Spotter's Trail, Den Open October 1 at LeFleur's Complex

September 27, 2022

An artist rendering of Spotter's Trail at the LeFleur's Bluff Tourism Complex.
An artist rendering of Spotter's Trail at the LeFleur's Bluff Tourism Complex.
Credit: WBA

Spotter's Adventure Trail (a museum walking trail) and The Den (an outdoor pavilion) at the LeFleur's Bluff Education and Tourism Complex (LBC) are now open.

Spotter's Adventure Trail connects the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), the Mississippi Children's Museum (MCM), and the LeFleur's Bluff Playground, a state-of-the-art playground that has welcomed 100,000 visitors since opening in December of 2021.

The eight-foot-wide trail features a fun and interactive outdoor experience with Spotter the Otter and friends, designed and illustrated by MCM's Senior Graphic Designer, Lori Nesbit. Characters were brought to life through stories and exhibit elements by MDWFP's staff and MCM's Education Team, led by William Moore, Assistant Director of Exhibits.

"We are excited for the completion of another phase at the LeFleur's Bluff Education & Tourism Complex. The adventure trail and outdoor amphitheater will connect visitors to fun outdoor recreational experiences. We are proud of the progress at LeFleur's Bluff State Park; the playground was awarded by the Jackson Free Press as the 2022 Best New Addition to Jackson," said MDWFP Acting Executive Director Lynn Posey.

The Den, located west of the playground, includes tables and seating for up to fifty students. Both museums will use the facility for field trips, events, and programs, including the award-winning Mississippi Science Festival and Park After Dark. An adjacent sloped lawn allows the structure to be used as an open-air amphitheater for large assemblies.

"The LeFleur's Bluff Complex is transformational for our state," said Susan Garrard, President/CEO of the Mississippi Children's Museum. "This partnership between two award-winning museums will provide state-of-the-art amenities and educational opportunities for everyone who visits. The strategic plan is innovative and sparks a vision for the future of Mississippi. We are grateful for the vision and commitment of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation's board of directors and our state leaders and legislators. As this new phase opens, Spotter's Adventure Trail is particularly meaningful because it not only physically connects two award-winning museums for a better visitor experience but also connects families to the institutions' missions with activities around literacy and conservation while celebrating outdoor play and our unique sense of place."

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation funded the LeFleur's Bluff Playground, Outdoor Pavilion and Museum Trail. The Foundation's generous $3.86 million made this innovative project possible, and the Foundation's leadership team played a proactive role in developing the state-of-the-art playground and complex.

The LeFleur's Bluff Tourism Complex is open seven days a week (Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm, Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm, and Sunday: 1 - 5 pm). Parking is available in the park and at both museums. Admission to the park is free and open to the public.