Park invites you to embrace the beauty of nature from your paddle board. The peaceful lake is a canvas for both serenity and adventure, offering a family-friendly experience that's as educational as it is captivating. As you paddle across the calm waters, dragonflies dance above you, their iridescent wings catching the sunlight in a dazzling display. Turtles bask on sunlit logs, seemingly unperturbed by your presence, while fish occasionally break the surface, creating ripples that spread outward. Paddle at your own pace, creating memories that resonate with the laughter of loved ones and the beauty of the natural world.
15. Neshoba County Lake.
Description: Neshoba County Lake is a haven of natural beauty, inviting you to paddle through its pristine waters and immerse yourself in its tranquility. As you glide across the lake's mirror-like surface, red-shouldered hawks may make an appearance, their elegant flight patterns a testament to their mastery of the skies. The surrounding woodlands come alive with the songs of songbirds, creating an auditory tapestry that complements the visual beauty of the landscape. The lake's waters become a portal to a world where time slows down, allowing you to savor the moment and connect with the essence of Mississippi's wilderness.
16. Pat Harrison Waterway District.
Description: The Pat Harrison Waterway District encompasses several lakes and reservoirs, each offering its own unique paddle board adventure. As you navigate the clear waters, the possibilities for wildlife encounters are endless. Look to the shoreline, where white-tailed deer may make a graceful appearance, their cautious movements a reminder of the symbiotic relationship between land and water. The skies above are often graced by red-tailed hawks, their keen eyes scanning the landscape for potential prey. Paddle through this network of waterways, and you'll find yourself immersed in a world where nature's beauty takes center stage.
17. Choctaw Lake.
Description: Choctaw Lake is a hidden treasure for paddle board enthusiasts seeking a tranquil wildlife encounter. As you navigate the serene waters, keep your eyes peeled for playful river otters that may make an appearance, their curious nature evident in their swift movements. The towering cypress trees that line the shore create a sense of calm, their reflections mirrored on the water's surface. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate details of nature, from the delicate ripples of the water to the gentle rustling of leaves in the breeze. Paddle through this idyllic setting, and you'll find yourself transported to a world where the worries of the modern world are left behind.
18. Red Creek.
Description: The journey along Red Creek is a paddle board adventure that immerses you in the heart of Mississippi's wilderness. As you navigate the sinuous waters, the dense canopy overhead creates a natural haven, sheltering you from the outside world. Along the banks, keep your eyes peeled for river otters that may dart in and out of the water, their energetic movements a testament to their playful spirit. Listen to the calls of pileated woodpeckers echoing through the forest, their distinctive sounds adding a touch of wildness to the landscape. Paddle at your own pace, allowing yourself to become fully immersed in the beauty that unfolds with every stroke.
19. Lake Bogue Homa.
Description: Lake Bogue Homa is a hidden gem for paddle board enthusiasts seeking a serene escape into nature. As you glide across the clear waters, take a moment to observe the great egrets that grace the water's edge, their poised postures a testament to their grace. The lake's calm surface mirrors the towering trees that line the shore, creating a breathtaking visual symphony. Witness the interplay of light and shadow as the sun casts its golden glow on the landscape, transforming the scene into a masterpiece of nature's creation. Paddle at a leisurely pace, allowing yourself to become fully absorbed in the beauty that surrounds you.
20. Tombigbee State Park.
Description: Tombigbee State Park's tranquil lake is a haven for paddle board enthusiasts seeking a serene wildlife encounter. As you embark on your paddle, keep an eye out for raccoons and squirrels rustling through the trees, their presence a reminder of the rich biodiversity that calls this park home. The lake's glassy surface reflects the lush foliage that lines its banks, creating a picture-perfect scene that's both serene and captivating. Paddle at your own pace, allowing yourself to become fully present in the moment, as the sights and sounds of nature envelop you in a sense of tranquility. We hope you enjoyed this tour of some of the best places to view wildlife from a sup in Mississippi! Let us know your favorite spot.
In each of these locations, the beauty of Mississippi's wildlife unfolds in its own unique way, offering paddle board enthusiasts a front-row seat to the wonders of the natural world. Whether you're captivated by the graceful movements of river otters, the soaring flights of raptors, or the serenity of mirror-like waters, each location presents an opportunity to connect with nature in a way that's both exhilarating and meditative. As you paddle through these landscapes, you'll create memories that linger long after the journey ends, reminding you of the awe-inspiring beauty that lies just beyond the water's edge.
Tips, Tricks, and Fun Articles await.
Here are a few quick links to help you keep going, don't forget to check our blog out for more tips and expert advice. For wildlife tips check out our blog and this article on Beginners Guide To Bird Watching. And don't forget to read our article on Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Wildlife Encounters. For a complete guide of where to paddle board in every state, this one is for you! The best places to paddle board in the United States a state by state tour of where to paddle board with Glide Paddle Boards.
Or perhaps something international is what you are looking for, then these two articles will help out. Check out the ultimate guide on finding places to paddle board near you for tips and tricks on finding new and exciting places near you! And for international spots Epic Spots Globally To Paddle Board is for you! And check out the Glide O2 Angler and why it makes an incredible platform for birding and wildlife viewing.