You can live a lifetime at The Rez and not be able to take in all the outdoor opportunities. From hiking to fishing, kayaking to cycling, and even driving some amazing day trips, you’ll discover the beauty in all that Mississippi has to offer.
ON THE WATER
The Rez affords easy access from Jackson, Ridgeland and Madison, Mississippi – over two million people visit the Ross Barnett Reservoir each year for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, water-skiing, and camping. There are five campgrounds, 16 parks, 22 boat launches, three handicapped-accessible trails, two multi-purpose trails, and a mountain bike trail which meanders near Mule Jail Lake.
The surface area of The Rez is 52 square miles, resulting from a vast body of water that’s 16 miles long and 7 miles wide. Boaters frequently put in at one of many boat launches in Brandon or Ridgeland and motor across the “Big Water” to the mouth of the Pearl River. After entering the main river channel, a boater can travel miles upriver and stop at numerous easy-access sand bars, enjoy spectacular wildlife and admire the vast Cypress forests.
Kayaks typically put in their craft miles upstream on the Pearl at any number of spots and then float down toward The Rez. Non-motorized craft can also access The Rez though Pelahatchie Bay to discover another world of beauty only a few miles from downtown Jackson.
PARKS AND TRAILS
People not familiar with the Mississippi outdoors may not realize how beautiful the terrain, the forests, swamps, waterways, and wildlife. Enjoy a beautiful hike along any of these nearby parks and trails. The Ross Barnett Reservoir is abundant with parks and trails and rarely crowded, offering a spectacular experience outdoors.
FISHING THE REZ
With 30,000 acres of water and an abundance of wildlife, there’s no end to the adventure you can have when boating the Barnett Reservoir. From the big water waves to the backwater channels and swamps, you can motor or paddle your way around.
BAIT AND TACKLE SHOPS ON THE WATER
Main Harbor Store Ridgeland MS 601-853-0683
Tommy’s Trading Post Brandon MS 601-829-1903
Pelahatchie Bay Trading Post Brandon MS 601-829-1709
Franks Bait & Tackle Canton MS 601-859-5571
Ratliff Ferry Trading Post Canton MS 601-859-1810
Q&M Bait Shop Ridgeland MS 601-978-3428
MARINAS FOR SLIPS AND RENTALS
Main Harbor Marina Ridgeland MS 601-856-6562
Sunset Marina at 43 Brandon MS 601-829-1513
Jackson Yacht Club Ridgeland MS 601-856-8844
Sportsmen’s Marina Brandon MS 601-992-8400
Pelahatchie Bay Trading Post Brandon MS 601-829-1703
This is Mississippi’s gem for water sports that includes a variety of experiences for beginners to advanced paddlers. With a wealth of put-in options on both sides of The Rez, kayakers can enjoy a rigorous workout on big water or a zen-like cruise through the lily pads and cypress. The Rez offers backwater channels in Pelahatchie Bay, or a downriver trek along the upper Pearl River.
Ridgeland, MS is a designated Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and home to the Natchez Trace Century Ride, a scenic bike ride on the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway. This race offers several distance options (25, 50, 62 or 100) and is perfect for all ages and ability levels.
Check out the 37.3 mile cycling trail around the entire Ross Barnett Reservoir. Click here for map
Ridgeland Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail offers a superb trip parallel to the Natchez Trace Parkway just north of Jackson. The 10-mile paved pathway begins on the southwestern shores of the Ross Barnett Reservoir and transitions quickly into woodlands.
With the famous Natchez Trace running right alongside The Rez, it’s an incredible spot for cyclists from around the globe to enjoy the view and the great conditions. View the detailed map of the Mississippi portion of the Natchez Trace Route.
Ross Barnett Reservoir is situated in central Mississippi and creates a superb base camp location for day trips to areas rich in history, culture, cuisine and entertainment.
ENJOY A SHORT TRIP RIGHT UP THE ROAD
VICKSBURG, Preserved Historic Homes, Beautiful Scenery, Cuisine, Blues Trail, the expansive Vicksburg National Military Park, which is the best representation of Civil War history in the U.S.
CLARKSDALE, Home of the Blues, Great Food and Entertainment
NATCHEZ, a City Reserved in Time with Antebellum Homes and Historic Sites
OXFORD, University of Southern Mississippi, Historic Homes and Famous Literary Tours
THE GULF COAST, right on the gulf of Mexico, you’ll find superb restaurants, guided fishing excursions, fun beaches, and casinos with terrific entertainment.
NATIVE AMERICAN MOUNDS, pre-history archeological sites representing the ancient tribes of the Mississippi region.
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY, offers a driving tour through three states, following the historic travel corridor used for thousands of years by the first people of this continent through today.