New Orleans is flat. ‘Cept for a levee and some water, it has a completely featureless horizon. Tunica Falls, just a couple hours upriver from NOLA, seems(topographically speaking) a world away.
The REAL name for Tunica Falls is Clark Creek Natural Area and it technically lies just across the Mississippi state line in the humble one-building-town of Pond, MS. Definitely worth stopping in and getting a Gatorade and a T-shirt.
Bottom line – this place rules. It’s probably my favorite outdoor trip that’s close to New Orleans. We visited a couple of weeks ago when we stayed at the Myrtles and attended the Angola Prison Rodeo. They’re basically all in the same neighborhood.
“Comprising more than 2,000 acres, this Natural Area’s officially highlighted by some 40 waterfalls (though you’ll find only 6 along established trails), ranging from 10 to more than 25 feet in height.”
“Clark Creek’s steeply sloping hills host a mixed hardwood and pine forest dominated by beech and magnolia. Here, visitors discover a variety of colorful migrating and resident birds; invertebrates; poisonous snakes; a rare land snail; the federally endangered Carolina magnolia vine; a state endangered fish, the Southern red belly dace. This forested tract also provides excellent habitat for another threatened species in Mississippi — the black bear.”
A couple of things you’re likely to see here are deer and the mysterious Eastern Chipmunk, which there is no trace of in New Orleans. Beware though, even if the wild animals don’t get you, the trail might – it’s a steep and “treacherous” hike that can get wet.
From Baton Rouge, take Hwy. 61 north, past St. Francisville. Turn left on Angola Prison road, otherwise known as Hwy. 66. Eventually, Hwy. 969 will fork off to the right, Turn Right There. Pond, Mississippi is at the junction of Hwy. 969 & Hwy. 24, 25 minutes from St. Francisville, La. (Pond General Store will be off to your left, next to the duck pond).