Dewayne Hayes Campground is located on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Dewayne Hayes Campground has 100 sites with electric and water hookups and 10 primitive sites. DeWayne Hayes is located immediately next to Columbus Lake on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. The campground provides convenient access to the waterway. There is ample opportunity for one to go fishing, boating, or just spend the day sightseeing along the banks of the river. If one is interested in antique stores, historic sights, and such just visit Columbus, Mississippi next door.
We stayed at Dewayne Hayes Campground in June 2011. It is a well-kept Corps of Engineers park. If you’ve ever been in a COE park, you know what that means: it’s clean, the grounds are maintained, the staff is helpful, the bathhouses are nice, the pads are concrete and level, it’s beautifully designed.
Dewayne Hayes is a large, spacious park. There are 110 sites spaced far apart. Most of the sites could handle the biggest rigs. There are a couple dozen sewer sites as well. We didn’t get a sewer site because our visit was short, but if I was going to be there longer, I would get one.
The waterfront sites are really pretty, but you can’t get down to the water. There is a steep dropoff. Until my daughter is several years older, I would not camp in a waterfront site again. That’s okay though, because the offwater sites are private and wooded. A lot of them are near the Nature Trail that goes by the Cypress Slough.
The Cypress Slough is gorgeous. If nothing else, it is worth the trip to Columbus, MS to see it. You just don’t see that in N. Mississippi. I could spend all day out on the pier at the slough.
The trails are concrete, level and weedeaten around the edges. You could easily push a stroller or bike them. There are several benches for stopping to sit a spell. The trails are one of the best things about Dewayne Hayes.
There is a Nature Trail marked to begin before you get to the gatehouse, but we went to find it and could not discern a trail anywhere nearby. I don’t know if it was supposed to be a bare ground trail that has grown over or if the sign is out of place, but we were disappointed not to find it.
The map of the park on their website is not very accurate. It shows two bathhouses when there are actually three. The scale is all wrong too. The Cypress Slough runs all the way back along most of the park. There are even a couple of sites near the front with clear views of it.
There are three bathhouses. Each has it’s own laundry facility. Both the second and third bathhouses has a playground adjacent. The first bathhouse has a swingset behind it.
There is a boat ramp within the campground, with a fish cleaning station across the street. There is also a boat ramp and fish cleaning station in the day use area.
There is a great primitive camping loop that you have to walk a trail to get to. There are ten really nice sites with fire rings, picnic tables and grills. These sites actually have the best water views and access of all the sites in the park. It’s worth the walk to go see it.
The park grounds are the cleanest, best maintained COE park I have ever been in, and that is saying something. The acres of grass must require a dozen or more full-time grounds people. It was free of even the most random litter, freshly mowed and freshly weedeaten. It is a dog walking paradise.
The day use area is huge. There is a sprayground and 2 fantastic playgrounds for the kids. Our kid loved the sprayground. There is an entrance right to it from the campground. I have included pics of the sprayground in the photo galleries linked at the top of this page.
There is a level, concrete walking trail that runs through the whole day use area. There are atleast 50 picnic tables each with it’s own grill. At the end of the trail is a fishing pier. It’s actually kind of bizarre to have this many picnic areas because none of them were being used, and we were there on a holiday weekend. There were several pavillions, a multi-use court, a baseball field, a boat ramp, a fish cleaning station and 2 bathrooms as well. None of them were getting any use.
There is no swimming area at Dewayne Hayes. This might just be a rumor, but someome told us there used to be a sandy beach in the day use area, but they shut it down due to leeches. Supposedly, they built the sprayground to replace it.
We saw lots of wildlife in the park: blue heron, deer several times, possum, armadillo, raccoons and a fox. There were also thousands of blue and green dragonflies all over the park. I guess that’s because of the slough.
The park is 5 miles from the main shopping district of Columbus. There is the Leigh Mall, several shopping centers, Walmart, grocery stores, big box stores of every kind, every fast food joint you can imagine, a ton of chain restaurants, liqour stores and almost anything you can think of within 10 miles of the park.
The old downtown is about 7 miles away. It has the Tennessee Williams museum, the Mississippi University for Women and a thriving old-timey downtown feel. When I go back, I will explore the downtown.
There is a post office 4 miles away.
There is a Shell gas station with diesel just a couple of miles from the park.
I can imagine that during MSU football weekends the park is hopping.
We will definitely be back at Dewayne Hayes sometime next summer.