Veterans Day gives us a special opportunity to say thank you to all who severed, especially the veterans we love most – our grandparents, parents, spouses, and other family and friends. If you’re looking for a new way to commemorate the day this year, why not plan a trip to Vicksburg, a city with a storied military history? For help creating your itinerary, check out a few ideas for Veterans Day in Vicksburg, MS from Visit Vicksburg.
Free Admission to Vicksburg National Military Park
On November 11, admission to Vicksburg National Military Park is free for all visitors. Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the Siege of Vicksburg, waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863. The park also commemorates the larger Vicksburg Campaign, which led up to the battle. Reconstructed forts and trenches bring to life the 47-day siege that ended in the surrender of the city, when the Union victory here and at Port Hudson, Louisiana, delivered control of the Mississippi River. Living history events at the park bring the soldiers’ experiences to life through musket and cannon demonstrations, giving visitors a unique opportunity to relive these fascinating times.
Walk, Hike, and Bike
The Vicksburg National Military Park also offers ample opportunity to get out and explore the eastern part of the Mississippi, including the Tour Road, where many visitors choose to walk, run, or ride bikes. The Tour Road offers up to 16 miles of exploration and allows pedestrians to create walking loops that range in length from 3 miles to 16 miles. To ensure everyone stays safe during their stroll, you’ll also find a walker’s lane on the left side of the road where no motorized vehicles are allowed.
The outdoors-loving veteran in your life will also want to explore the Al Scheller Hiking Trail. This trail follows a more physically demanding route through the interior parts of the park and offers hikers a real glimpse into the obstacles and challenging terrain faced by the soldiers during the siege. A majority of the trail is maintained and well-marked but hikers should have basic outdoor skills, supplies, and knowledge.
See the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum
Commissioned in January of 1862, the USS Cairo gunboat shares its name with the Illinois city. The 13-gun vessel was just one of a fleet of gunboats that were designed to help the Union defeat the Confederate opposition during the Civil War. Yet after less than a year in action, the gunboat was sunk by a torpedo just seven miles north of Vicksburg in the Yazoo River. The museum offers a stunning look into the history of not just the gunboat, but the lives of the men who fought inside the ship. This two-part attraction (the museum and the USS Cairo itself) is a captivating way to spend Veterans Day, especially for those who experienced modern naval technology.
Commemorating Veterans Day in Vicksburg
Why not make this year’s Veterans Day one to remember? When you spend Veterans Day in Vicksburg, you’ll have the chance to show gratitude to your loved one and remember all who served. To learn more about Civil War history and other things to do during your visit, contact Visit Vicksburg today, check out the calendar of events, and request a free visitor guide filled with activities, attractions, and more.