LeFleur's Bluff State Park
|LeFleur's Bluff State Park|
|Mississippi State Park|
A canoe race at the park
|Named for: Early settler Louis LeFleur|
|Elevation||279 ft (85 m) |
|Area||305 acres (123 ha) |
|Website: LeFleur's Bluff State|
LeFleur's Bluff State Park is a Mississippi state park in Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi in the United States. It is located off Interstate 55 on the banks of the Pearl River within the city of Jackson. The park is named for Louis LeFleur, a French Canadian trader along the Natchez Trace who established a trading post on the banks of the Pearl River in the late 18th century that became known as LeFleur's Bluff. This village eventually grew to become Jackson.
The area which is now LeFleur's Bluff State Park was once part of the Choctaw Nation. Under pressure from the United States government, the Choctaw Native Americans agreed to removal from their lands east of the Mississippi River, under the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. Although many Choctaws then moved to present-day Oklahoma, a significant number chose to stay in Mississippi.
In 1821, the Mississippi Legislature, meeting in the then-capital of Natchez, sent Thomas Hinds, James Patton, and William Lattimore to look for a location on which to establish a more centrally located state capital. After surveying areas north and east of what is now Jackson, they proceeded southwest along the Pearl River until they reached LeFleur's Bluff in today's Hinds County. Their report to the General Assembly stated that this location had beautiful and healthful surroundings, good water, abundant timber, navigable waters, and proximity to the trading route (the Natchez Trace). On November 28, 1821, the state assembly authorized the location to become the permanent seat of the government of the state of Mississippi.
LeFleur's Bluff State Park is open for year-round recreation including hiking, boating and fishing. Since the park is surrounded by the city of Jackson, the hiking trails are fairly short with all of them being under 0.5 miles (0.80 km):
- The Purple Trail at 0.49 miles (0.79 km) is the longest trail in the park. It passes by the store at Mayes Lake which is the only stop on the trail system with restrooms.
- The Blue Trail is 0.36 miles (0.58 km) and is steep in parts with some boardwalk steps and platforms. It connects the red and green trails.
- The Red Trail is 0.32 miles (0.51 km) and is described as being the trail that is "most natural."
- The Green Trail provides access to a scenic overlook and is 0.21 miles (0.34 km).
- The Yellow Trail is the shortest trail in the park at 0.16 miles (0.26 km) with some boardwalk decking.
The Pearl River and Mayes Lake are open to fishing and boating. Common game fish include catfish, bass, bream, and crappie. A nine-hole golf course is open to the public. There are two nine-hole disc golf courses in the park. One is along the Pearl River and the other is on the shores of Mayes Lake. There are 28 campsites at the park open to tent or RV camping and 10 tent camping sites.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is in the park. The museum features aquariums, habitat exhibits, and nature trails featuring the flora and fauna of Mississippi. The museum houses the state's systematic collections, containing more than a million specimens of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, invertebrates, plants, and fossils. Twenty-one outdoor nature exhibits managed by the museum are within the park. The native plant garden features swamp azalea, smooth phlox, mountain laurel, bell flower, sweet shrubs and spiderwort. The prairie garden plot uses minimal amounts of pesticides and fertilizers to recreate a patch of prairie featuring prairie and purple coneflower, goldenrod, gayfeather, thimbleweed and New England aster. A woodland pond is a reminder of the days when the park was a farm. It provides a habitat for frogs and other amphibians. The upland ridge section of the park is a wooded area that hosts a disc golf course. It is a habitat for a mixture of woodland trees and was formerly farmland. Fifty to sixty million years ago what is now LeFleur's Bluff State Park was covered by an inland sea. Fossils from this era can be found on the parks bluffs.
- "Lefleurs Bluff State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "LeFleur's Bluff State Park". Parks and Destinations. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "History". City of Jackson. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "History". City of Meridian. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "History". Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "Outdoor Exhibits". Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "Admission/Directions". Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "Permanent Exhibits". Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- LeFleurs Bluff State Park Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks