5 Unmissable Attractions In & Around New Albany, Mississippi

Photo of Sean Johnson
9 February 2017

An hour south of Memphis on the old Bankhead Highway, located on the banks of the fabled Tallahatchie River and in the center of the ‘Hill Country’ region of Mississippi, is the city of New Albany. Probably best known as the birthplace of the Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner, it is also home to acclaimed downtown shopping and a number of interesting attractions. From a wolf preserve to a national small-batch coffee roaster and a 44-mile bike trail built on William Faulkner’s great-grandfather’s old railroad, there’s plenty of reasons to stop in New Albany.

Wolf Howl Animal Preserve. Courtesy of Sean Johnson

Wolf Howl Animal Preserve

Located just outside of New Albany on the William Faulkner Scenic Highway, the Wolf Howl Animal Preserve is located on 33 acres of forests and fields. With six adult wolves on site (and oftentimes wolf puppies) the preserve is a great place to learn about this fascinating animal. Along with guided tours by the owners, there are also scent rolling and howling demonstrations. Since the wolves are ‘wild’ and not completely accustomed to humans, tours are for smaller groups only and are made by appointment from May 1st until October 31st.

Wolf Howl Animal Preserve,1177 State Road 355, Etta, Mississippi 38627 662-534-8112

The Tanglefoot Trail

The northernmost gateway to the 44-mile Tanglefoot Trail, a “rails-to-trails” that transformed William Faulkner’s great-grandfather’s railroad into Mississippi’s longest bike trail is located in the center of downtown New Albany. The trail runs from New Albany, through villages and towns to its terminus in Houston, Mississippi. The trail has become extremely popular with cyclists around the region due to the beauty of its surroundings, few crossings and relatively easy, flat terrain. Being downtown, the trailhead plaza offers close access to a coffee shop, restaurants and bike rentals as well as live, family-friendly weekend entertainment during the spring and fall, when the area is at its most beautiful.

The Tanglefoot Trailhead, 100 E Bankhead, New Albany, Mississippi 38652 662-534-1047

High Point © Jenny Hall
High Point Coffee Roasters © Jenny Hall

High Point Coffee Roasters

Those who love coffee and have wondered about the process of roasting it will enjoy a visit to High Point Coffee Roasters. High Point imports coffee from 14 different countries and roasts it on site every day and then ships the coffee around the country. Customers include John Grisham and Bill Cosby and High Point is the official coffee of the Baltimore Ravens. Visitors are welcome to tour the facility to watch the process and sample the freshly roasted beans.

High Point Coffee Roasters, 739 Hwy 15 North, New Albany, Mississippi 38652 662-534-9797

Ingomar Mounds © Kim Hunt
Ingomar Indian Mounds © Kim Hunt

The Ingomar Indian Mounds

Roughly a mile off the Tanglefoot Trail (and also accessible by car) the adventurous will encounter the Ingomar Mounds. The mounds were created by Native Americans during what is known as the ‘Middle Woodland’ period which lasted between 100 B.C. and 400 A.D. While individual mounds can be found throughout the Southeast, the Ingomar Mounds was a major mound complex consisting of a single large flat-topped mound surrounded by twelve smaller conical mounds. First excavated by the Smithsonian in 1885, interest in the complex has endured now for over a century. The complex is free and open to the public and often plays host to events such as stargazing, drum circles, interpretive programs and more.

The Ingomar Mounds, County Road 96, off Highway 15 S, New Albany, Mississippi 38652 662-538-0014

Union County Heritage Museum
Union County Heritage Museum. Courtesy of Sean Johnson

The Union County/Hill Country Heritage Museum & Faulkner Literary Garden

Recognized as one of the best regional museums and interpretive centers in the state, the Union County Heritage Museum, located in New Albany’s Historic Northside Neighborhood and next to the site of William Faulkner’s birth, features an interpretive timeline of life in the area from prehistoric fossils up until the modern age. Included is information on the Chickasaws, the first European settlers, the Civil War, Reconstruction and New Albany’s most famous son, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author, William Faulkner. An outdoor exhibit includes the award-winning Faulkner Garden (adjacent to the plot on which Faulkner’s childhood home stood) which features plants indigenous to the area and offers many interpretive events that explain the way of life of the settlers of the area. As well, the museum offers monthly events and excursions for varied interests. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and the admission is by donation.

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