Birthplace of the Blues
The Mississippi Delta is known as the Birthplace of the Blues, the land that gave rise to that genre of music is now home to the Mississippi Blues Trail. Many towns in the Delta are home to Mississippi Blues Trail Markers and there is one dedicated to the birthplace of McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield in downtown Rolling Fork. Stop in Rolling Fork and visit the birthplace of Muddy.
Rich Alluvial soil has made this an area known for farming, but it is also rich in nature and wildlife.
National Wildlife Refuges
The Theodore Roosevelt Refuge Complex is located in this part of the state with 7 National Wildlife Refuges. The Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge located off of Highway 1 near Glen Allan has swamps filled with alligator, shore birds, and many other types of wildlife. Located on the Mississippi Flyway, numerous songbirds also live or migrate through here. There are two observation towers for wildlife watching on this beautiful refuge.
Off of Highway 16 near Rolling Fork, you can visit the only National Bottomland Hardwood Forest in the United States, Delta National Forest. Containing 5 greentree reservoirs for waterfowl, the forest is an excellent place to watch migratory species of waterfowl. Hunting is allowed during the season. There are several lakes for fishing in the forest. Blue Lake Recreation Area located in the forest offers fishing opportunities as well as a 1 mile interpretative trail for hiking. Paddling enthusiasts may put in at the Little Sunflower Boat Ramp and paddle to the confluence of the Little and Big Sunflower Rivers then turn around and return for take out.
State Wildlife Management Areas
The Lower Delta boasts 7 Wildlife Management Areas for game hunting and fishing. Visit the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, www.mdwfp.com, for hunting restrictions and regulations on each of these. Some of the best hunting areas in the state are located in this region.
Once home to various Native Americans, Indian mounds dot the sides of roads throughout the south Delta. Most of the mounds were built from AD 900- AD 1500.
South of Rolling Fork on Highway 61 is Onward, Mississippi. At the Onward Store you can discover the origin of the teddy bear and eat some great food. Near Onward is the location of President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous 1902 bear hunt with legendary hunting guide Holt Collier. This event is celebrated in Rolling Fork each year at the Great Delta Bear Affair.
Farming and Agriculture
Small farming communities dot Highways 1 and 61 in this land where cotton was once king. In the fall the fields are still abundant with crops ready for harvesting – corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.