The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a unique feature to Jackson County because if its history, recreational opportunities and diverse wildlife.
“Gulf Islands National Seashore was established by congress in 1971, and it includes over 140,000 acres of north gulf coastline, all the barrier islands off the coast of Mississippi, the Davis Bayou area in Ocean Springs and there’s a big section of it in Florida outside of Pensacola as well,” says Park Ranger Chris Bramblett.
Locals throughout the county and tourists are able to come to the National Seashore at Davis Bayou to walk, run, cycle, explore wildlife and learn a thing or two at the visitor center. Free guided boat tours are offered to the public as well as guided kayaking tours starting this month.
“We have hiking trails in the area, if you do the round trip for all of our trails it’s just about 3 miles and that’s just in the Davis Bayou area,” says Bramblett.
The wildlife at the National Seashore ranges from various types of birds to alligators and various types of mammals. The most diverse wildlife can be found on Horn and Petty Boy Island since they are designated wilderness areas, meaning there is no permanent human activity and development on the islands.
“The Gulf Islands National Seashore gives people a green space and an opportunity to get out and explore the nature a little more. We have school groups that will come through here to learn more about the bayou ecosystem and the history as well, “explains Bramblett.
For more information about the Gulf Islands National Seashore, visit their website https://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm or call 228-230-4100.