(from north to south)
Entering northern Mississippi, the Loess Bluff Route first visits four impressive lakes in a row. This is no accident. The extensive valleys characteristic of just east of the loess bluff are often ideal for damming for the making of reservoirs, and this has often been done in an effort to control flooding in the Delta. Of course, from nature's view, the Delta, being a river floodplain, is supposed to flood, but that's another story.
In the map below you can see exactly where the loess zone begins, where the darker upland forests at the right meet the lighter lowland fields at the left. The large blue lakes at the right are, from top to bottom, Sardis Lake, Enid Lake and Grenada Lake. You can zoom in and out with that picture, and move it to other locations.
On US 61, from the Tennessee Border go for 11 miles and then take a left onto MS 3.
Traveling southward here you are on flat land comprising the Mississippi River Floodplain, where here also is the northernmost part of the region referred to as the Mississippi Delta Region. At this point, our loess bluff pulls away from the Mississippi River and will not return to the river until Vicksburg. As you travel this flat land, notice on your left, toward the east, how the usually wooded loess bluff rises conspicuously from the flat ground. It is a very striking feature.
From US 61, follow MS 3 for 4 miles the intersection with MS 304, and turn left.
From MS 3, travel eastward on MS 304 for 5.5 miles to Eudora, and turn right (south) onto MS 301.
About midway through this section you abruptly climb back into the hilly loess section -- abruptly leaving flat fields of soybeans and cotton and entering rolling hills of oak and hickory forests and pastures. Begin looking for pines to appear in the forests.
From Eudora, follow MS 301 southward for 6.5 miles to Arkabutla Lake. Toward the southern end the road jags hard to the left. Just follow signs to the lake.
From the dam, continue south on the main road for about a mile, then turn right onto Bundrum Road.
Continue on Bundrum Road for about 1 mile, then turn left onto Bend Road.
Continue on Bend Road for about 2 miles, then turn right onto Moore Road, which may be unsigned.
Continue on Moore Road for about 1 mile, to where it turns into gravel. Keep going on what always appears to be "the main road" as it snakes around, and theoretically becomes Bluff Road.
Bluff Road ends in 1 or 2 miles at Prichard Road. Here go right about 100 feet, then left, and find yourself again on Bluff Road.
Continue on Bluff Road as it meanders for about 4 miles, where you turn right at Arkabutla Road.
On Arkabutla Road continue for 3 miles. When the road splits at the Y in Savage, take the left and soon encounter MS 3.
From Savage, follow MS 3 south for 9 miles to Crenshaw, and turn left onto MS 310.
At Crenshaw, follow MS 310 east for about 1000 feet, then turn right (south) onto Old Askew Road, then travel another 1000 feet and turn left (east) onto an unsigned paved road 1½ lanes wide. A concrete marker here points toward the landfill.
Continuing on the unsigned road for about 2 miles, turn right onto Indian Creek Road.
Indian Creek Road turns to gravel in about a quarter of a mile, then in about 4 miles ends at MS 315, on which you turn left.
On MS 315 go only about 3/4-mile, then turn right (south) onto unsigned, asphalt road to Delta.
On the unsigned road to Delta, go about 3 miles to Delta, then turn left onto the unsigned asphalt road.
Stay on the unsigned road out of Delta for only about 1 mile, then turn right onto the rough gravel road called Sand Bed Drive.
On Sand Bed Drive continue about 2 miles and take a left onto Ballentine Road, which is paved.
Stay on Ballentine Road for about 1.5 miles, then turn right onto unsigned gravel road, which later on is signed as Macedonia Road.
On Macedonia Road, which becomes paved midway, continue for 6 miles to MS 6, and here turn left.
On MS 6, travel east for 1.5 miles, and turn right onto gravel McDowell Road, or, to avoid confusing navigation, continue eastward 9 miles to I-55, then go south and at the second exit follow signs to Enid Lake.
Continue on gravel McDowell Road for about 2 miles, to paved Chapeltown Road, and continue to the right (south) to Tocowa Road.
Follow Tocowa Road for nearly 3 miles, then turn right onto MS 35.
On MS 35 go about 1 mile and turn left onto unsigned road.
Stay on this unsigned road for about 1.5 miles, then go right onto another unsigned road which may be Benson Road.
Follow Benson Road for over 3 miles, crossing Long Creek, to Crowder-Pope Road, and turn left.
On Crowder-Pope Road, go about a mile, to Pope. Continue eastward through Pope, to US 51.
Follow US 51 south 4.5 miles, to signs pointing toward Enid Lake.
Follow signs beneath I-55, for about a mile, to Enid Lake Dam.
Leaving the dam area, return the way you came, to I-55's Exit 233.
Entering from the north on Teasdale Road, just follow the main road as it twists and turns all the way south to Charleston, some 13 miles from the road's beginning. Inside Charleston, Teasdale Road is known as N. King Street. At the end of the road, inside Charleston, turn right (west) onto MS 32.
Proceed through Charleston to the intersection with MS 35, and turn left (south).
Having read the above, make your way through Tallahatchie County's southeastern corner as best you can. The easiest way is to follow MS 35 south from Charleston to Holcomb, following closely the base of the loess bluff, but the prettiest landscape lies just to the east of MS 35, with its unsigned maze of gravel roads.
The Loess Bluff Route passes through the narrow western toe of Grenada County, but the most scenic backcountry roads are typically unsigned and maze-like. Moreover, since the Yalobusha River runs north of Holcomb, and Potacocowa Creek lies just south of the county line, "navigating backcountry roads" by the sun is unproductive here, because so many roads end at the water's edge. Therefore, unless you don't mind many dead ends, or have a very fine map you wish to try, probably it's best just to follow busy MS 35 north and south into and out of this county.
In terms of navigating backcountry roads, Carroll County may well offer the most frustrating experience of the entire Loess Bluff Route from Kentucky to Louisiana. The Loess Bluff zone constituting the county's western uplands, besides having its unsigned maze of mostly gravel roads, also presents a gorgeously rugged intermingling of hills, little rivers and creeks, lakes and upland piney woods.
Busy MS 35 enters Carroll County from the north and goes to Carrollton. You can continue south on a busy, well-defined highway by going onto MS 17 inside Carrollton, leaving MS 35 from the right if heading south. You can avoid losing yourself by staying on MS 17 all the way through the rest of Carroll County. Yet, what a pleasure wandering the uplands just to the west of MS 35 in the north, and MS 17 in the south. But, if you do go into this unsigned mazeland, you'll have to navigate by the sun.
If you enter Holmes County from the north on MS 17, a little over 2 miles south of Acona, or 3 miles south of the county line, take a right onto Rosebank-Mt Olive Rd.
On Rosebank-Mt Olive Rd, "follow the main road" for 12 miles, until it ends at MS 12, and you turn right (west).
On MS 12, proceed west precipitously down the bluff, and in about half a mile turn left onto Howard Road.
On Howard Road go 3 miles to Howard.
From downtown Yazoo City, travel westward on US 49W for about half a mile, then turn left onto MS 3.
About 6 miles south of Yazoo City, at the barely recognizable community of Crupp, embark on a paved road to the left, abruptly climbing the loess bluff, toward Tinsley 4 miles distant.
4 miles south of Tinsley, turn right onto Oil City Rd.
Follow Oil City Rd. for 4 more miles, then turn right onto MS 433.
Follow MS 433 westward for 3 miles, then turn left onto Mechanicsburg Road. (Or continue 3 more miles to MS 3 at Satartia, then follow 3 southwestward to Vicksburg, and avoid the dirt road at the county line).
Vicksburg is an historic place and it has more attractions than usual for a town of its size. You may want to review our brief outline of Vicksburg history during the Civil War. Among the spots of special interest for the kinds of folks making this trip might be:
The Vicksburg Information Center describing these and many other local attractions is located on Vicksburg's south side, just north of the last exit on I-20 before crossing the Mississippi River.
Take US 61 south out of Vicksburg. After about 18 miles cross the Big Black River into Claiborne County.
Stay on US 61 for about 6 miles, then turn right onto Main Grand Gulf Road (at top right below).
Stay on Grand Gulf Road (keep going straight), for about 8 miles, until reaching Grand Gulf Military Monument Park.
Return on Main Grand Gulf Road for nearly 4 miles, then take a left onto paved road toward Port Gibson.
Follow this road for 3 miles to the intersection with US 61 inside Port Gibson, and turn left (south).
About half a mile south of Port Gibson, take the Natchez Trace Parkway south to its end in Natchez.
Follow the Natchez Trace Parkway all through the county.
Immediately upon entering Adams county, follow signs to Emerald Mound, then return the same way to the Parkway.
Heading south from Natchez on US 61, on the outskirts of town, at the first stoplight after crossing St. Catherine Creek, turn right onto Beltline Hwy.
Follow Beltline Hwy a little over half a mile, then turn left onto Lower Woodville Road.
Follow Lower Woodville Road about 12 miles to its end at US 61, then go right (south) and continue out of the county (crossing the Homochitta River).
About a half mile beyond the county line at the Homochitta River, turn right onto paved road later signed as Doloroso Loop, and continue "going straight" on this curvy road for about 6 miles when it crosses the Buffalo River and turns to gravel.
About 4 miles beyond the Buffalo River, at the Y, go right onto gravel (left is paved).
Continue on this gravel road another 5 miles until reaching paved MS 24 at Lessley, and turn right (west).
Follow MS 24 for 10 miles until it ends at Ft.
In the summer of 1999 an old fellow in Ft. Adams General Store shown at the right told me that atop the hill before the store the foundation of the old fort was still visible, as were gun emplacements, but they were all now inaccessibly overgrown by bushes. He had remembered seeing them as a kid.
100 feet before the yellow sign announcing MS 24's end, take the right onto paved Pond Road, which turns to gravel in about a mile.
Follow the very steep Pond Road up the loess face for about 3 miles, and reach Clark Creek Natural Area Trails.
Continue beyond Clark Creek for less than 1 mile (past a well-stocked general store) to the road's end at a paved road, and turn right.
Follow this paved road out of Mississippi (about 7 miles) until it reaches LA 66, and turn right (west).
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