BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Many public places are crammed full of people for the Memorial Day weekend, but there’s a natural haven in Biloxi that offers an alternative for those worried about COVID-19.
The Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park is striking a nice balance of being popular but not overpopulated.
“It’s open. There's a lot of space to go fishing,” said David Garcia as he tossed his net into the water. “It’s not too many people. You know, it’s calm. It’s beautiful.”
The park has become a hot spot for people wanting to get outdoors without all the crowding issues.
“You can see it. There’s nobody else around,” said Biloxi resident Donnie Handler. “And, so, if you want to separate yourself, you can get out here and enjoy nature, enjoy the water, do some fishing and have a great time, even get yourself some lunch whenever you’re done.”
Handler and his family have been coming to the causeway park at least once a week since it reopened.
“It’s really convenient. It’s awesome to see all the nature. The city of Biloxi has done a great job with what they’ve done back here, with the boardwalk and things like that," he said.
This is a place for prayer and recovery for Linda Woods.
“You can’t go to worship services, but you can see God’s nature all around you right now,” she said. “And that really means so much to me. It’s really been hard. It’s been emotionally hard during this time, and this has been my saving grace.”
It’s also a place of discovery.
“I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before,” Woods said with child-like enthusiasm. “I saw an alligator gar the other day. Awesome, scary-looking fish.”
The 10-acre park was in the plans for 30 years before it finally opened with its new additions in August 2018.
It is where the marsh meets the bay.
Boat launches and docks provide easy access to deeper water and on-shore amenities like picnic areas and Yul's Place, a bait shop with tasty side orders like crawfish and burgers.
Owner Yul Grace said the park has been rediscovered despite, and maybe even because, of this pandemic.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” he said. “A lot of people are familiar with the Causeway, but the last couple of months have been really, really unbelievable as far as seeing all the people that’s coming out to enjoy this park. I think it’s a real good thing that’s happening out here.”