Hiking through the forest

Why You Need to Visit the Mississippi Petrified Forest

Select Registry - October 19, 2016

Mississippi Petrified Forest

If hiking through an ancient forest is on your bucket list, start planning a trip to Flora, Mississippi! The Mississippi Petrified Forest is the only petrified forest in the United States and is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s believed to have been formed 36 million years ago when fir and maple logs washed down an ancient river channel and became petrified. Now a National Natural Landmark, the forest features a variety of attractions including a nature trail, campground, museum, and more. Here are some of the things you’ll discover there.

The Mississippi Petrified Forest is truly an enchanting place. It’s located in hills with ravines that have been hollowed out by nature. The size of the petrified logs indicates that as living trees, these giants were over one hundred feet tall and over a thousand years old. At some point, a roaring river ripped through the area and snatched everything in its path – including the magnificent trees. The battered remnants began to decay and petrify, turning the trees into the stone logs we see today.

Nature Trail

The best way to learn about the petrified forest is to explore it! Guests may follow a nature trail through the woods to various points of interest, including the popular “Caveman’s Bench”. The bench sits right next to the trail and gives onlookers a glimpse into a prehistoric time. It’s also a great spot for pictures, so be sure to bring your camera!

Gem Flume 

Gem fluming is a fun and rewarding experience that teaches guests about gems, rocks, and minerals. Start with a bag of “mine muck”, then wash, screen it, and watch for real gems to appear. The best part? You get to keep what you find! Flume bags can be purchased in the forest’s gift shop.


The Earth Science Museum is another great place to explore. It features examples of petrified wood found in every state as well as many other fossils and displays. Visitors can admire dinosaur footprints, whale bones, turtle shells, and much more.

Gift Shop

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on your way out of the forest! You can purchase a petrified wood souvenir to remember your journey through time. The shop is filled with unique and unusual mineral items and has a superb line of gemstone jewelry. They even offer an online store for those who can’t make it to the forest.

Where to Stay

Just a 30-minute drive from the Mississippi Petrified Forest is the Fairview Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast in Jackson, MS. With gorgeous guest rooms and convenient amenities, the inn is a wonderful place to restore after a fun day outdoors. Enjoy dining at the restaurant, relaxing in the lounge, or cozy up with a good book in the library. You can even book a treatment at the luxurious onsite spa. Whatever you choose, we promise your getaway to Mississippi and the Fairview Inn will be one you’ll never forget! Find out how you can save on your trip with our Select Rewards Program!

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