Tupelo’s Claude Clayton is both a national and world champion in personal watercraft competitions, an avid outdoorsman and co-owner of the new Core Cycle + Outdoor in Tupelo.
The Tanglefoot Trail, New Albany/Pontotoc/Houston: This is a no-brainer! What an asset to our area — a 43.6-mile Rails-To-Trails program running from New Albany to Houston that offers a scenic meandering cruise, walk or run through some beautiful Mississippi territory. Whether you go for a one-mile walk or an 87.2-mile down-and-back bike ride, you won’t be disappointed. (pictured)
The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Fulton: Growing up spending summer weekends at Pickwick Lake, we would take a short boat ride for some buttery perfection on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Now I spend a lot more time wakeboarding, wakesurfing and relaxing at another section called Beans Ferry near Fulton. The Tenn-Tom is truly one of the best bodies of water for water sports in this part of the country.
Joyner Neighborhood, Tupelo: The easiest way to enjoy the outdoors is by stepping out of your own door, and the doors on my house open up to the Joyner neighborhood in Tupelo. Full of friendly and active young families, a family bike ride or a jog after work will expose you to countless neighbors doing the same. The City Park now has a splash pad for the kids, a great tennis facility and some very active baseball fields. It’s a great neighborhood.
Trace State Park, Pontotoc: The local cycling community has put in some great work on the trails at Trace. Trails ranging from beginner to intermediate give you a fun challenge that the whole family can enjoy. There is a beautiful 565-acre lake with some great fishing and an 18-hole disc golf course. It’s also a great spot to do some stand-up-paddleboarding.
Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo: A short ride up the Natchez Trace Parkway takes you to a park that offers a beautiful landscape, rock climbing, camping, canoeing, cabin rental and fly-fishing. The park is located at the tail-end of the Appalachian Mountains, so it has scenery that is not typical of Mississippi. It’s a great place to get in a day of climbing or a weekend of camping relaxation.