Grenada, MS and Grenada Lake – hunt, swim, fish, camp, look

June 21, 2012 · 2 comments

in Best Road Trips, Excursions and Day Triips

Grenada has been a hot regional destination since Grenada Lake was built in 1954.

Lake and beaches at Grenada Lake

Greetings again friends, this is Bill Taylor writing about a road trip we enjoyed. Grenada Lake is the largest lake in Mississippi. It covers 36,000 acres. If you love hunting, fishing, camping, swimming or water skiing … Grenada Lake has it all. The lake is conveniently located near a town that doesn’t seem to know there is a recession. Business is brisk and new construction is active.

Grenada Lake was built as a flood control project in the Yazoo River Basin. The scenic drive across the 2 1/2 mile long spillway gives spectacular views of the lake and its beaches. The lake has 148 miles of shoreline, 16 boat ramps, 49 areas for primitive and 311 Class A camping  6  public beaches and 5 playgrounds, Grenada Lake is perfect for camping, fishing, swimming, boating and jet skiing, basketball courts, softball fields, nature trails and playgrounds offer year ’round fun at Grenada Lake. Sounds good hunh?

The lake is adjoins Hugh White State Park which has cabins, campground, and other facilities, including a lodge and a pool.

 

There are several historic churches in downtown Grenada

Grenada, MS is in North Central Mississippi and is on the old North/South route of US Hwy 51. This historic road is still open for traffic in most parts between Jackson, MS and Memphis, TN. In the new road, it is only 129 miles to Memphis, and about the same distance from Jackson, MS. The drive on old 51 takes you right through the heart of several towns. When 51 was built, the roads intentionally went through all the towns they could.

The highway never ran through the heart of downtown Grenada. The downtown district is locate about 1/4 mile to the east of old 51. However, the new north/south route is Interstate 55 which misses town by about a mile and a half. From the interstate you turn east on MS Hwy 8 which becomes Sunset Drive when you enter the city limits. Watch for a sign on your right which will direct you to turn left to reach the old historic district of downtown Grenada, Mississippi.

If you want to go to Grenada Lake, do not turn off Hwy 8 into downtown, but continue on MS Hwy 8, go past town less than 2 miles. You will see a sign pointing to Hugh White State Park and Grenada Lake. The road is Scenic Highway 333. This route takes you to the reservoir, beaches, camping etc. This beautiful lake and has enjoyed growing popularity for over half a century. The park is well maintained, safe and popular.

The city of Grenada is much older than Grenada Lake

Town Square Park – Grenada, MS

The city of Grenada was formed in 1836 before Grenada County was formed in 1879. There were originally two neighboring, rival towns, which sprang up in the same location. They were named Pittsburg and Tullahoma. The two towns, were separated only by a section line (now Line Street in Grenada), both prospered and became sharp rivals. In 1835, Tullahoma attempted to annex Pittsburg, and Pittsburg retaliated with an effort to annex Tullahoma. The governor refused both annexation requests.  Rev. Abraham Lucas performed the “Marriage of Pittsburg & Tullahoma” on July 4, 1836, forming Grenada. His grave is in the Oddfellows Cemetery.

Giant Eastern Red Cedars

The population of Grenada is just below 15,000. As you drive through the business area you might think the population is much larger. There is a vast rural region around the town which turns to this city for its needs.

Confederate Cemetery inside Oddfellows Cemetery

I particularly enjoyed the Confederate Cemetery which is located in the Fellows Cemetery, which is on MS Hwy 8. These combined cemeteries contain hundreds of graves and are beautifully arranged and maintained. I was pleasantly surprised to see a small beautiful grove of Eastern Red Cedar Trees in the grounds.

Famous Billups Railroad Crossing Sign

A prototype for modern railroad crossing was designed, built and installed at a crossing on MS Hwy 7 in 1930. Alonzo Billups was the designer.  The sign was the first of its kind anywhere. It had flaws and required heavy maintenance and was finally removed. You can read its history here. The high cost of neon gas was the straw that broke the camel’s back and caused the sign to be removed.

Following is a list of Historic Sites and Districts listed on the National Resister of Historic Places.

  • Confederate Earthworks
  • Evergreen Plantation
  • Glenwild Plantation Manager’s House
  • Grenada Bank
  • Grenada Masonic Temple
  • Illinois Central Depot
  • Lee-Dubard House
  • Odd Fellows, Confederate and Yellow Fever Cemetaries
  • Providence Cemetary
  • US Post Office–Grenada
  • Sen. Edward C. Walthall House
  • Wild Wings Mounds
  • Yalobusha Line Defensive Trench
  • Margin Street & part of Line Street Historic District
  • South Main Street Historic District

As you can easily see, it is impractical to attempt a description of each. There is also a site of a Confederate Fort, in the area of Grenada Lake. You can follow signs from Hwy 333 loop to the fort. The information is on the bottom of the same page as information about Vicksburg, MS.

You will enjoy a tour of the town. It doesn’t take long to drive and the best place to start is downtown. I did not locate a map for a driving tour, but you can download a map from Google Maps at this link. The square which once held the Grenada County Courthouse is now a civic park. The buildings around the square are very much as they have been for decades. The old building for Bank of Grenada is significant, because through several name changes it has evolved into Regions Bank which is prominent throughout the southern states.

Historic homes and building line the main streets of Grenada

Historic church buildings and homes line the streets leading west to old Hwy 51 and south to MS Hwy 8. I first visited Grenada in 1960 when I moved to Winona, MS. To get to Winona you drive 22 miles south of Grenada on US 51, passing through the quaint little town of Duck Hill, MS.

Carmella’s Ristorante – a great place to dine

Grenada is blessed with several very good restaurants. This is partially due to the highway traffic which flows through the town. There is a Orleans Coffee Shop and Bakery at 149 S Main St downtown. Jake and Rip’s sells BarBQ and Steaks and is a popular spot at 1525 Sunset Drive. We ate at Carmella’s Ristorante which is located at 1360 Sunset Dr. We had a very good pizza and excellent Greek Salad, but I’ve heard that the pasta is as good as you can find anywhere. I’ve gotta go back and try it.

On the Scenic Route you can eat a buffet or from the menu at The 333 Restaurant, this is a good restaurant. The 333 Highway is the scenic loop through the area of Grenada Lake .

Go where the locals go

A View of the Lake from the Beachside

Travelers know that you only stop at a restaurant which has a crowd of local cars or trucks. If the locals eat there, it usually has good food. The same holds true of recreational destinations. If they aren’t busy, they probably don’t deserve your hard earned travel bucks either.

 I have friends in Choctaw County who routinely drive the 50 miles up here to fish this lake. It has Bass, Bream, Perch, Crappie and Catfish. During the early months of spring, the Crappie run in the spillway and anyone can catch his limit in an hour or so. Campers and RV owners flock here on the weekends. In the summer months, it is hard to schedule a camp site. Grenada Lake is seriously a great weekend camping destination.

Friends of mine who live in Grenada also frequent the parks, beaches and restaurants of this busy, business minded city. I think you will enjoy your visit here. Let me hear from you if this post was helpful. Just click the w9rd “comments” at the close of this article and you can write a note, or a review.

I’ve gotta go now, but you can keep driving up the miles and dialing up smiles. As we say at AmericaRoadTrip, we don’t count miles, we count smiles. My wife says, “A bad day on a road trip is better than a good day cleaning house.” She’s so cute, the way she says things like that.

Until next time,

Bill Taylor

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cephia white July 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Can I get some information about Grenada Ms Beach sent to me

Reply

Bill Taylor January 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Sincere apologies. I did not see your question until today. Are you still interested. If so I will have some info sent to you.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: