- by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
McLeod Park, the Hancock County campground that is a favorite destination for families, offers recreational activities along the Jourdan River along with a playground and splash-pad and a disc golf course. There are also a couple of pavilions, a bath house and boat rentals. The campground is a popular stop along one of the two scenic Blue Way Trails in Hancock County.
Kevin Ladner, the county recreation director, said the good weather lately has allowed workers time to put finishing touches on the new amphitheater and wind up improvements to the expanded campsites.
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The small amphitheater is a new feature, built beneath the trees in the green space near the campsites. Another major addition is 33 new campsites, bringing the total to 153.
“That’s huge,” Ladner said of the new sites. “They will bring in a lot of revenue for the county.”
Workers are adding three more campsites in the area along the waterfront and pouring slabs on the 24 sites that do not have concrete pads now. “When that’s done, every campsite in the park will have concrete pads,” Ladner said. All campsites will have full hookups for water, power and sewer. The site rates range from $23 to $30 a day.
The 1.25-mile McLeod Park Natural Trail also has been enhanced, and a pier with a lookout and decking are also nearing completion. Hard surfacing has been added to the lookout deck to make it handicapped accessible, Ladner said.
The campsites were already popular with visitors, especially those from nearby Louisiana. Ladner said the sites have been more than 90 percent occupied in the last year.
“A lot come from Louisiana, but they’re coming from all across the country. We’re getting more folks traveling than we’ve ever had,” he said. In fact, the last two winters have been the busiest winter seasons that Ladner has seen in the 10 years he’s been in the job.
The addition and enhancements of the campsites are expected to bring in more revenue to keep McLeod Park operating and welcoming visitors, Ladner said, for now and into the future.
He also pointed out that the county arena is undergoing $850,000 worth of maintenance, including structural repairs to the 25-year-old building, some roofing and painting.
“Hopefully, that will carry us for another 25 years,” he said.
The entrance to McLeod Park is at 8100 Texas Flat Road in Kiln. For more information, go to https://www.hancockcounty.ms.gov/mcleod-park-campground. There is a small entrance fee per vehicle.
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