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Longleaf Trace, MS

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Trail Location: Hattiesburg to Prentiss
Trail Length: 41 miles
Counties: Forrest, Lamar, Jefferson Davis
Nearby Towns: Hattiesburg, Eppley, Sumrall, Carson, Bassfield, Prentiss


Activities:
Walking, Horseback Riding, Biking, In-line Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Wheelchair, all non motorized

Trail Surface(s):
Asphalt

Trail Description:
From the Trail Website (www.longleaftrace.org): This is southern Mississippi's premier running, biking, hiking and equestrian trail. This former railroad corridor is now a beautiful, flat linear park extending 41 miles from Hattiesburg (elevation 220') through Sumrall (290'), Bassfield (460'), and Carson to Prentiss (336'). Plans are now underway to extend the trail to the USM campus, and there has even been some talk of bringing the trail into downtown Hattiesburg.

The Trace is open and is being used daily by many bikers, runners and hikers. BE CAREFUL. There are signs posted to alert both motorists and trail users of crossroads. There are many intersections of logging roads and seldom used access roads. But don't be lulled into complacency by these sleepy crossings.

Parking & Trail Access:
From I59 if coming from the South: Go west on US Highway 98 (Hardy Street) past Turtle Creek Mall about two miles to Gravel Pit Road. Turn right (north) on Gravel Pit Road at Lake Serene Grocery/Amoco. Gravel Pit road will wind around and dead end at 4th Street. Turn left (west) on 4th street, then take the first right on Jackson Road. Jackson Station will be on your left in 1/4 mile.

From I59 if coming from the North: As above, or alternatively, turn north on US Highway 49 toward Jackson, and immediately (at light) turn left on Classic Drive. Continue on Classic Drive past the USM golf course (turning left at the stop sign for the Village) and past the Hattiesburg Country Club till Classic Drive dead ends at Jackson Road. Turn left and Jackson Station will be in view, with parking on both sides of the road.

From US Highway 49 from Jackson: At Mendenhall turn south on Highway 13. At Prentiss turn west on US Highway 84. The Trace crosses 84 just south of its terminus at the park in Prentiss. Take a side street to the beautiful park (see pictures below) and parking area. For the Hattiesburg terminus see I59 instructions above.

To access the Trace at Sumrall or Epley from Highway 49: Turn west on 42. Turn left on Epley Road (first paved road) to go to Epley, or straight to continue to Sumrall. In Sumrall turn left on 589 and the parking area is a few blocks on your left.

If you are coming from Mobile on US Highway 98 or from the coast on US Highway 49 (they intersect just south of Hattiesburg): Continue (or turn) west on US 98 to I59 north to Hardy Street. Then follow the directions from I59 above. If you are familiar with Hattiesburg and USM, another more scenic way to get to Jackson Road is to stay on 49 into Hattiesburg, and then turn north on 4th street right after you pass the football stadium. Go north past the Reed Green basketball arena, and Jackson Road will be on your right in about 4 miles (You may have to detour some if the bridge at Mixon's Creek is still being repaired, estimated completion date of 9/02). That way you get to see more of the fabulous hub city and USM. To start at Epley or Sumrall, follow the directions above. Highway 42 will be on your left about 3 miles after you cross under I59.

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