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Breakdown: Why you should visit the Red Bluff in Mississippi

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 11:50 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With National Trails Day coming up, you might want to dust off your walking shoes and prepare to hit the trail.

What is National Trails Day all About? Taking place on the first Saturday in June, National Trails Day is a day of public events aimed at advocacy and trail service. Thousands of hikers, bikers, rowers, horseback riders, trail clubs, federal and local agencies, land trusts, and businesses come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain, and clean up public lands and trails.

About four and a half hours south of Memphis is a dramatically eroding canyon thousands of miles from the desert. Red Bluff, more commonly known as the “Little Grand Canyon,” is a rapidly eroding canyon close to Foxworth, Mississippi.

TripAdvisor: stan_39440 |...
TripAdvisor: stan_39440 | https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g43782-d10410285-Reviews-Red_Bluff-Foxworth_Mississippi.html#/media-atf/10410285/201876493:p/?albumid=-160&type=0&category=-160(stan_39440 (Trip Advisor))

It’s obvious to see where this canyon gets its “Red Bluff” name from with the vivid red and orange, with some purple clay mixed in.

This massive formation stands at 400 feet above sea level and provides some amazing views. And one unforgettable hike.

This canyon was created by the natural erosion of the Pearl River. The erosion that created this canyon is still active. So active in fact that the original highway had to be moved (twice!). The old one is still visible next to the canyon, though now it is barred off to prevent any cars from driving on it.

ChilMili (Trip Advisor)
ChilMili (Trip Advisor)(ChilMili (Trip Advisor))

A hike through the canyon offers many lookout points to admire this unusual landscape.

Many visitors hike down to the bottom of the canyon to fully take in the magnificent site.
Many visitors hike down to the bottom of the canyon to fully take in the magnificent site.(Robert M (Trip Advisor))

And in addition to the cliffs themselves, the stream that acts as the source of the canyon’s erosion is accessible. Following the stream takes you on a scenic walk through the forest, across a railroad, and ends at the nearby Pearl River. So after working up a sweat hiking through the bluffs, you can cool off by the water.

Photo Credit: Charlie Luttrell (Trip Advisor)
Photo Credit: Charlie Luttrell (Trip Advisor)(Charlie Luttrell (Trip Advisor))

What to know before you go:

  • The soil from the bluffs stains everything bright orange and is difficult to remove, so dress appropriately.
  • Finding the Red Bluff can be tricky. It is located along Highway 587 just north of Morgantown. There’s an alcove that is used often for parking (just look for the cars).

Get a closer look at the beautiful Red Bluff in this video.

If you’re looking for a hike that’s a little closer to home, the American Hiking Society has several events listed near you.

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