Chewalla Lake and the Holly Springs National Forest are comprised of 154,654 acres, which offer miles of walking and bike trails, as well as a large swimming area and three developed camp grounds.
The Holly Springs National Forest, conveniently located 45 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, is known for its breathtaking display of seasonal beauty. With dogwoods in the spring, followed by wild magnolia and grape scented kudzu in the summer, followed by vivid foliage in the fall, Holly Springs is sure to delight the eyes of its visitors year-round.
The Chewalla Lake Recreation Area – which takes its name from the Choctaw word “chilhowa-la,” meaning Supreme Being – is a delightful place to enjoy the beauty of the Holly Springs National Forest. This area contains a 260-acre lake, day-use, and campground, and was once the location for Indian ceremonial burial mounds. One of the mounds has been reconstructed so visitors can gain some insight into the culture
The nearby town of Holly Springs, Mississippi, offers visitors to the National Forest an experience of the Old South, where cotton was king. Many antebellum homes are preserved and are open to the public year round, as well as during the Spring Holly Springs Pilgrimage where tour guides and residents all dress in period costumes. While the opportunity to see inside these homes should not be missed, a walk through the town and historic town square is a must.
The Puskus Lake Recreation Area is another good place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Holly Springs National Forest. A good car and tent camping location, Puskus Lake’s natural beauty and quiet setting is an alternative to crowded, concrete recreation areas. While Puskus Lake offers no hookups or showers, a more tranquil location to get away from it all would be hard to find.
Holly Springs National Forest offers diverse recreational opportunities and its seasonal beauty makes it a place for restful contemplation. It is a place to quietly enjoy the wonder and beauty of nature year-round.
Come Enjoy Your National Forest
The Holly Springs National Forest covers over 155,000 acres and is just a short distance away. National Forests are managed for many different resources and uses. The following provides some information about recreational opportunities.
Chewalla Lake Recreation Area - Facilities: 9 camping units with electric hook-ups, 27 tenting sites with no hook-ups, modern bath facilities including showers, boat ramp, fishing piers, playground, swimming beach, Indian Mound, lake side walk way, 40 picnic tables for day use, covered pavilion, drinking water. Directions: From Hwy 78, take the Lake Center exit, follow the signs and turn right on Higdon Road. The entrance is about three miles on the right. Fees: Camping $20 per night with electric/water hook-up, $7 per night without hook-up, day use is $5 per vehicle, pavilion is $40 reserved in advance.
Puskus Lake Recreation Area – Facilities: 19 tenting sites, no electricity, pit toilets, boat ramp, fishing piers, short trail, 13 picnic tables for day use, drinking water. Directions: From Hwy 7, turn east on Hwy 30, go 9 miles, signs for the recreation area, turn and go 3 miles. Fees: Camping $7 per night, day use is $3 per vehicle.
Tillatoba Lake Recreation Area – Facilities: 10 day use sites that primitive camping is allowed at, no electricity, pit toilets, boat ramp, drinking water. Directions: From Interstate 55, take the Hwy 330 exit and go east on Hwy 330 for approximately 3 miles, turn left into the area. Fees: No fee charged.
North Cypress Non-Motorized Trail: A lovely 3-mile loop trail in the Upper Sardis Wildlife Management Area. This is the only trail in the National Forest that allows horseback riding. The trail crosses over a newly renovated dam on North Cypress Lake. There are new trailhead facilities. The trail is open to all non-motorized uses. Directions: From Hwy 7 north, turn east on Hwy 30, go 9.5 miles and turn right on road number 2073. Fees: No fee charged.
Baker’s Pond Hiking Trail: Facilities: A beautiful walk in the woods to Baker’s Pond, the headwaters of the Wolf River. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles roundtrip. Directions: From the corner of Hwy 72 and Hwy 5 go 10 miles further to the east, turn right at Tower Road (there is an old fire tower there), then bear right again to the trail head. Fees: No fee charged.
There are 33 lakes ranging in size from 260 acres (Chewalla Lake) to 2 acres (Horseshoe Lake) on the Holly Springs National Forest. Fourteen of these lakes are actively managed for improved fisheries habitat. Please make sure to follow any posted regulations.
With the exception of a few acres, the Holly Springs National Forest is open to hunting (following all state seasons and regulations). The Holly Springs is also home to the Upper Sardis Wildlife Management Area (which has some specialized regulations).
For further information please contact us at: Holly Springs National Forest, 1000 Front Street, Oxford, MS 38655. Telephone 662-236-6550, or internet at www.fs.fed.us/r8/mississippi/
100 West Capitol Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39269
Ranger District Address:
1000 Front Street
Oxford, Mississippi 38655
DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM THE TOURISM OFFICE:
Travel east on College Avenue until you come to Randolph Street, make a left onto Randolph, keep straight (about six blocks) until you come to Salem Avenue, and then make a right onto Salem Avenue. Keep straight on Salem until you come to the intersection of Hwy. 4 East and Higdon Road where you will see a sign which reads “Chewalla Lake.” Veer to your right onto Higdon Road. An entrance to Chewalla Lake, which is also known as The Holly Springs National Forest, is about 7 miles out.