Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi

Shopping, dining, and attending fabulous events are absolute must-dos when you’re visiting Laurel and Jones County, MS, but don’t underestimate the availability of outdoor activities during your next visit to the New State of Jones.

Outdoor Activities in Laurel MS - Trustmark Art Park
Photo of Trustmark Art Park courtesy of Christine Johnson

Explore a National Forest

Having a National Forest right here in our backyard is something very special. Birding, hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, and even horseback riding are all available at Desoto National Forest. For information on camping, trails, and recreation opportunities available, start here.

Are you a runner? Ultra-runners love The Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 which is held in early March each year on the Longleaf Horse Trail in the De Soto National Forest just south of Laurel, MS. Participants take in the beautiful natural scenery during the 20K, 50K, or 50 Mile run. The trails are great for training throughout the year as well!

Big Creek

Visitors love the picturesque Mississippi countryside and abundant fishing waters of Big Creek Water Park located in Soso, MS. Featuring a 200-acre lake, campgrounds, picnic tables, and one of the oldest cedars in the state of Mississippi, Big Creek has something for every type of explorer, vacationer, birding enthusiast, fisherman, and even history lover!

Cast Your Line

Lake Bogue Homa is an 882-acre lake located in Jones County, about 6 miles east of Laurel on Hwy 84. It is the largest state fishing lake operated by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and a popular place to reel in catfish, bream, largemouth bass, and crappie.

Three handicapped access fishing piers are available, and the 3 boat ramps can accommodate boats of all sizes. What’s biting now, you ask? The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has the most up-to-date fishing reports available!   A fishing license is required so be sure to obtain yours here.

Zip Through the Woods

If you’re ready for a thrill, Bar-T Adventure is an Outdoor Adventure Ministry that is ideal for groups of 12 or more (although they will make special accommodations for smaller groups).  Plan a customized program for your family reunion, girls group, or school trip where you’ll experience a ropes course, climbing wall, zip line, and more!

Picture (& Picnic) Perfect Parks

Many of our parks are ideal for all of your picnic needs. Grab some breakfast or lunch to go from our local eateries, then gather in the Trustmark Art Park, Eulicd Park, Leontyne Price Music Park, or Gardiner Park for a beautiful and serene setting that’s sure to be picnic perfect! Throughout town, you’ll find many more local parks featuring playgrounds, swings, walking paths, and something for everyone in your crew.


Want more ideas on things to do while you’re visiting Laurel and Jones County, MS? Check out our list of recreational and outdoor activities. Don’t forget about our awesome outdoor events and festivals throughout the year!