Ridgeland is Mississippi’s premier cycling destination for serious athletes and casual peddlers and was also named the state’s best waterfront destination, but there is so much more to discover and savor in this sporty and stylish town located on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. The City of Ridgeland was designed to make the most of Mississippi’s beautiful weather, bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out making it a destination for adventure and discovery.
Named a bronze level bike-friendly community by the League of American Cyclists, Ridgeland’s 14.76-mile multi-use trail provides a scenic setting for cyclists and walkers alike with side trails bringing users to schools, shops and other businesses. Ridgeland’s progressive spirit in expanding and enhancing its trail and cycling offerings has brought national recognition to the town as Ridgeland is only one of 144 cities across the United States to hold this Bike Friendly honor. Ridgeland is home to the Magnolia BMX Track and offers 10 miles of fast single-track mountain bike trails. Each spring Ridgeland hosts the Ridgeland OBO Rally for tandem cyclists from across the country. Fall brings the town’s Fat Tire Festival and three popular Cyclocross events. Held in May, the Natchez Trace Century Ride brings over 700 cyclists to Ridgeland to ride distances of 25, 50, 62 or 100 miles of the national scenic byway and is fast becoming the top spring cycling event for families in Mississippi. The ride takes cyclists along the glimmering waters of the Barnett Reservoir and into nearby towns.
The Barnett Reservoir, known locally as the Rez, has more than 105 miles of shoreline bounded on the north by the Natchez Trace and 33,000 acres of surface area that provide a haven for boaters, kayakers, skiers, anglers, paddle boarders, picnickers and birdwatchers. The Jackson Yacht Club and the Main Harbor Marina, both located in Ridgeland, provide locals and visitors alike with sailing and boating opportunities throughout the year. Two commercial boats, The Friendship II and The Sweet Olive provide outings for large and small groups. Ridgeland has hosted the Bassmaster Elite Series, the Bassmaster Open, and the American Crappie Trail National Qualifier.
Ridgeland offers some of the state’s best tournament facilities and athletic events featuring a combination of top-notch facilities, restaurants, hotels, service and after-competition activities. The Ridgeland Tourism Commission in partnership with the city’s outstanding Recreation and Parks Department offers a staff dedicated to assist tournament planners. There are two major sports parks, operated by the Ridgeland Recreation and Parks Department. In addition to tournaments for tennis, soccer, baseball and softball, visitor enjoy the biking and walking trails, playgrounds and pavilions.
Freedom Ridge Park, a 50-acre state-of-the-art athletic facility, is conveniently located near Interstate 55 and numerous lodging, dining and shopping options. The park features four lighted adult regulation softball fields, four lighted regulation soccer fields, four picnic pavilions, two playgrounds, two concession/restroom buildings, and a lighted walking trail. One of the playgrounds, Adam’s Project, is an all accessible playground for children who have disabilities and special needs. Upcoming tournaments at Freedom Ridge Park include United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Baseball, Grand Slam Baseball, Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) and USA/ASA Fast Pitch Softball, and the Mississippi Rush Soccer Club.
Wolcott Park, a 40-acre athletic facility is located off Highway 51. It features seven lighted baseball/softball fields, a playground, 14 batting cages, two bullpens, and two concession/restroom facilities. Wolcott Park is also home to the Ridgeland Tennis Center with 17 courts available for day and evening games, and it is the largest public tennis facility in the state of Mississippi. Several United States Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments are held here each year.
Because Ridgeland is part of the metro area of the state capitol of Jackson where cheer, volleyball, bowling, and powerlifting tournaments are held at the Jackson Convention Complex, many participants and attendees prefer to stay in Ridgeland because of the abundance of dining options and Mississippi’s finest shopping. A wealth of independently owned boutiques, galleries and stores are located from one end of the city to the other and name brand retailers make their place in the city. Stroll the streets of the Old World style Renaissance at Colony Park, a true lifestyle center featuring fountains, lush landscaping and high-end shops including the only Apple Store and Fresh Market in the state. Close by Jackson Street District/Olde Towne Ridgeland, The Township and Trace Station are bustling with specialty shops, spas, restaurants and recreational shops. Northpark Mall is a one-stop family-friendly shopping destination with more than 120 retailers. As night falls, twinkling lights dance overhead and outdoor patios beckon you for and amazing dinner by some of the finest chefs in the South.
From the game to the good times, Ridgeland is a winning combination…Inside + Out.