Geography of Jackson County, Mississippi

Geography of Jackson County, Mississippi

Jackson County is located in the southern part of the state of Mississippi, United States, along the Gulf Coast. It is known for its beautiful beaches, diverse ecosystems, and rich cultural heritage. Covering an area of approximately 1,043 square miles, Jackson County offers a mix of coastal plains, marshlands, and inland forests.

Location and Borders

According to Bittranslators, Jackson County is situated in the southeastern corner of Mississippi, bordered by the counties of George to the north, Harrison to the west, and Mobile County in Alabama to the east. To the south lies the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which forms the county’s southern boundary. The county seat is Pascagoula, which is also the largest city in the county.

Topography and Terrain

The topography of Jackson County is characterized by its coastal plains, marshlands, and low-lying areas near the Gulf Coast. Inland, the terrain becomes slightly more elevated, with pine forests and small hills dotting the landscape. The county lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain region, which extends along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.

The coastal areas of Jackson County feature sandy beaches, barrier islands, and tidal marshes, which provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. Inland, the landscape transitions to pine forests and wetlands, with numerous rivers and streams meandering through the countryside.


Jackson County experiences a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters, hot summers, and ample rainfall throughout the year. The region’s climate is influenced by its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, which helps moderate temperatures and increase humidity levels.

Summer temperatures in Jackson County typically range from the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit (around 27-35°C), with high humidity levels making it feel warmer. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, bringing heavy rainfall and occasional severe weather.

Winter temperatures are mild, with average highs in the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (around 10-20°C) and lows in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (around 4-10°C). Frost is rare, and snowfall is extremely rare in Jackson County, although it can occur during rare cold snaps.

Rivers and Waterways

Jackson County is crisscrossed by several rivers, bayous, and waterways, which provide habitat for fish and wildlife and support local ecosystems. The most significant river in the county is the Pascagoula River, which flows through the central part of the county and is one of the largest free-flowing rivers in the contiguous United States.

Other notable waterways in Jackson County include the Escatawpa River, the Big Cedar Creek, and the Bayou Bernard, each of which meanders through the county’s countryside and provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

A significant portion of Jackson County’s coastline is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected area managed by the National Park Service. The seashore encompasses barrier islands, marshes, and maritime forests, providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.

Visitors to the Gulf Islands National Seashore can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking. The seashore also features historic sites, such as Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island, which dates back to the Civil War era.

Barrier Islands

Jackson County is home to several barrier islands, including Horn Island, Petit Bois Island, and Ship Island, which protect the mainland from storms and provide important habitat for wildlife. These islands are popular destinations for boating, camping, and beachcombing, offering visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Parks and Recreation Areas

In addition to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Jackson County is home to several parks, wildlife refuges, and conservation areas that showcase the region’s natural beauty and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. Notable parks in Jackson County include Shepard State Park, which offers camping, hiking, and picnicking facilities, as well as access to the Pascagoula River for fishing and boating.

Other popular parks in Jackson County include the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Marine Education Center, the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. These areas provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species and offer opportunities for birdwatching, nature photography, and other outdoor activities.

Agriculture and Industry

Agriculture and industry play important roles in the economy of Jackson County. The county is known for its seafood industry, with shrimp, oysters, and fish being harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and sold locally and nationally. Agriculture also thrives in the county, with crops such as soybeans, corn, and cotton being grown in the fertile soil of the coastal plains.

Additionally, Jackson County is home to several industrial facilities, including shipyards, oil refineries, and manufacturing plants. These industries provide jobs and contribute to the local economy, although they also bring challenges such as environmental pollution and traffic congestion.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Jackson County has a rich history dating back to the early colonial period, with several historical sites and landmarks that showcase the region’s heritage. Notable historical sites in Jackson County include the Old Spanish Fort, which dates back to the 18th century and was once used as a trading post and military outpost.

Other historical landmarks in Jackson County include the Round Island Lighthouse, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, and the LaPointe-Krebs House, which is believed to be the oldest standing structure in the Mississippi Valley. These sites offer visitors a glimpse into the county’s past and its role in shaping the history of Mississippi.


Jackson County, Mississippi, is a region of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance. From its beautiful beaches and barrier islands to its lush marshlands and pine forests, the county offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether exploring the Gulf Islands National Seashore, fishing on the Pascagoula River, or learning about the region’s history and culture, visitors to Jackson County are sure to be captivated by its scenic landscapes and welcoming atmosphere. With its diverse ecosystems, rich cultural heritage, and abundance of recreational opportunities, Jackson County exemplifies the best of Gulf Coast living and invites visitors to experience its beauty and hospitality.