The Longleaf Trace
Contact the Longleaf Trace   Directions to the Trace
New Event on theTrace
3rd Annual Longleaf Trace Century Ride
Saturday May 10, 2014.
New Event on theTrace
 Become a Super-hero for St. Jude’s Children 5K
July 19, 2014

The Tanglefoot Trail is now open. It's a 43+/- mile Rails to Trails Conversion (Mississippi's second longest) in NE Mississippi between Houston and new Albany, MS.

The Jeff Davis Lake owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has been re-opened. Access to the lake is provided from the Longleaf Trace on and along the Mayor Buford Blount Contrail. The contrail intersects the Longleaf Trace at near mile post 41 and is 1.3 miles long to the lake. The Jeff Davis Lake provides day use and over night facilities, primitive and class a camping.
The equestrian trail extension from Epley Station to the Beaver Pond is now open!
 It is time for all Golf Cart users to renew their annual permit

The Trace needs design help renovating the structure over the Trace at 7th Street. See Details

Many Thanks to all the partners of the Longleaf Trace

 The Trace on Facebook

 Additional donors urgently needed for Project Safe Crossing!

The Latest Longleaf Trace
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Other Links to Information about the Longleaf Trace

About the
Longleaf Trace
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Pests on the Trace?

 Become a
Lake Thoreau
to the Trace
and Pictures
Gateway Southern Miss
in Hattiesburg
Camping, Fishing,
RV Parking
Cycling Towns along the Trace, including
dining and lodging information 

Related Links

on the Trace
Thanks to our Sponsors Equestrian Facilities Services 
Souvenirs Logbook  
of Trace Users
Archives of pictures
and news
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  Weather Forecast
for the Trace
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along the Trace?
Weather Stations
and Rest Stops
Buddy's Place
Pet memorial

This is South Mississippi's premier running, biking, hiking, equestrian trail. It is a beautiful linear park,  41 miles long and fairly flat (a rails-to-trails conversion), extending  from Hattiesburg (elevation 220') through Sumrall (290'), Bassfield (460'), and Carson to Prentiss (336'). The trail is 10 feet wide and paved with asphalt. It has been extended to the USM campus, and negotiations are underway to acquire the right of way to downtown Hattiesburg. And can you imagine the impact of someday extending it from Prentiss to Natchez, thus connecting it to the Natchez Trace and Mississippi River Trails?

Directions to the Longleaf Trace

From I59 take the Hardy Street exit and go east on Hardy Street to 38th Street (second light).  Turn left on 38th Avenue and then right at the next light at 4th Street. The Gateway will be on your left at the foot of the water tower at the northern edge of the USM campus. 

From US Highway 49 from Jackson: US Hwy 49 South to Mendenhall, turn south on MS Hwy 13 to Prentiss, continue on MS hwy 13 to 4-way stop, turn right and the Prentiss Carolyn McRaney Gateway/Trailhead is one block on your left. The Trace crosses 13 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 or the US Highway 49 directions below.

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.  

US Highway 49 Directions: If you are familiar with Hattiesburg and USM, another more scenic way to get to the Gateway Southern Miss is to stay on 49 into Hattiesburg, and then turn west on 4th street (watch for signs directing you to the Gateway. You will get off onto a frontage road that will take you to 4th Street (4th Street passes over US 49). The Gateway will be on your right across from the football stadium. That way you get to see more of the fabulous hub city and USM. To start at Epley or Sumrall, follow the directions above. Going North, Highway 42 will be on your left about 3 miles after you cross under I59. 

Map of Prentiss

The Trace is being used daily by many bikers, runners, and hikers. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Signs are up to warn 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. The next crossing, which looks very similar from a few yards away, may be a major thoroughfare, with vehicles coming at you at 55 mph.   

As the sign shows, walkers should yield to equestrians, and bikers should yield to both walkers and equestrians. Be courteous and let other trail users know of your approach.   Even if there is plenty of room to pass,  give a warning. A jogger may hear your bicycle coming at the last second and (as recently happened) try to get out of your way in the wrong direction. Horses are also easily startled, and a startled horse can be very dangerous for the rider, and even more dangerous for the walker/biker/skater that startled him.  In all cases, be sure the other  party knows you are there before passing. 

Parking Area and Rest Room at Epley. This is just off Highway 589 at Epley Road

Much of the trail is well shaded, with wonderful natural landscaping. 
Deep cuts and high embankments through low areas add to the interest. 
See lots more pictures of the Trace

Many Thanks need to be given to the private sponsors who stepped up early in the project (1995) when we needed initial matching funding and also needed to show public support for the idea of a trail in order to get the funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. These people donated their money when the trail was just an idea in Stone Barefield's mind, before the land was purchased from the railroad, and before the cities and counties had signed on. Their enthusiasm and early support was instrumental in the eventual success of the Longleaf Trace. Please read the list of original sponsors, and Current Sponsors, and thank them the next chance you get. 

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