Bob M. Dearing Natchez State Park offers summer fun

Published 7:07 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2021

NATCHEZ — Bob M. Dearing Natchez State Park Manager Neil Hayes said there is plenty of opportunity for people and families to get outdoors.

The park has a 230-acre fishing lake, a ¾ of a mile nature trail, a nine-basket disc golf course, a playground area and multiple cabins and campsites for families to use this summer. The fishing lake is a great place to kayak, he said.

“We have several people who come out here and just paddle around. They don’t even fish,” Hayes said. “They just enjoy being out in nature. They enjoy being in the outdoors in the peace and quiet.”

COVID restrictions are still in place for cabin reservations, so you can only reserve a cabin for Thursday to Sunday. There are 50 developed camping sites and eight tent camping sites at the state park.

Hayes said he has noticed an uptick in the number of camping reservations made at the park. He said he thinks more and more people are getting out of the house because they are tired of being cooped up during COVID.

“I have been here for 21 years, and I have never seen camping just constantly occupied,” Hayes said. “Just looking at the past time frames when it kind of gets slow here, people keep calling and booking campsites.”

While there are no summer camps at the state park, there are opportunities for volunteers to help, Hayes said. People can volunteer by picking up debris or constructing a bench. When Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops camp out at the park, they volunteer too, he said.

Hayes said there is a lot of work to be done cleaning trails and taking care of the park during the summer. The most challenging task above anything is cutting the grass.

“There is a lot to cut during the summertime,” Hayes said. “We got different areas we cut with a lawnmower, and we have these fields we have to cut with a tractor. I’m not sure how many acres it is, but it is a lot compared to other parks.”