Red Bluff — “Mississippi’s Little Grand Canyon” A Popular Destination On The Winding Motorcycle Highway MS-587

Located in Morgantown, MS — Marion County, Red Bluff is quite a natural phenomenon. Rising up 400 feet from the valley, Red Bluff  is a 3-mile climb of winding road to the top of a peak where one can see over 30 miles away out into the Pearl River Valley.

The Bluff canyon itself is an eroded area of land where variant colors of red, orange, yellow, gold, and brown clays mix to create a colorful display. Highway 587 was diverted from this area, because the road was in danger of sinking in.  Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction for those on the country drive and especially for those owning motorcycles.

It’s quite easy to get there–Red Bluff that is. From Monticello, Mississippi, you’ll take Highway 587 and travel south for several miles. Winding roads account for the popular route for motorcycles, which reminds me of Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap in North Carolina–where I’ve been numerous times. It’s definitely not a road for 18-wheelers to travel due to many curves and blind spots. Here is a good example of why they should not travel Highway MS-587. Along MS-587, you’ll pass horse farms and homes. Here’s an old homestead in Ike’s Bend. The railroad also winds along the highway and you have the opportunity to capture a few train trestles along the way.

Miles and miles of curves you’ll encounter while enroute to Red Bluff. Extending out from Lawrence and Marion Counties, Highway 587 is a popular motorcycle route and still gaining popularity as more riders travel this somewhat scenic highway. You might even catch a line of corvettes!

This is the new portion of the highway that was rerouted due to the erosion problem at the bluff.

“Here’s your sign!” — Red Bluff. It’s the old Highway 587 before it was rerouted due to erosion or better yet, Red Bluff Canyon (I like repeating myself). Turn here and travel one-half mile to the end of the road (parking).

We’re at the bluff. Motorcycle riders are already here, exploring the vast canyon below. One of them is even a photographer. Check out the camera bag leaning against the bike. Later during this trip, I met with the rider. It was his first time on the 587 trail, coming from Hattiesburg, MS. Anyway, he had taken his camera down below the canyon to capture a small streaming waterfall on the creek that flows in the woodland towards the Pearl River. It’s not much of a fall, noted because I’ve been down there before. After a large rain, though, it could possibly produce a torrential flow.

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Standing at the edge of the bluff canyon, you can see outwards over the horizon.

A peek inside the canyon reveals the fact that if you were to fall off the cliff…. well… don’t expect to get out fairly quick. The canyon is much larger than it looks in these photos.

Another shot of the edge. You can see the old highway and how close it was to the cliff. There’s another portion of this highway around the bend that has already fallen in. You’ll also notice a campfire pit. Occasionally, you’ll have a few primitive campers at night. Can you image a full moon-lit night over the bluff?

A private trail exists at on the north side of the bluff that wraps around to the bottom. It’s quite steep and requires support. It’s a great trail where you can see a lot of old growth trees (trees previously not cut) such as pines and even Magnolias. The trail ends at the bottom where there is a small creek and the railroad. Oh, and there is a wrecked railroad car at the bottom, near the tracks, but I haven’t been far enough to see it yet.

Towns near Red Bluff include Monticello and Columbia. Camping is available in Columbia, Mississippi and perhaps near Foxworth/Morgantown which is near the bluff, but don’t take my word for it. The distance between the two points of Monticello and Foxworth is 30 miles.

Here is a satellite map of the canyon location. You can see where the highway was rerouted and where the canon sits on the old highway. Click Here to view on Google.

Red Bluff makes a good Sunday afternoon drive when you want to get outdoors and ride the countryside. As a matter of fact, this trip was taken this past Sunday, March 6th! Make Highway 587 a trip for your family. You might even get to see something that you never knew existed in Mississippi–that is, Red Bluff.

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