Home‎ > ‎Locations‎ > ‎Mississippi‎ > ‎State Parks‎ > ‎

Clark Creek Natural Area

Clark Creek Natural Area is a 700-acre state park in the southwestern tip of the state in Wilkinson County.  Steep loess bluff hills on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River create a unique environment of mixed hardwood forests and cascading creeks.  The park is home to a number of waterfalls, one of the only place in the state to find them.  Clark Creek Natural Area is day-use only (no camping) and there are limited amenities.  A small parking area, restrooms and drinking water are available at the trailhead.  There are more than 1.5 miles of improved trails and 2.5 of primitive trails leading to many of the waterfalls.  There is a day-use fee to visit the park, payable at a self-serve kiosk behind the restrooms; bring exact change.

Contact Information:

366 Fort Adams Road
Woodville, MS 39669

Phone: (601) 888-6040

Directions:

GPS: 31.07182,-91.51134

Clark Creek Natural Area is located about 15 miles west of Woodville in the southwestern corner of the state.  From US-61 in Woodville, go west on MS-24 for 1 mile and turn left on Pinckneyville Road.  Go about 14 miles and turn right on Fort Adams Pond Road.  The parking area is on the left in a quarter mile.

Map:

Trails:

Clark Creek Trail:

Clark Creek Trail is a 1-mile improve trail that starts behind the restrooms at the trailhead.  It follows an old road and descends steeply into the heart of the park.  The Primitive Trail splits off across the tributary to the left in just under a half mile.  Right past this split, a short spur trail on the left leads to the First Waterfall and just past this another trail to the left leads to the Second Waterfall.  At the third fork, Clark Creek Trail goes left while Waterfall Trail goes right.  Clark Creek Trail descends steeply to a tributary and ends after a mile.

Primitive Trail:

The Primitive Trail is a 2.7 mile difficult trail that around the natural area.  The eastern trailhead is about a half-mile down Clark Creek Trail, just before the spur to First Waterfall.  The trail heads steeply up a ridge, then descends to a tributary above the top of Third Waterfall.  It then heads steeply back up a ridge, levels off for a ways, then descends steeply back down towards the southern tributary passing by the Ninth Waterfall.  The trail follows this tributary downstream, crossing several times.  Near the property boundary, the trail turns right and heads steeply back up.  Crossing the next tributary, the trail passes by Seventh and Eighth Waterfalls then heads steeply up, passing by a shelter at the summit of a hill.  It's too overgrown up here for a any scenic views.  The trail descends once again and crosses another tributary before following Clark Creek upstream to the western trailhead at the terminus of Waterfall Trail.

Waterfall Trail:

The Waterfall Trail is a half-mile trail that starts near the end of Clark Creek Trail at the third fork.  Going right the trail winds around passing a graffiti-covered shelter and descends down to Clark Creek.  The western trailhead for Primitive Trail is here.

Waterfalls:

The park claims that there are 50 waterfalls; I think that's a bit of a stretch but there are probably more than ten.  Six of the waterfalls on the park map are numbered and the rest are unnamed.  Mississippi definitely needs to work on their waterfall-naming.

First Waterfall:

The First Waterfall is on the north fork of the middle tributary of Clark Creek.  As the name suggests, it's the first waterfall you'll come to in the park.  Follow Clark Creek Trail for about a half-mile, just past the trailhead for Primitive Trail, and take the spur to the left a very short ways to the waterfall.  The water tumbles down in three streams about 15 feet.

Second Waterfall:

The Second Waterfall is on the same tributary as the First Waterfall, just downstream.  Continue about an eighth of a mile past the turn for the first to another fork and go left a short ways to a boardwalk leading to an overlook of the falls.  It's a steep climb down to creek level at the base of the waterfall.

Third Waterfall:

The Third Waterfall is on the southern fork of the tributary that First and Second are on.  From the eastern trailhead of Primitive Trail near First Waterfall, it's about a half-mile to where the trail crosses above the top of Third Waterfall.  Creek walk a short ways to the top and then find the best way down.  It's extremely steep and slippery getting to the base of this one.

Fourth Waterfall:

The Fourth Waterfall is on Clark Creek itself (not a tributary) and at around 30 feet, I think it's the highest in the park.  Follow Clark Creek and Waterfall Trails to the end at the western trailhead for Primitive Trail and get in Clark Creek and creek walk upstream.  A tributary will come in on the right.  Go straight a quarter-mile to the base of Fourth Waterfall.

Fifth Waterfall:

The Fifth Waterfall is on the northernmost tributary of Clark Creek.  Follow Clark Creek and Waterfall Trails to the end at the western trailhead for Primitive Trail and get in Clark Creek and creek walk upstream.  A tributary will come in on the right; follow it to the base of Fifth Waterfall.

Sixth Waterfall:

The Sixth Waterfall is also on the northernmost tributary of Clark Creek just upstream from the Fifth, but there's no easy way to get between the two.  To get to the Sixth, follow Clark Creek Trail to Waterfall Trail and hike to a graffiti-covered shelter along the trail.  Behind the shelter is a path that leads down to creek near the base of Sixth Waterfall.

Seventh Waterfall:

Only the first six waterfalls are named on the park map; continuing with that naming system, I named the subsequent waterfalls.  The Seventh Waterfall is on the north fork of the southernmost tributary of Clark Creek.  The waterfall is right along Primitive Trail, about a mile south of the western trailhead at Waterfall Trail.  The trail passes right over the top and its easy to get to the base.

Eighth Waterfall:

The Eighth Waterfall is just downstream of the Seventh.  You can see it from the trail or scramble steeply down for a closer view.

Ninth Waterfall:

The Ninth Waterfall is on the southern fork of the southernmost tributary of Clark Creek.  From the eastern trailhead for Primitive Trail near First Waterfall, hike about a mile on Primitive Trail to where it descends steeply to tributary and follows it downstream.  The Ninth Waterfall is just a short creek walk to the base.

Wildlife:

Wildflowers:

The unique geology of Clark Creek leads to an abundance of spring wildflowers before the tree canopy comes in.  Butterweed (Packera glabella) is a species of ragwort with bright yellow flowers.

Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) is a common wildflower, blooming along the creeks and near the waterfalls.

Although more of a tree than a wildflower, red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) makes beautiful red flowers.  Another name is firecracker plant because the flowers appear to be exploding.

Blog Entries:

05-Mar-2018: Clark Creek Waterfalls

External Links:

Mississippi DWFP website: https://www.mdwfp.com/parks-destinations/state-parks/clark-creek/