Tunica Hills hike leads to gorgeous photos

Creeks and waterfalls abound in amazing Tunica Hills

My wife declared a few days ago that I needed to take a break from the office, so she loaded me up and we headed to the beautiful Clark Creek Natural Area in Pond, Miss. The six-hour hike almost killed us (not really, but it was very challenging), but the time in the Tunica Hills revitalized me — and provided me the opportunity to capture some gorgeous photos.

We were no strangers to Clark Creek Natural Area, having visited it several times over the years. But this trip was different in that we decided to walk the primitive trail. Knowing that even the main trail offers hikers a challenge, we knew the going could be rough on the loop of unmaintained trails. But we wanted to see new ground and find some of the less-visited waterfalls of the park.

We weren't disappointed. However, we were completely worn out by the time we returned to my truck.

Waterfalls are scattered all over Clark Creek's 700 acres. The main attraction is located down a steep, pretty well-maintained trail. It normally has the most water flowing over it.

But other jewels are located around the periphery of the property. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website states there are as many as 50 waterfalls ranging 10 feet to more than 30 feet. Most of those, however, run dry most of the year. Six waterfalls are listed on the official map, and these continue to flow even in the dry season.

The streams snaking through the amazing property also provide wonderful photography opportunities, as the photo below proves. What looks like boulders are actually large chunks of hardened clay, which remain damp and become covered with lichen. On our recent hike, beautiful little purple flowers decorated the creeks.

Hiking the area is not for the faint of heart. Hills are extremely steep, and it's more common to be trudging up or down difficult slopes than walking flat paths. It's imperative hikers are in good shape and carry plenty of water and snacks. 

My recent hike ended with cramping leg muscles, even though my wife and I carried a supply of water. I'll ensure I carry a sports drink or two to add electrolytes as the hike depletes my fluid sources. Personally, I think early spring and late fall — even winter — are best times to hike to avoid overexertion and dehydration.

It's also important to note that rattlesnakes are common in the tunica Hills during the warm months, so hikers should be cautious.

I have photographed four of the falls in the park, and plan to return again to shoot more of the beautiful water features. 

Click here to see all the Clark Creek Natural Area prints!