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Maynor Creek Waterpark in Waynsboro, Mississippi

As we entered Waynesboro, Mississippi, we were greeted with a sign stating that Waynesboro is the home of Melinda King, Miss Mississippi of 1998. The town was not big and since it was a Sunday it was very quiet.

We easily found our way to the Maynor Creek Water Park. It was a gray overcast day and the park was nearly deserted. We were given a long paved site right on the water, but it sloped badly to the rear (probably for drainage). We liked being on the water so decided to try getting level. It didn't work. We had our back jacks up as high as they would  go and we were still downhill. On Monday Ron went into town to find the lumber yard to get more boards, but that didn't help much either. We figured it was okay to sleep with our feet elevated. As we rode our bikes around the park we found level sites and made a note that those not on the lake are much better suited for motorhomes with long wheel bases like ours.

We stayed for three days and enjoyed the quiet. We didn't even do any touring other than searching out the downtown. It wasn't much. The park was nearly empty but we could tell that during the summer, it would be very busy. There is a nice area for kids complete with water slide near the beach.

Traveling west on U.S. 84
As soon as we left the water park, US 84 became four lane and divided. It is new and wonderful; the grassy median was at least 50 feet wide. The rolling hills and good road made for a wonderful ride. Collins looked like a nice town, but it was too early for lunch so we just kept on going.

After Collins, US 84 became two lane again with no shoulders and those same drop-offs we found on US 45 There was a moderate amount of traffic---mostly logging trucks. It looks like they plan to widen that road too, but I don't think it will be in the near future.

Before Montecello we saw a lot of damaged homes here and there. It looked like a tornado had been through there, although not recently. Until we reached Brookhaven, we still struggled with drop-offs and no shoulders. Ron said, "I never realized how much difference shoulders make." U.S.84 was like a freeway from Brookhaven all the way to Natchez and the towns were by passed so it wasn't very interesting.

The Citronelle fire station
Natchez, Mississippi
Although the road leading to the state park looked a little scary with tumble down shacks on either side of the narrow road, the park was beautiful and the sites were large and paved. We liked the park so much that we stayed nearly a week. The rangers at the state park were great and it was easy to use their FAX line to get email.

Along the road leading to the state park

Beautiful sites in the campground at the Natchez State Park.

We toured two of the lovely old plantation homes and took a horse and buggy ride downtown, but the downtown was disappointing with so many antique shops and not much else. The visitor center in town was great though.

Three views of Melrose Plantation which is now operated by the National Park.
1. A beautiful gate which led to an overgrown path.     2. Slave quarters. 

Melrose is a beautiful plantation operated by the National Park Service and we had an excellent tour. The most amazing fact about this house is it has only been owned by 3 families and each time it was sold the original furnishings went with it so the park service got a real gem.

There are 15 or more plantation homes which can be toured but the most popular is Stanton Hall. From the outside it is certainly impressive so we put that tour on our list too. The inside was just as beautiful.

We were a bit disappointed in the looks of downtown Natchez. It reminded me of a dying town where old stores get converted to antique or thrift shops. But the buggy ride was enjoyable and the sights were interesting.

Trolly rides are a way to get around town and offer some historical information too.

The Natchez Trace Parkway travels through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. It is a national park. What was once an Indian trail was used by many. In the late 1700's Ohio River Valley farmers searching for markets had begun floating their crops and products down the rivers to Natchez or New Orleans. Because they sold their flatboats for lumber, returning home meant either riding or walking. The trail from Natchez was the most direct route. Because this parkway does not allow commercial vehicles, it would be a pleasant drive all the way, but we only investigated a tiny portion at Natchez.
A small portion of the original trace.

Mount Locust---an inn at the southern part of the trace.
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