Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
Conserving the Nature of America
Trails at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR

Wildlife observation at Mississippi Sandhill Crane is made easy with great trails that travel through multiple habitats. From wetlands to savannas, pitcher plant bogs and cypress groves - the refuge trail system offers many opportunities to get into nature.

The trails are not crane observation trails, but are wonderful for the many other plants and birds that make Mississippi their home. Come during each season to see the different wildflowers in bloom.


C.L. Dees Nature Trail

Just across the parking lot at the Visitor Center, you can walk C.L. Dees Nature Trail. Named after the man who sold the land to the refuge many years ago, this trail is a 3/4 mile loop.

This trail winds through woodlands, wetlands and along the edges of wet pine savanna. Several waysides along the trail highlight different wildflower species, carnivorous plants and management techniques used on the refuge.

Regular carnivorous plants viewed on the trail include butterworts, pitcher plants and sundews. Spring and fall erupt with wildflower blossoms including orchids, violets, peas, candyroots and colicroots.

Benches are available along the trail. Entrance to this trail is available early in the morning at 6am. At 5pm the entrance gate closes, but visitors can still drive out.

C.L. Dees Trail kiosk
Palmettos on Dees Trail
Overlook on Dees Trail

Fontainebleau Nature Trail

This trail is on the Fontainebleau unit of the refuge. To get to the trail, travel south from I10 on Hwy 57 until you reach U.S. Hwy 90. Turn south on Hanshaw Road and the trail head is on the eastern side of the road before you hit Old Spanish Trail (The trail is adjacent to the Ocean Springs Middle School). See map here.

This trail is open during daylight hours and features a mile and a half of trail through a variety of habitats. Enjoy the view from one of the two observation platforms on the trail as it winds by the bayou.

Several benches are available along the trail.

You can reach the trail by kayak or canoe from the Davis Bayou. The boat dock is great for coming to the trail from the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Fontainebleau Trail Sign
Fontainebleau Bench overlooking Davis Bayou
Bridge on Fontainebleau Nature Trail

Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is also in Jackson County, Mississippi. Two trails are available on this refuge.

The Escatawpa Trail System entrance is located at the Mississippi Welcome Center on I-10, Alabama side. Three trails range from a mile loop, a half mile loop, and an overlook trail through the refuge. They wind over to the Escatawpa river to the west and through savanna and wetlands. The trail is open only during daylight hours.

The Oak Grove Birding Trail on Grand Bay NWR is another great place to see wildlife and enjoy a shift from the tall pines to live oak trees. This trail is also open only during daylight hours.

Visit the Grand Bay NWR website for directions and more details.

Last updated: March 31, 2010