Clear Springs is 2.5 hours from New Orleans and located in the Homochitto National Forest in Mississsippi.
This is the place if you want to go nuts on some challenging mountain biking. Steep hills abound, you will WORK on these Mississippi foothills of the Appalachians. There are 3 color coded trails- Mill’s Branch(easiest/blue), Richardson’s Creek(moderate/red), and Tally’s(difficult/yellow).
One reason this trip was particularly hard on my buddies and I was that the trail was actually closed when we reached the park. After driving 2.5 hours to get there and getting the blind-eye approval of the local hillbilly ranger, we were going to ride the trail – closed or not.
There were trees down EVERYWHERE due to recent hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Maybe the park officials actually know what they’re doing. Anyway, the 6 mile trip took almost 2 hours(yes 2 hours) due to carrying the bikes over huge fallen trees, overgrown sticker bushes and washed out bridges. Fun? Kinda. Challenging? You can bet your boots. Next time we’ll call ahead and check for the conditions:
Otherwise, this park rocks! There’s BEAUTIFUL terrain and an awesome spring fed lake at the end of the park that looks great for swimming(let’s hope there’s a rope swing(my favorite) nestled somewhere in those woods.
You can’t really tell from the photos the beauty and grade of the hills, but they are pretty sweet. There is also a 1 mile hiking trail around the lake.
OVERALL: This park is a great place for camping and outdoor fun in a vastly different climate than the flat horizon surrounding New Orleans. Mountain biking is rated as some of the best in the south, but it’s not really for beginners. At only 2 and half hours from NOLA, it’s not a bad drive for the quality of environment.
Though he lived to tell about it, this dude could not handle his shit.