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Find the top rated birding trails in Laurel, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
This trail is a gem. 45 miles of beautiful Mississippi countryside with smooth pavement and almost no interaction with traffic of any kind. My 7 year old son and his best friend switched every 3 miles between a pull behind trailer and a solo bike and made the entire way from Hattiesburg to Prentiss on the first day, and then returned the next day. It was an awesome introduction to bicycle touring, and by the end my son was asking if there were more trails like this that we could explore together. The mile markers at every mile are great motivation for young cyclists as well. What an amazing trail and experience.
We came down from the Chicago area the week of Thanksgiving to ride a couple rails to trails in Mississippi. This was our second of the two. We did all 44 miles both ways (88miles) over 2 days. Parked in Bassfield and rode the western portion on Sunday Nov 22nd, and left from Residence Inn Hattiesburg, and did the eastern portion, on Monday Nov 23rd. Really enjoyed the ride. Longleaf is very tree covered, so you're shaded most of the way. Bassfield has a great park that seems fairly well maintained. In fact, all the stations/depots/gateways were very well maintained. The trail is very sparse on the western end. In fact, we only saw 4 ppl from Bassfield to Prentiss and back (22miles), on a Sunny and 75 degree Sunday. More ppl obviously on Monday, on the eastern portion, but never felt crowded at all.
The Good. Trail has mile markers. Great signage (really, like a sign for just about everything), impossible to not know where you are on this trail. Crossings are all well marked. Good maps at stops (even showing elevations, milage, restrooms, you can find the map on the longleaf web site). Parking at all the stations/depots/gateways. Quite a few good rest tables/benches between stations. Water fountains outside the stations. No trash on the trail, and it had been cleared/blown recently because no leaves and very little sticks on the path.
The only two downsides were the trail asphalt is starting to show its age as far as how smooth. I wanted to call this out since a lot of the reviews here are 1.5years ago and older. There really isn't any ground that is super bad, or under repair, but in general, after mile marker 4 west of Hattiesburg to Prentiss, there's a lot of intermittent bumpiness from tree roots, every so often. However, some sections are still very smooth. Very small bumps, nothing that will break a wheel, but also very noticeable. We did this on trekking bikes w/ 700x35 size tires and front and seat shocks. We did see a few people doing the trail on road bikes, but on some of the smoother sections. I don't think a road bike w/ 28mm or less width, and no suspension, would be a whole lot of fun to do the entire thing anymore, or even certain sections. Second downside was that the bathrooms in both Bassfield and Prentiss were closed midday on a beautiful Sunday. Rating a 4/5 because of those two things. I'm sure this was a 5 star trail 5 years ago when the tree roots hadn't done their work. Would still recommend it if you’re in the area and haven’t done it.
I was at a teacher training in Harrisburg and did several out and back rides in the evenings and a long ride the day after the training.
Well kept for the most part. There is a parallel horse trail, but it doesn't look used much.
Lots of nice scenery to look at as well as small towns along the way. I was always able to find a nice restaurant after my rides, but not always close to the trail. Had to load up the bike and do a Google search or use my GPS to find one.
Not too far along the trail out of Prentiss is Lake Jeff Davis. There is a side trail going out to the lake. There is also a very small state park campground there. It looks like it would be a nice place to camp and ride the trail. The Longleaf Trace is nice rolling hills with nothing too steep. However, the side trail to Lake Jeff Davis is like a roller coaster ride with a very steep hill as you get close to the lake.
I personally like the NW section of this trail that ends in Prentiss. It winds through the rural areas with fewer crossroads. The terrain varies more that the Hattiesburg area. There are forgiving long hills that are fun. The surface is great with lots of signage along the entire trail. The bathrooms along this trails are spotless, and waste cans are placed at the many rest areas. We are Pennsylvania and pedaled the entire trail.
I was worried about 2 things. Safety as I ride by myself and heat as it was August and 92 degrees. No problems with either as long as you keep moving. Began at USM to Epley road (I had someone drop off and then meet me at the end-reassuring to have cell signal). Shaded most of the way. It was quiet but about every 5 mins there was another cyclist or jogger. The neighborhoods that I noticed seemed quiet and middle-upper. Not any hills to speak of but good solid stretches were a real work out. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest stops and beaver pond all very well maintained. I’ll try an early morning ride next.
Made trip from Fl. to do 2 trails in Ms and 1 in Al. This trail should be on every to do list. Nice scenery, all rest areas were clean, had several rain shelters. Surface is smooth with a few tree root bumps well marked. We did it round trip over several days while camping at Jeff Davis Lake. It you are adventurous try the connector trail from the campground to the trail near the Prentiss end, it is short but a hilly challenge. Trail is supported well by local community.
Started at Prentiss on the north end about 7:30 am. Got down to downtown Hattiesburg and spent about an hour there getting something to eat an drink then headed back to Prentiss. Stopped lots of times on the trail and did an easy speed. Finished by 4:00 pm. Great rest stops with restrooms. Trail gets a bit busier the closer you get to Hattiesburg, but no issues at all. Went about 30 minutes at one point without seeing another soul!
started from the north end and went about half way to Hattiesburg. wonderful trail - great asphalt. lots of long slow hills that don't kill your speed, just cause you to dig a little harder to pull them. great road crossings.
Plenty of support every 10 miles or less for help if you need it.
Great trail, I was told that the western end is the most scenic- cant compare it personally , but this was beautiful.
As this was a Friday afternoon- I ran into very few other bikers, however none were particularly friendly- not sure what was up with that - but I still had a magnificent time, and will look to do it again.
Excellent Hall of Fame rail trail. I rode from Prentiss to Hattiesburg. Elevation drops 300+ ft. Absolutely beautiful and serene on this paved trail. Only concern is the # of roads crossing the trails making it impossible to ride steady speed w/o slowing down for cross traffic. Plenty rest areas. Ride took 3 1/2 hrs. Will ride again.
We started out just before the 5 mile marker in Hattiesburg, we thought it would be good to leave from our hotel (Baymont). Not good, we had to ride through 8 blocks of steep hills, thick traffic on a road not made for bicycles. Once on the trail we started to enjoy riding. The trail is well maintained and provided well spaced stops with vending machines and bathrooms. To Prentiss, there are several upward inclines, not steep, but we had to stay in first gear a lot. Spent the night at the Western (adequate) and returned the next day. Wow! we did it, 80 miles in 2 days!
We drove about 300 miles to ride this trail. We stayed at the Westin Inn in Prentiss and drove to Hattiesburg to start our ride. This was October 29, 2016.
We planned to ride from the beginning of the trail at SMU but SMU took over the trail parking lot for their homecoming. They planned to tow away all cars parked after noon that day. NOT VERY FRIENDLY IN OUR VIEW!!!!
We had to start our ride 7 miles further up the trail at the next parking area. The trail is great. Stopped at Sumrall for lunch. We saw no one else using the trail after Sumrall. It was completely deserted. Expected a 41 mile trail but when the mile markers went to 42, then 43, then 44 miles we began to wonder. We finally got to Prentiss at 44+ miles and rode about half a mile to our hotel.
The Westin Inn is a very nice little hotel. Clean, updated, friendly staff who live on the property and reasonable price.
Signs showing how to get to the trail are everywhere except in Prentiss!!!
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