Canoeing and Fishing
Bear Creek Canoe Float Trip
Winding through the park is Bear Creek, a scenic stream meandering its way through the bluffs of the park. The park offers a 6.25 mile canoe float trip down the rocky-bottomed stream with the take out being in the park. The float trip operates daily from mid-April until mid-October, (weather and water level permitting). Scenic sandstone bluffs, lush greenery, a canopy of mixed hardwoods and pines, shoals, and Class I rapids with long pools in between provide an enjoyable and exciting trip.
A fee is charged for the canoe trip and advance reservations are recommended. Contact the park office for reservations.
Everything you need is provided by the park: canoes, paddles, lifejackets, and transportation. Lifejackets must be worn the duration of the float trip. There is a limit of two persons per canoe. One small, collapsible, lunchbox size cooler per canoe will be permitted on the trip. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Coolers are subject to search.
The scheduled departure is 10:00 a.m. All persons wanting to take the float trip must report to the Park Office 30-minutes prior to departure time. Canoeists leave their cars at the park's Swinging Bridge Area and are transported upstream to begin the float trip. Participants return to the swinging bridge approximately two and a half to three hours later (dependent upon water conditions). At the end of the trip, all canoeists are required to load their canoes on the trailer provided.
Haynes Lake is a 45 acre fresh water lake and offers fishing. The lake is for stocked catfish, bream, and bass. A boat launch and parking is available. A Mississippi fishing license is required for all persons between the ages of 16 and 65 and may be purchased at the park office for a nominal fee. Water skiing is not permitted on Haynes Lake.
The water level in the lake can vary a great deal based on the time of year and the frequency of rain events. Without regular rain events, the water level will decline and which can make access to lake edge and boat launching difficult. Investigations have found that fractures have developed in the limestone lake bed. These fractures allow water to pass through the lake bed and leave the lake. The loss of water is in such quantities that traditional normal lake water levels cannot be maintained.
- Haynes Lake Depth Map (PDF)