Social distancing is at its best in Ridgeland with our city’s abundance of outdoor attractions to explore! Don’t fret if your spring travel plans have been postponed, a “staycation” in Ridgeland will keep you happy and healthy in the great outdoors.
Natchez Trace Parkway
Ridgeland is fortunate to have one of America’s most popular roads right in our backyard. You can drive 444 miles from beginning to end and traverse through three states (Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee) and explore 10,000 years of history along the way. This National Scenic Byway and All-American Road encompasses four distinct ecosystems along with eight major watersheds. The Parkway is a haven for nature lovers as it’s a habitat for nearly 1,500 plant species, 134 bird species, 70 amphibian and reptile species, and 33 mammal species. Although the Parkway Information Cabin in Ridgeland is currently closed, there’s still ample opportunity to get out and explore all the wonders of nature and history the Parkway offers. Be sure to check the Natchez Trace Parkway website and Facebook page before you head off on your adventure to see what’s currently open.
Let’s Ride in Ridgeland
Ridgeland is recognized by the The League of American Cyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community and for good reasons. There are ample opportunities to get on two wheels and explore the city.
Nestled within the National Park boundary of the Natchez Trace Parkway is the Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail. This 10-mile paved path runs through historic Choctaw territory and provides cyclists (and joggers, walkers, rollerbladers) a beautiful greenspace to enjoy nature. The Chisha Foka leads to Ridgeland’s other multi-use trail system that will lead you to the Old Town Railroad District, Renaissance at Colony Park, The Township at Colony Park, Northpark Mall and Trace Station.
Enjoy mountain biking at Ridgeland Trails where you’ll discover 10 miles of some of the best single track in Mississippi. Ridgeland Trails is managed by the volunteer organization Tri-County Mountain Bike Association. These trails are not public parks and their use requires both a signed waiver and a 2-day pass fee or yearly membership. Helmets must be worn at all times while riding (even in the parking lot). Non-members must sign a waiver and pay the appropriate fee prior to their use of the trail. There is a waiver box located at the parking lot of the trailhead. Before heading out to the Ridgeland Mountain Bike trails be sure to visit the Tri-County Mountain Bike Facebook page to check if trails are open; rain greatly affects the conditions of the trails.
There’s also the Magnolia Ridge BMX Track where they have open practice from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Saturday race sign up from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. For more info visit the MagRidge Facebook page.
Ridgeland has two great bike shops that will outfit you with the perfect fit for the bike for you. There’s The Bike Crossing on West Jackson Street and Indian Cycle Fitness & Outdoor on South Pear Orchard Road. Each store has knowledgeable staff to help with all your biking needs. If you need to rent a bicycle, Bicycle Revolution will be happy to help.
The 33,000-acre Barnett Reservoir was constructed back in the 1960’s to provide drinking water for the Jackson metro area. Since that time it’s become a prime destination for endless hours of boating, sailing, fishing, paddling water sports, camping, picnicking and bird watching.
Main Harbor Store Marina is open and renting pontoon boats; however, they are limiting the capacities to six people per the Governor’s request until May 11, or later if the orders extend.
“Boaters are limited two people per boat, or up to 50 percent of a boat’s maximum occupancy rating, whichever is greater,” said John Sigman, General Manager of Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, “However, remember that people must maintain at least six feet of separation between each other whether on a boat or on the bank.” No gatherings of 10 or more persons will be allowed. Sandbars and piers remained closed as well.
Old Trace Park in Ridgeland and Lakeshore Park in Brandon remain closed, including the disc golf courses and dog parks along with Pelahatchie Shore Park and boat ramp. PRVWSD has opened boat traffic between Pelahatchie Bay and the main lake through the bridge on Northshore Parkway.
Boaters and fisherman are strongly encouraged to use precaution during the pandemic to stay safe while enjoying the fun outdoor opportunities that the Barnett Reservoir provides.
The 17 lighted tennis courts at the Ridgeland Tennis Center are open even though the Pro Shop is closed. For more information and pricing, visit RidgelandSportsandEvents.com.
Currently, city parks in Ridgeland are closed. To keep abreast of updates, please visit the City of Ridgeland Recreation & Parks Facebook page.
The Disc Golf Course at Old Trace Park is currently closed.