The Long Leaf Trace is one of the Crown Jewels of the multi-use trails of the South.
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The Longleaf Trace is a 41 mile long asphalt-paved trail in Southern Mississippi. It is a National Recreation Trail.
It technically starts at Long Leaf Trace Park in Prentiss Mississippi and goes Southeast to Southern Methodist University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. However, most people start at the Long Leaf Trace Gateway in Hattiesburg. To get to the Gateway, follow these directions: From I59 take the Hardy Street exit and go east on Hardy Street to 38th Street (second light). Turn left on 38th Avenue and then right at the next light at 4th Street. The Gateway will be on your left at the foot of the water tower at the northern edge of the USM campus.
The Long Leaf Trace is name after the prolific long leaf pines, which is the reason the railroad was built through the area.
It follows the old route of the Mississippi Central Railroad which ran from Natchez, Mississippi to Mobile, Alabama.
The Trail is a great place to walk, run, skate or ride a bike through pristine forests and natural areas in southern Mississippi. Handicapped and elderly people may use motorized or electric transportation on the Trail. A 23-mile equestrian trail parallels the Longleaf Trace from the communities of Carson to Epley.
The Trail is owned by the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails to Trails District, which is composed of the counties of Forrest, Lamar and Jefferson Davis, and the municipalities of Bassfield, Hattiesburg, Sumrall and Prentiss.