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By Andy Baeuerle

    Well summer has officially started. But here in Mississippi, we can all agree summer comes when it feels like it. Not just on June 21! And to escape the heat, we travel. We go to the mountains, or we may go to the beach. But we do it all the time. Those long rides get tiring after a while. So if y’all are tired of riding multiple hours to Tennessee or Alabama, here are 3 places you can go to in your own county to cool off:

  1. McNair Springs (Magee, MS)
  • A local favorite, McNair Springs holds a special place in the hearts and memories of many Simpson Countians. Quietly nestled in the countryside about a mile and half south of downtown Magee, families come from all over the state of Mississippi to relax in shade of oak and hickory trees, and to cool off in the crystal spring waters that once hydrated the entire city of Magee, and the Sanatorium community as well. Today, the spring supplies water to the Real Pure Bottling Group plant that is beside the park. The park is open from dawn to dusk, and is equipped with multiple benches, a football field, a softball and baseball field, a large pavilion, and the spring aqueduct itself. 
  • McNair Springs

    pavilion at McNair Springs
  1. D’Lo Water Park
  • Located on the Strong River, D’Lo Water Park is one of the most popular water parks in Mississippi. Hundreds of people come here to spend a day, camp out a couple of days, or to even take advantage of Strong River and rent kayaks and canoes to float this mighty and challenging river. Along with it being well known in Mississippi, D’Lo Water Park is also well known in Hollywood, with iconic scenes from movies like “My Dog Skip” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” being filmed there. If you are curious about rates for camping, the cabin, or Strong River float trips, visit their website at 
  • Merit

  1. Merit Water Park
  • If you’re from Central Mississippi, at some point in your life, you’ve heard about Merit Water Park, whether it be in the news, or from a loved one. Though the park hasn’t been featured in a movie, this swimming hole may be more well known than D’Lo, simply because of its chilling waters and beautiful landscape. “Merit Falls,” as known by the locals, is managed by the D’Lo Water Park staff, and is open from dawn to dusk on any hot summer day. This park is a true Simpson County gem, and if you don’t believe me, you’ll have to either try it for yourself or drive past it where you’ll see 20-30 cars where people are trying to get to it. And the park is this packed for a reason. More info on the park can be found at


    This summer, y’all better not work too hard. Don’t get too hot and don’t hurt yourself. Always keep some cool water around you, and stay hydrated. And if you want something to do with the family, I urge you to check out these parks. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


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