With its railroad and Civil War history and 5,000 acres of magnificent timberland and hardwood bottom lands of Cypress Creek and the Tuscumbia River, Big Hill Pond has features of interest to both history buffs and nature lovers. Close to the sites of battles at Davis Bridge and Young’s Bridge engagement where the Confederate Army, withdrawing from Corinth, MS, extricated itself from a difficult situation and later formed the bulk of the defenders of the besieged city of Vicksburg. Civil War earthworks on the site are from a guard post built by Union soldiers to protect the railroad.
The pond that is the park’s namesake was formed in 1853, during the construction of a levee for the Memphis to Charleston Railroad. Through the years, a large stand of cypress trees has grown in and around the 35-acre pond created by the “borrow pit.” The creek and river floodplains contain small oxbow lakes and swamps that are excellent habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and fish. Otters, muskrats, minks and migrating birds are all part of the show. The Dismal Swamp Boardwalk (eight-tenths of a mile) is not dismal at all, but offers a wonderful window into the unique environment. An 70-foot observation tower offers panoramic views of Travis McNatt Lake and Dismal Swamp.
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