Hike the Tuxachanie Trail to Airey Lake

11.5 miles 370 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Josh & Michele

While hiking along the Tuxachanie Trail through southern Mississippi’s Desoto National Forest, hikers will encounter a variety of habitats, each one offering wildflower viewing opportunities in season.

The Tuxachanie trail crosses a variety of wetland locations including sloughs, creeks, ponds, pitcher-plant bogs, and lowland swamps. There are bridges and wooden planks to aid in crossing most of these wetland environments. I only came across one crossing that seemed rather sketchy, and that one was an old fallen log with a rope to act as a handrail. Intermixed with these wet habitats are acres of dry, sandy longleaf pine woods. There is even a small beech-magnolia forest about a mile from the trailhead.

Overnight primitive camping is permitted, but campsites must be 100 feet away from the trail to preserve its natural character. Drinking water and restrooms are not provided along the trail but can be found at Airey Lake Recreation Area.

Though this trail can be hiked year-round, the best season to hike it is in the Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. Wildflower viewing can be done from mid to late March with early blooming shrubs and wildflowers such as horse-sugar, star-anise, wild azalea, and yellow jessamine. There is also an abundance of vegetation as well. In the creeks and drains crossing the trail, you can find abundant golden club. In the longleaf pine forest, you can spot patches of saw palmetto. The bogs are home to Stokes’ aster, butterworts, sundews, yellow pitcher plants, parrot’s beak pitcher plants, and various wild orchids.

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Tags

Fitness
Camping
Photography
Running
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

over 2 years ago

Long, quiet trail.

Its a long hike to the lake, and if you're looking for some solitude, this is the trail for you. You can unwind and reflect along the trail and then celebrate with a good lunch and watch the ducks once you make it to the lake.

Great Terrain

My wife and I took our 9 month old on the trail, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The terrain was quite varied, giving us great changes of scenery throughout.

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