New ATV Park To Open In South Mississippi

In less than a week, Mississippi will have a new ATV Park. Sand Hill Branch ATV Park will be located in Stone County, six miles west of the Perkinston Campus of Gulf Coast Community College.

For years, John Diamond has been chasing ATV riders off his property. The lifelong Stone County resident has finally drawn the conclusion if you can't beat them, charge them.

"It's so many different people coming in and riding, and I tried to keep them run out. So I said I might as well join them and open it up for everybody," Diamond said.

Diamond says the 250-acre ATV park will open Memorial Day weekend and will provide entertainment for people of all ages throughout the year.

"We've got some heavy equipment in here making some jumps, and different courses for different people. And we'll be changing them up weekly," Diamond said.

The park offers plenty of alternatives for the adventurous ATV rider: sky high sand hills, mud holes and patches of water for those who don't mind getting a little dirty. But Diamond says safety comes first.

"That orange netting we've got up is anywhere that may be dangerous for people where they don't need to be. We just got it put up for safety mostly," Diamond said.

Diamond says the park will gear up for mud bogging and sand drag racing by the fall. Until then, he says he'll continue to keep a close eye on what happens at the new park, and its ATV riders, who will soon be paying a price to navigate the park.

The park will open this Saturday at 9 a.m. and will close at dusk. It will be open the same hours on Sunday and Memorial Day. From then on, the park will be open on weekends, 9 a.m. until dusk.

Admission for an all-day ride is $20. Anyone under 18 years of age must have notarized permission signed by a guardian to ride in the park.

by Toni Miles