Exciting, exhilarating outdoor events are happening in Ridgeland!
Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally – March 31-April 2, 2017
We’ll be “One Behind the Other” in discovering Ridgeland, Mississippi and a weekend full of cycling, food and festivals. The weekend will feature some of Central Mississippi’s fantastic cycling routes, including the Natchez Trace Parkway, a national scenic byway of the National Park Service. Also presented this weekend will be the 9th annual Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival showcasing 12 mediums of visual art from 90+ artists from across the United States as well as the Sante’ South Wine Festival featuring 30 winemakers from across the world. Events will take place at Ridgeland’s beautiful Renaissance at Colony Park and Township at Colony Park. You don’t want to miss this premier event in one of Mississippi’s and the South’s hidden jewel communities.
Listen to this great interview about Ridgeland OBO with Ridgeland Tourism’s Sales Director Mina Thorgeson on OutspokenCyclist! For more information and to register, please visit the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally website.
Natchez Trace Century Ride – May 6, 2017
“Get Your Ride On” for the jumpstart of cycling season! The Natchez Trace Century Ride, starting and ending in Ridgeland, provides an experience for riders of all ages and abilities. With your choice of distances from 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles with mild to moderate elevation, it is a great ride to find your stride and other specialties along the route, such as “energizer” stops highlighting local music, food and hands-on fun every 10-15 miles. After an exciting day cycling the Trace, join us for Rockin’ after the Ride! For more information or to register, please visit the Century Ride website.
Dragon Boat Regatta – May 13, 2017
2017 marks the Madison County Chamber’s Ninth Annual Dragon Boat Regatta! Week-long festivities culminate on race day when teams race head to head, and those on dry land are treated to a free festival featuring music, a children’s village and local food favorites. For more information, to get involved, or to register for the event, please visit the Dragon Boat Regatta website.
Heatwave Classic Triathalon – June 3, 2017
The Heatwave Classic Triathlon has become one of the area’s top events to test an athlete’s cycling, swimming and running skills, stamina and experience. This year’s race will consist of a half-mile swim in the Ross Barnett Reservoir, a 24.5-mile bike ride along the scenic and historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and ends with a 10K run along Ridgeland’s heavily shaded Multi-Use Trail. Don’t let the steamy Mississippi summer temperatures prevent you from participating in this annual event! Visit the Heatwave Classic website to sign up.
Natchez Trace Parkway
One of the most traveled National Parkways in America, the Natchez Trace offers the present-day traveler an unhurried route that is rich in cultural and natural history.
The Parkway was established to commemorate the historical significance of the Old Natchez Trace, a primitive trail stretching over 400 miles through the wilderness from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. In the late 1700’s when the Mississippi Territory was established with Natchez as its capital, traffic on the Trace increased dramatically. Many famous Americans have traveled the Trace including John James Audubon, Meriweather Lewis and Andrew Jackson. The arrival of the steamboat era in the early 1800’s heralded a new age of travel and the use of the Trace soon declined.
In 1938, Congress created the Natchez Trace Parkway and placed it under the National Park Service. Today, the old trail is paralleled by that parkway. This scenic stretch of road, brushed by forest, canebrakes, ridges and swamps is blessed with several recreation sites in or near Ridgeland. The Yockanookany picnic area, Ratliff Ferry, River Bend picnic area and Cypress Swamp are just a few enjoyed by travelers on the Parkway.
There are also numerous exhibits, campgrounds, water recreation areas and hiking trails, such as the Multi-Purpose Trail – a four mile stretch that curves through the Natchez Trace. RVing and motorcycling on the Parkway offer a great ride on a designated National Scenic Byway and All-American Road.
Ross Barnett Reservoir
Voted Mississippi Magazine “Best in Mississippi” Best Waterfront Destination
The Ross R. Barnett Reservoir was created by impounding the Pearl River between Madison and Rankin Counties. Completed in 1965, it has 105 miles of shoreline and is bounded on the north by the historic Natchez Trace. The lake has a width of approximately 3 1/2 miles at its widest point and is some 45 miles long. There are 33,000 acres of surface area and at the summer pool level, the average depth is 12 feet.
The reservoir creates a haven for many outdoor adventures. Boating, sailing, water sports, camping, fishing, picnicking or bird watching offer endless hours of pleasure. Visitors have the opportunity to view and participate in national and regional fishing tournaments, weekend regattas as well as the many festivals held at the reservoir. For pontoon boat and personal watercraft rentals, visit Main Harbor Marina Store or call (601) 853-0683. For kayak rentals, visit Pearl River Kayaks or call (601) 966-5456.
Ridgeland Recreational Facilities
Ridgeland offers some of the state’s best tournament facilities and athletic events featuring a combination of top notch facilities, restaurants, hotels, service and after-competition activities. There are numerous opportunities to enjoy sports at quality parks and facilities across the city. The venues also offer families a chance to enjoy picnics, outdoor cookouts and playgrounds, and they serve as locations for many festivals and specials events throughout the year. Find out more about the facilities and sports events/tournaments operated by the City of Ridgeland Recreation and Parks.
Freedom Ridge Park
235 W. School Street
Softball and soccer facilities, concession areas, covered pavilions, playgrounds and lighted walking trail.
475 Lake Harbour Drive
Picnic tables, grills, covered pavilion, lighted walking trails and playground.
Hite Walcott Park
201 McClellan Drive
Youth baseball and softball complex, batting cages, playground and nature trail.
Old Trace Park
Post Road at the Reservoir
Covered pavilion, picnic tables, grills, playground and site of many special events and festivals.
Ridgeland Tennis Center
201 McClellan Drive
Tournament site with 17 courts available for day and evening matches. Pro shop on site.
For more information or assistance, contact Mina Thorgeson, Director of Sales at (800) 468-6078 or firstname.lastname@example.org