|The highest hill in Mississippi!|
My 28th state high point would be my 2nd shortest after Delaware's high point. Alabama is often thought of as a flat state which is hardly the case. On the other hand, Mississippi is mostly low country. This isn't to say it isn't beautiful but it will leave the mountaineer something to be desired. I did enjoy several historical sites in the state though!
Highpoints such as Denali, Rainier and Whitney have been well known for perhaps hundreds of years. Robust climbing and mountaineering industries surround these high points. For lower highpoints, most are entirely maintained by locals in conjunction with the Highpointers Foundation. This group does a fine job of preserving these locations and promoting both local and natural history. Woodall Mountain is the only state high point to play at least a minor role in Civil War history. The summit monument and the locals of Iuka pay tribute to its role with the summit's monument.
Here's a map-
View Hiking-ish Woodall Mountain, Mississippi in a larger mapGetting to the top wasn't very difficult other than the fact that it was a long drive from anywhere. The last mile of the road is gravel and surprisingly steep in some sections. Most cars will be able to get to the top but you could potentially turn this into a 1 mile hike by parking at the Baptist Church in the summit's shadow. There are directional views at the top as a consequence of the radio towers and telephone lines. A summit register, historical monument and Highpointers bench are other inhabitants of the summit.
I signed the logbook only to find that a family from my hometown in California was there the day before. Small world.
This blog focuses more on outdoor adventure than history but the two intersect quite often. I couldn't even begin to explain the historical significance of Vicksburg Battlefield but it should be put as a destination on a road trip as frequently as Gettysburg. The battlefield is very well preserved and telling in the history of one of the key battles of the Civil War.
I imagine that many people would avoid such places in the south for fear of "the South will rise again" sentiment. This isn't communicated in this historical site. Instead, it is a very fitting yet haunting reminder of the loss of humanity that came with brothers fighting brother in our country's darkest time. Vicksburg was a key victory for the North in turning the tide of the war and controlling the Nation's largest river. Both sides paid dearly in this battle and every state that lost soldiers has erected monuments in their honor. Additionally, the USS Cario is preserved to remind viewers of the role and loss the US Navy played in this war.
Visiting this national memorial was a somber reminder of the real cost of being able to freely move and visit all the beautiful places of this country. It put my entire road trip into perspective. I hope that you are able to visit this important site in your travels.
Read. Plan. Get Out There!