Recreation and Protected Areas

Livingston College and the town of Livingston are built upon a Choctaw Indian village.

Greene County sits like an island, bordered by the Tombigbee to its left, the Black Warrior to the east, and the Sipsey River Swamp above.

Tupelo, Mississippi is the birthplace of the king, Elvis Presley.

Columbus, Mississippi is the birthplace of playwright Tennessee Williams on March 26, 1911. (Tombigbee Country)

During the construction of the Tenn-Tom waterway the federal government bought 13,000 acres along the waterway for recreation and wildlife management. The Corps constructed seven campgrounds with 750 campsites, and operates 40 boating ramps. Four of the ramps are in Mississippi’s Itawamba County. The Corps estimates the waterway has three million visitor days per year. The visitors spin off $200 million in economic activity. (Tombigbee Country)

Many travelers live on their boats on the river year round.


According to one book, in the 1960’s there was a Chickasaw State Park located in Linden, Alabama in Marengo County, just south of Demopolis. The park was 640 acres, featured a country club, a fishing lake, pool, tennis, and a movie theatre. (Rivers of AL)

The Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge, located in Choctaw County in southwest Alabama, lies eighty miles north of Mobile on the west bank of the Tombigbee River. The refuge boundary starts two river miles upstream from the Coffeeville Lock & Dam. The relatively small 4,218 acre refuge is separated into three land masses by two creeks. Okaktuppa Creek divides the North End from the Middle Swamp and Turkey Creek separates the Middle Swamp from the South End.

Choctaw NWR was established on land that was purchased as part of a Corps of Engineers water development project called the Coffeeville Lock and Dam in the mid 1950’s. The Department of the Interior acquired the management rights from the Corps and began refuge management practices during January, 1964.

Approximately 1,802 acres of the refuge lies in lakes, sloughs and creeks. Only 151 acres of the refuge is located in openings. The remaining 2,265 acres is composed of typical bottomland hardwood associated with the Tombigbee River Basin.

The Tupelo Gum Natural Area (SAF 103), located in the Middle Swamp, is the only area set aside as a unique part of the refuge. It was established in 1976 and consists of 30 acres of black gum and 5 acres of bald cypress.

The Choctaw NWR also includes eight perpetual conservation easements, scattered in Sumter, Conecuh, and Monroe counties of Alabama , which total an additional 236 acres. The refuge was established as a protected wintering area for waterfowl and wood duck reproduction. Natural sloughs, creeks and lakes, in conjunction with bottomland hardwoods and pine ridges, create a mixture of wildlife habitat. This habitat diversity produces an abundance of wildlife. Deer, turkey, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel and wood duck thrive in the bottomland hardwoods. Endangered or threatened species such as American alligators, bald eagles and wood storks also have an abundance of wetland habitat available. From November until March wintering waterfowl are present. As the waterfowl depart in the spring, wading bird use increases. The sloughs, creeks and lakes also provide excellent habitat for game fish, and aquatic mammals such as river otter, beaver, nutria and mink.