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The Longleaf Trace is a 41-mile (66 km) paved pedestrian, equestrian, rollerblade, and bicycle trail located between Hattiesburg and Prentiss, Mississippi, USA. The Trace was constructed in 2000. It follows a portion of the abandoned Mississippi Central Railroad line. It has nine stations along its route (Prentiss, Ed Parkman Road, Carson, Bassfield, Lott Circle, Sumrall, Epley, Clyde Depot, Jackson Road).
Trail access is from public road access points only, located an average of 5 miles (8.0 km) apart. The following roads hold a rest stop and parking lot accessing the Trace. In Hattiesburg: University of Southern Mississippi, West 4th street and Jackson Road.
The slope of the Trace is very gradual, rising 50 ft / mi at the steepest accessible segment. Rest stops are provided around every two miles, and weather stops are located at reasonable distances. Mile markers ease navigating the trail.
Wildlife such as wild hare, squirrels, raccoons, song birds and deer can be seen along the trace. The trace also supports a variety of flora, including flowering Dogwood and Magnolia trees, and fragrant honeysuckle and wisteria. Many of the trees between Hattiesburg and Sumrall have identification signposts.
No petroleum-propelled vehicles are permitted on the trail except emergency, maintenance, and patrol vehicles authorized by the district.
No person under 12 years of age is allowed on the trail unless accompanied by an adult.
Fires are allowed only in grills and fire pits provided in designated areas.
Vandalism of any building, structure, plants, signs, or property of the district is prohibited.
No person shall litter or dispose of litter except in waste containers provided by the district.
Horseback riding is permitted only on the equestrian trail and shall cross the paved trail only at designated places.
All users of the trail shall yield to all horse traffic at equestrian crossings.
Firearms of any kind are prohibited on the trail except for authorized personnel, law enforcement officers, or by permit.
Hunting is prohibited on the trail or on any property of the district.
Shooting a firearm on, over, across, or down the trail is prohibited.
Explosives or fireworks are prohibited on the trail.
Disorderly conduct is prohibited including, but not limited to: abusive language, intoxication, disturbance of other persons using the trail, or breach of peace.
Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on the trail is prohibited.
Any and all advertising, exhibitions, solicitation, and contributions are prohibited except by special permit authorized and issued by the district.
Entrance to the trail is authorized only at public roads and other designated points of entrance.
No glass containers permitted on the trail.
No dogs shall be allowed on the trail or other property of the district unless on a leash and accompanied by the owner of said dog or dogs.
Any violations of these rules and regulations shall be punishable as provided by state law.
Any person or group desiring a special permit, for reasons of being handicapped or otherwise, may apply to the director of the district for such a permit. Such request shall be made not less than 15 days prior to the date said permit is to be used.
Parking facilities are provided at some public entrances to the trail. Parking should be as designated by posted signs.
As provided for in Section 55-25-5 Mississippi Code of 1972 as Annoted, any violations of such rules and regulations shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not less that Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
-- The laws and regulations of the State, City, County, and Park along the Longleaf Trace are also enforced. --
Equestrian Trail Regulations
All horses must have proof of a negative Coggins Test in possession of the rider of the horse while on the trail.
Kicking horses or stallions should have a ribbon (red) tied in their tail.
Horses should be tied in a manner that will not allow damage to trees or other vegetation.
Horses must remain under control at all times.
Horses should not be ridden on muddy trail if doing so would result in trail rutting.
Moving, removing, or re-arranging any signs or trail marker is prohibited.
Do not leave trail and enter private property without consent of property owner.
Electric Golf Cart Regulations
Cart must be open and battery powered only
Cart must possess a special use permit approved by the Pearl & Leaf Rivers Rails-to-Trails Recreational District and a current permit decal must be prominently displayed on the cart, which may be purchased at a $5.00 annual fee. The special use permit application can be procured from or by calling the Trail Manager (601) 315-2453.
Cart operators must possess a valid state driver’s license and must be accompanied by or be 25 years of age or older, except for physically and visibly handicapped individuals who must only demonstrate his/her ability to safely operate the permitted cart.
Permitted carts shall comply with all rules and regulations of the Pearl & Leaf Rivers Rails-to-Trails Recreational District.
The permitted cart will be operated in a mature and safe manner at all times and in compliance with any and all posted regulations and at a speed not to exceed 15 miles per hour.
The permitted cart will be operated with full respect of other users and will operate at all times on the right side of the trail, except when passing, and shall not pass other users who are being assisted by a mechanical device unless invited to do so.
The permitted cart shall yield the right of way to all other users of the trail who are assisted by mechanical devices ( i.e. bikes, roller blades, wheelchairs, maintenance vehicles, etc.) approaching from either the front or rear, by pulling to the right, off the asphalt surface where reasonable possible, and at least 150 feet in advance, and coming to a complete stop.
Your person, cycle, horse, and/or cart should have lighting AND reflective stripes. Helmets and protective gear are strongly encouraged. Keep yourself hydrated and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Carry enough snacks and water with you, dining opportunities are extremely limited along the Longleaf Trace. Carry a cell phone and/or let someone know when you should be back from your outing. When passing others on the trail, call out to be sure that those ahead of you know that you are passing them. DO NOT Touch or Harass livestock, horses, or wild animals you find on or along the Longleaf Trace. DO NOT Enter private property from the Longleaf Trace without permission.