If you ask a group of people what constitutes camping, you are likely to get an array of different answers: “under the stars,” “roughing it in a tent,” “able to set up, sleep and move rapidly,” “rest point in a hike or canoe trip,” “sleeping in my camp-er.” What’s more important, though, is the spirit of camping. When you camp, you are getting away from regular routines and connecting with the natural world to some degree. It doesn’t have to be expensive, exhausting, or even far away. Everything you are looking for in a campsite, whatever your definition, is waiting in a peaceful part of central Mississippi, where there are hills, rivers, a massive lake, swamps, migratory birds, and outdoor activities. Camp in Grenada—and getaway from the everyday.
Grenada is a convenient location in the heart of Mississippi where unique ecosystems collide, the loess bluffs, the whispering of the Appalachian foothills to the east, and the alluvial delta plains of the Mississippi River to the west. Nearly half of the migratory birds of America pass over this area every year. The peacefully meandering Yalobusha River runs through Grenada and feeds the largest lake in the state. Grenada Lake is a destination in its own right, home of monster 3-lb crappie and all around good fishing (for people and bald eagles!) and recreation. Here is a list of camping options from least to most primitive and back again:
Cabins at Hugh White State Park
Electricity, air, running water, a kitchen, a view you can count on. . . and you don’t have to bring the shelter with you! The 12 duplex cabins in Hugh White State Park are perched on a bluff overlooking 35,000-acre Grenada Lake. Some cabins have a screened-in porch while others have a living room area, and many boast cozy fireplaces perfect for family gatherings. Your crew can enjoy all the advantages of the lake area with none of the additional responsibilities of RV or tent camping. One great picnic and historical site is just moments away in the form of Fort Grenada. Take a photo with the Civil War cannons at this storied defensive post and revel in the magnitude and ingenuity of battles of a bygone era.
RV Camping Around the Lake
The Army Corps of Engineers manages prime campground property near the dam. North Abutment Campground has 50 hookup sites, various amperages, and even sewer connections to keep things ultra-convenient. These sites are known for their great views of the lake and great fishing around the dam. Close by you’ll find the Chocchuma Fitness Trail with 18 workout stations spread throughout a one-mile nature trail. The North Abutment area also has a sports complex of tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, picnic shelters, and playgrounds.
Further down the Scenic Drive you can also choose to hook up your RV at either Class A & Primitive Camping or choose from the 125 sites at Hugh White State Park. The spillway is in this direction, which has its own pavilions with grills, a bike loop, and playground perfect for energized kiddos. If you are looking for a hike, check out the hidden bluff and little mountain trails nearby with hundreds of feet in elevation offering differing vantage points of the surrounding land.
There are many small tent camp-able spots around the lake, but tent campers might appreciate more “in-the-wild” options. Malmaison Wildlife Management Area is open to primitive camping and boasts abundant plants and wildlife with hill and swamp ecosystems. Stay quiet, and you can see some fascinating migratory birds: bunting, cuckoo, tanager, warbler, hummingbird, swallow, kinglet, anhinga, wood stork, roseate spoonbill, ibis, heron, egret, pelican, duck, eagle, kingfisher, owl, and woodpecker.
To understand the landscape and pace of Central Mississippi, the Yalobusha River may be your best tour guide. This navigable river helped create the city of Grenada, and on its 50-mile run to the Yazoo River charts the changing landscape (and feeds the lake). Tent campers might take on a section or two of the river and sleep on a long stretch of sandbar in earshot of the river and all of its wildlife in their full pastoral glory. Just be sure to plan ahead—you may need two vehicles or a taxi back to your ride out.
Grenada is not just a wild place, of course. If you’d rather visit nature from a different vantage point, try booking a room in a historic 1800s building on Grenada town square. The Lofts on the Square rent six lovingly restored rooms each with a king-sized bed, television, desk, lounge seating, WiFi, and private bathroom with an oversized shower. RV, cabin, tent, or historic B&B, the camping attitude means putting yourself in a different place to achieve a more peaceful state of mind. Grenada’s got you covered. For more ideas about what to get up to while you’re here, check out these can’t-miss sights.