Things To Do
The VISITOR CENTER offers general and historical information services, orientation film, exhibits on various topics of the Civil War period, bookstore, restroom facilities, and regional (city/county) information.
The USS CAIRO MUSEUM AND GUNBOAT offers general and historical information services, exhibits on naval operations of the Civil War, bookstore, restroom facilities, and picnic area. Artifacts on display are a time capsule of life aboard an ironclad gunboat. Sailors' personal possessions, cookware, medical supplies, and weaponry are featured. A six-minute video explains the sinking, discovery, and salvage operations of the gunboat.
Three DETACHED UNITS include the riverfront batteries at Navy Circle, South Fort, and Louisiana Circle. Across the Mississippi River is the last remaining section of Grant's Canal, where Union forces attempted to bypass Vicksburg by digging a channel through DeSoto Point. Exhibits include an historic state highway marker, bronze tablet and wayside exhibits on Williams Canal, Grant's Canal, and Black Troops at Milliken's Bend, and the Connecticut State Monument, dedicated in 2008.
PEMBERTON'S HEADQUARTERS is located in historic downtown Vicksburg, commemorating the Confederate commander's operations center during the siege of Vicksburg.
HERITAGE GARDEN - Located on Pemberton Avenue approximately one mile from the park's main entrance, the Heritage Garden was established to provide an outdoor classroom, available for school groups as well as adult education classes year-round. Funded through the National Park Service Parks as Classrooms® program, the Heritage Garden is based on the typical Victorian-era kitchen garden, flower beds, and traditional commodities grown on 19th-century southern farms.
A 16-mile TOUR ROAD parallels Union siege and Confederate defensive lines, with three interconnecting roadways, 15 designated Tour Stops, wayside markers and exhibits, short spur trails to points of interest, and several Boy Scout hiking trails including, a primitive 12-mile compass trail, and 7- and 14-mile treks that follow the park tour road.
Recreational Use — Vicksburg National Military Park offers several different hiking and recreational walking options to the public, ranging from short, relaxed strolls along the park tour road, to a more extensive hiking experience on the Al Scheller Primitive Hiking Trail through the interior of the park. The following links will help decide which route is right for you.
Did You Know?
Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.