Crosby Arboretum: A Magnolia State Treasure

Dec 19, 2022 | 0 comments

By Phyllis Dufrene

Crosby Arboretum

I happened to stumble across Crosby Arboretum in an email newsletter that linked to an article in Only in Your State and I am so glad I did. This little park is not very far from where I live and provides hours of exploration and education for kids of all ages. As a bonus, it is a mere 20-mile trip from one of my favorite campgrounds, McCleod State Park, in southern Mississippi. 

Entrance to visitor center
Arboretum Visitor Center

The Crosby Arboretum website shows the land is a 104-acre native plant conservatory. There are more than 300 species of indigenous plants with many rare, threatened, and endangered varieties.  

They also manage 700 acres across seven other natural areas. It is non-profit and much of the funding comes from memberships and donations. 

They work closely with the Mississippi University Extension in studying, protecting, and conserving the Pearl River Drainage basin in both Mississippi and Louisiana. 

Piney Woods Heritage Days at Crosby Arboretum

Piney Woods Heritage Festival sign at the entrance to Crosby Arboretum

I visited the arboretum during the Piney Woods Heritage Festival in November. The weather wasn’t perfect, but being underneath the canopy of the pine forest made up for it. Rain and wind couldn’t detract from the amazing beauty of this park.  

There were artists on site demonstrating their skills of spinning wool into yarn, musicians playing folk music, and artisans demonstrating basket-weaving. 

Trail leading to Crosby Arboretum

The Crosby Arboretum Trails

Despite the weather, we walked a couple of the trails that looped around a beautiful pond. There were bogs, savannahs, and gardens to visit. 

One of the most interesting things for me was seeing the hundreds of pitcher plants (a carnivorous plant) in the “Pitcher Plant Bog.”.  

Visiting the Arboretum

Native plants for sale outside of visitor center
Native Plants for Sale

Make sure to check the hours before you visit this 

 park. They are limited to Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 AM- 4:30 PM. 

There is a nice gift shop with numerous books, reference materials, and arboretum-related gifts. There is also an information center, which often offers guided tours and demonstrations. 

The Arboretum also sells numerous varieties of native plants in an effort to attract pollinators to the Gulf area. 

Crosby Arboretum maintains a very informative website with much information. You will be able to find anything from directions to month-by-month bloom times. 

I will definitely be back here to visit at different times throughout the year, and I am considering becoming a supporting member of the Arboretum. 

Hope to see you on the trail, maybe even in your state! 

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