Mississippi: Trace State Park

Tupelo, Miss.

How would you like to spend the weekend riding great trails and visit the home of the King all at the same weekend?

You can do that with a visit to Trace State Park in Northeastern Mississippi, which is only nine miles west of Tupelo, on Highway 6. If you're not up on rock and roll history, Tupelo is the birth place of Elvis Presley.

The trails at Trace Lake are just what you would expect when you want a fun ride. There are 25 miles of multi-use trails that can be used by ATVs, motorcycles, mountain bikes, horses or hikers.

The area features hilly, steep climbs and steep downhills as well as easy trails for new or not so gutsy riders. Much of the park is heavily wooded, but there are low slough areas also.

When you arrive at Trace State Park the first thing you will want to do is to stop in at the park office and sign a waiver release, pay your $5 fee per ATV, and pick up a map and park rules.

Riders between 6 and 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The park has a few rules that we think every rider should practice. Helmet use is required. Riding of passengers is prohibited, unless your ATV is designed specifically by the manufacturer to carry passengers. Your vehicle must also have a properly functioning spark arrestor and muffler that doesn't exceed 90 dB (most stock exhausts are well under this limit).

The trails are open from 8 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year. Trail heads are day use only and no camping is allowed at the trail heads. But nearby you have many stay-over options.

There are 52 improved RV sites that have electric, water and sewer hookups, running from $14 to $16 a day depending on what services you need. Sites are on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also a bath house with hot showers and a laundromat.

Tent camping is available for $10 per tent. If you don’t have an RV or don’t like sleeping on the ground in a tent there are two large cabins, with three queen-size beds that rent for $84 per night, Friday and Saturday. There are also four smaller cabins with a single queen bed in each that run $55 a night, Friday and Saturday.

All cabins have a kitchen and bathroom. There is a weekday discount on cabins.

Park Manager Donald Campbell recently received Recreational Trail Program grants and added more bathrooms. He also bought new equipment for grooming and maintaining the trails.

For more information, contact at (662) 484-2958; Trace State Park, 2139 Faulkner Road, Belden, MS, 38826; or e-mail tracesp@ayrix.net. You can also visit their website at www.mdwfp.com.