Like most states in the American South, Mississippi has a thriving outdoor recreation scene catering mainly to locals. Hunting, fishing, boating, and camping are all popular things to do in the warmer months, which means virtually year round in this balmy climate. Mississippi has a number of large state parks with designated trails for hiking and biking, while other areas are dedicated to motorized off-roading fun.

There are miles of biking trails in Mississippi. Both paved routes through the countryside and dirt paths along abandoned railroad beds or mountain valleys provide days of exploration if you enjoy riding on two-wheels. Horse lovers will find plenty of stables that provided guided rides, and the golfing here is also very good. If you prefer to take the easy road, Mississippi’s scenic byways serve up miles of beautiful driving on a plate.

One of the easiest ways to experience the nature of Mississippi is by hiking in one of its state parks. The DeSoto National Forest is one of the more popular destinations, with the inspiring Tuxachanie Trail and Black Creek Trail among its 60 miles of marked paths. You can even combine history with trekking in Vicksburg National Military Park, where the trails lead to battlefields. Buffalo Peak Outfitters and other local companies can set you up with everything you need.

For the residents of Mississippi, fishing is one of the most popular and traditional outdoor activities. There are large rivers, small streams and plenty of lakes to choose from all across the state. For bass fishing on the lakes around Vicksburg try Eagle Creek Outfitters, while deep sea fishing is equally exciting in the Gulf of Mexico with a charter company like Captain Ron’s Fishing Charters based out of Biloxi.

Going hand in hand with fishing is a boating excursion. Fever River Outfitters is known for their kayaking trips, while South Coast Kayaking can take you around the scenic coastal areas along the Gulf Shores. Canoeing is just as popular, and guides like Wolf River Canoe & Kayak have a huge list of trips they offer.

Seasoned hunters are well aware of the excellent conditions in Mississippi. A long hunting season offers different prey throughout the year, and dozens of guide services like McKenna’s Outfitters and Mossy Island Outfitters will take you to the sweet spots for deer, duck, wild turkey, and many other creatures that live in the state’s 49 controlled wildlife areas, 11 national wildlife refuges and six national forests that are open for hunting season.

Whether you enjoy road bikes on the pavement or mountain biking on dirt, Mississippi has opportunities for both. The Mississippi River Trail is a highlight, stretching for 3,000 miles through 10 states along the river. It’s easy to bike from town to town or head into one of the state forests for more excitement. Classic Adventures and Black Bear Adventures are just two of the outfitters who organize multi-day bike rides around the state.