|When you feel the need to "get back to nature", it's time to get to Mississippi County! Whether your interest be bird watching, hunting, fishing or just enjoying the natural beauty of the land, Mississippi County has something for everyone.
Spend the day at Big Oak Tree State Park, a National Natural Landmark, and one of the last remaining virgin bottomland forest and cypress swamps in the nation. Walk the boardwalk through the swamp, spend the day fishing or watch the sky for over 150 different species of birds known to exist there. In September, step back in time when Big Oak hosts Living History Day, a special event where modern artisans demonstrate a number of traditional crafts from days gone by.
Take a hunting or fishing trip to Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area or Number Seven Island Conservation Area. These areas are wintering grounds for an abundance of waterfowl, including ducks and geese. Deer and the rare swamp rabbit are also plentiful.
With 95 miles of Mississippi River frontage, you can sit on the banks of "Old Man River" and watch as the world goes by; hop aboard one of the few remaining riverboat ferries in the country for a leisurely ride across the Mighty Mississippi' or take advantage of the many fishing and boating opportunities offered by those legendary muddy waters. Fishing is also available inland at Robert Delaney Conservation Lake and a number of other lakes, blue holes, chutes and bayous.
Mississippi County's heritage is as rich as its soil, and you can share in that heritage at Towosahgy State Historic Site, Battle of Belmont State Historic Site, Historic Museum of Mississippi County, Governor Warren E. Hearnes Museum, and the Mississippi County Historical Society Home and Museum.
Towosahgy State Historic Site a 65-acre historic site, listed on the National Register, preserves the remains of a once-fortified Indian village, which was also an important ceremonial center.
The Battle of Belmont was Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant's first major battle of the Civil War. An historic marker at the end of Highway 80 interprets the battle. It was at this same site that during the war a huge chain was stretched across the river from Mississippi County to Kentucky to stop river traffic. A part of the chain is displayed in the Mississippi County Historical Society Museum.
Today, Mississippi County retains an atmosphere of the historic south. The county seat, Charleston, is known as the city of beautiful homes. In April, Charleston hosts the Dogwood Azalea Festival. Lawns, gardens and parks are alive with vibrant spring flowers and special events appeal to both visitors and residents.
East Prairie, a town rich in railroad history, is home to the annual Sweetcorn Festival and Fourth of July Celebration, a special event commemorating the nation's birthday and the local sweetcorn harvest in an old fashioned country fair atmosphere. In October, East Prairie hosts Fall Fest.
For more information, please contact the East Prairie Tourism Council at 219 North Washington, (573) 649-3057 or the Charleston Chamber of Commerce at 108 East Commercial, (573) 683-6509.