Photograph the Wildlife at Davis Bayou Area

Davis Bayou Area

The Davis Bayou Area is the only Mississippi area at Gulf Islands National Seashore accessible by car. The area offers many recreational opportunities such as biking, hiking, camping, fishing, wildlife photography, and ranger-led programs.

The Davis Bayou Area is an estuary teeming with wildlife. Its salt marshes serve as nurseries for crabs, fish, and other marine life; its coastal woodlands are home to pines, magnolias, and saw palmettos.

The William M. Colmer Visitor Center is where visitors can view the park oriented film and exhibits, purchase items at the bookstore, and on most weekends enjoy a ranger-led program. Here visitors can also find free park and trail maps, local orientation, and other information. The visitor center is currently open daily from 8:30am – 4:30pm.

The Davis Bayou Area is open daily from 8:00 am to sunset. The preserve features a fishing pier and a boat launch. There is a fee for using the boat launches, and a Mississippi State Saltwater Fishing License is required.

For campers, The Davis Bayou Campground is open for tent and RV camping on a first-come-first-serve basis. A group camping area is also available by reservation for organized groups of 10 or more. All sites have water and electric hook-ups, a dump station available, and flush toilets and showers in a central restroom facility. There is a per night campsite charge. Three pavilions are available for reservation for group activities.

Trails:

  • Davis Bayou Trail:

Listen to the birds and other sounds as you explore the forest and bayou along this 1-mile trail from the visitor center to the picnic area. The trail provides access to the CCC Spur Trail and the Nature's Way Loop Trail.

  • CCC Spur Trail:

Follow this 0.2-mile trail along a wooded section of a former Civilian Conservation Corps roadbed to an overlook of the salt marsh.

  • Nature's Way Loop Trail:

Hike this 0.5-mile trail and notice how the types of plant species change as the elevation rises slightly between the bayou and forest in a former dune area.

  • Visitor Center Trails:

Walk the short trails for views of Davis Bayou and Mississippi Sound; 100 yards; the fishing pier is wheelchair-accessible.

  • Live Oaks Bicycle Route:

Follow this paved route as it winds 2 miles through the park and 13 miles through the adjacent community to downtown Ocean Springs.

Please take all trash out with you, be sure to take plenty of pictures, and have a great day out in nature! 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Hiking Shoes/Boots
  • Camping:
    • Tent/Hammock and Sleeping Bag (Unless RV Camping)
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Activities Cycling, Chillin, Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Louisiana swamps in Mississippi.

This place is a pretty cool little day/weekend spot. You can camp, hike, bike, or photograph the alligators. I could just sit and stare at the alligators for hours, and sometimes I do!


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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