The Tuxachanie Hiking Trail passes through open stands of Longleaf Pine. This area just north of the Gulf Coast is hilly and contains some of the best longleaf pine forests to be seen anywhere. The trail follows old railroad beds so is pretty much straight and level but does have some interesting stream crossings.
Throughout the South railroads were built through the forests where the trees were cut then hauled to a mill on railcars. I have found rail spikes in the middle of what is now forests of towering trees.
The western end of the trail begins at a parking area on U.S. Highway 49. The eastern end is at Airy Lake C.G.(11 miles). There is a small lake with camp sites and water. Across the road is a Forest Service work Station with one of the old metal fire lookout towers that were once found throughout the Southern Forest. A trail passes through the site contiunes on to POW Lake (site of a WWII German/Italian POW Camp)finally looping back to Airy Lake. This section is NOT part of the 11 miles Tuxachanie Trail.
NOTE: This hike like many others in the Southern U.S. are best done during the fall,winter or spring. They provide a great opportunity for hiking when mountain trails are snowed in or during the spring meltdown
The western trailhead is on U.S highway 49 just north of Saucier(half hour N of Gulfport). There are signs to a small parking area.(can be crowded on weekends especially during fall, winter and spring)
Eastern End-Airy Lake- From U.S. Highway 49 at Saucier turn east on Highway 67, continue on to 4 way stop; turn north on County Rd 412 (Airy Tower Road) Airy Lake is 3 miles.
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