Hillside National Wildlife Refuge

Hillside National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 15,572 acres on the eastern edge of the lower Delta between the loess bluffs and the USACOE levee on the west.  The Mississippi River flows along the Delta’s western edge, while the eastern edge is bordered by steep bluffs that rise 300 feet above the elevation of the Delta. 

This Refuge is very unique, in that it was originally acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for it s Hillside Floodway, "Yazoo Basin Headwater Project" and transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1975. The COE project transformed most of the land into a silt collection sump via a cutoff levee containing the altered channels of the Black and Fannegusha Creeks. The COE project was designed to allow silt to settle out of the water before reaching the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers, to prevent costly dredging projects. Upon project completion of the project, the land was transferred to the Service for management. What was once bottomland hardwood forest, today is dominated by willow and cottonwood trees. 

The refuge provides habitat for migrating and wintering birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and neotropical migrant songbirds as well as native resident species like white-tailed deer. 

 

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Location

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Latitude: 33.040595 Longitude: -90.328657
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Amber Breland

Recreational Opportunities

Hillside National Wildlife Refuge offers many different opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you enjoy hunting, fishing, photography, or wildlife observation, the refuge offers activities for every age and interest. Some of the most popular activities include:

Hunting

Hunting is the most popular recreational activity on refuges at Hillside NWR.  Seasons include the opportunity to pursue deer, waterfowl, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and raccoon.  Feral hogs, raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria may also be harvested according to refuge regulations. Frogging is allowed at night with gigs and by hand grabbing. Frogging is the only activity (except coon hunting) that is permitted after dark. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are allowed on designated trails for hunting access.  For a complete listing of all hunting regulations, click here

Each person 16 years of age or older hunting at Hillside NWR must posess a Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex Annual Public Use Permit ($15), available for purchase online or in person via check or money order. In person purchases may be made at the following locations: Panther Swamp NWR, Yazoo City, MS and Yazoo NWR, Hollandale, MS. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 4 pm. Permits are valide August 1 - July 31. Mail-in requests for permits will not be accepted. 

Fishing

Fishing is allowed in all refuge wtaers from March 1 through November 15. The borrow ponds along the North levee are open throughout the year, except when closed during the muzzleloader deer hunt. Trot lines, limb lines, jugs, seines, and traps are prohibited. Frogging is allowed in all refuge waters during the State season. A copy of the complete fishing regulations may be found on our website. All anglers 16 years of age or older must possess a  Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex Annual Public Use Permit ($15), available for purchase online or in person via check or money order. In person purchases may be made at the following locations: Panther Swamp NWR, Yazoo City, MS and Yazoo NWR, Hollandale, MS. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 4 pm. Permits are valide August 1 - July 31. Mail-in requests for permits will not be accepted.

Fish populations consist mostly of rough fish, including long-nosed gar, buffalo, carp, bowfin, and catfish. A wide variety of fish species exists in the streams and bayous, including largemouth bass, various bream and crappie. 

Wildlife Observation & Photography

Passive wildlife viewing and photography is encouraged at Hillside NWR. Visitors must comply with existing laws, regulations, and policies concerning access and harassment of wildlife. While most wildlife observation and photography is associated with hunting and fishing, all visitors have the opportunity to photograph wildlife and natural landscapes from the hiking trails and public roads.

A handicapped accessible interpretive nature trail is available at the Alligator Slough Nature Trail.  This trail, established in 1986, features two scenic boardwalks across Alligator Slough. Following the natural edge between bottomland hardwood habitat and a beautiful cypress and tupelo slough, the trail makes a winding half-mile loop from the South Levee Road of Hillside NWR just off of Highway 49E, between Eden and Thorton. Park benches and educational kiosks are located along the trail. 

All commercial photographers must acquire a free special use permit, available by contacting the refuge. 

Seasons Accessible

Your National Wildlife Refuges are open year-round during daylight hours. 

In the summertime, temperatures can be extreme! Be sure to bring plenty of insect repellent, drinking water, appropriate footwear, and sunscreen. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to visit, especially during the summertime when temperatures are more moderate and wildlife is most active. Also be sure and watch out for snakes and other potentially hazardous wildlife species.

Fees

A $15 Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex Annual Public Use Permit is required for all hunters and anglers 16 years or older.

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