Buccaneer State Park
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating storm in the history of the United States, came ashore. Winds of over 140 MPH and a tidal surge of nearly 30 feet completely leveled all of Buccaneer State Park's 15 buildings, waterpark and support facilities. The park has been under complete and varying stages of reconstruction over the last four years, and is being beautifully restored. Phases I and II of construction are nearing completion, with Phase III scheduled to begin in late spring 2010.
Located on the beach in Waveland, Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands and the Gulf of Mexico. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700's when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the coast. The French Buccaneer, Lafitte, inhabited the old Pirate House located a short distance from what is now the park. The park site, also known as Jackson's Ridge, was used as a base of military operations by Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson later returned to this area and built a house on land that is now Buccaneer State Park.
The following area attractions are located within a short drive of Buccaneer State Park. The park staff will be happy to provide directions.
- New Orleans French Quarter
- Stennis Space Center / NASA
- Old Town Bay St. Louis
- Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Shrine
- World War II D-Day Museum
- Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
- Aquarium of Americas
- French Market
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Mardi Gras (1 month up to Ash Wednesday)
- Sugar Bowl, Super Dome
- Cruisin' the Coast (October)
- OLG Crab Festival (July)
- Senior Bowl, Mobile Alabama (February)
- Nereids Mardi Gras Parade (Waveland)
- Blessing of the Fleet, Biloxi
Buccaneer has made many changes after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Now, all 149 campsites have full amenities including sewer. Royal Cay's 57 sites now have sewer as well, giving the park now 206 total sewer sites. An additional 70 campsites are set on a grassy field overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. These sites were redesigned after the storm for easier parking and convenience for the visitor. The beach overflow sites only have water and electricity, are open on a limited basis and are available by walk-in only. A central dumping station and restroom are located nearby.
25 primitive campsites are nestled in the back of the Royal Cay camp area. A shell road will take you deep into a wooded area near Grand Bayou. These sites are completely primitive with no services. Restroom facilities are available and are located within 100 yards of the primitive camping area.
Two new pavilions have been constructed in Phase II, with another pavilion to be built in Phase III. Pavilion 3 is located on the main park across form Buccaneer Bay Waterpark. This covered pavilion has an ADA accessible restroom, 6 picnic tables and is large enough to seat about 75 people. Pavilion 3 would make an ideal location for family reunions, company outings or any outdoor function. Pavilion 2 is set beside the waterpark, with a playground nearby.
Buccaneer Bay Waterpark
Phase III of reconstruction is set to begin Summer 2010. Buccaneer Bay is tentatively scheduled to open Summer 2011.
Buccaneer Bay Attractions
- Pirate's Lagoon Wave Pool (450,000 gallon - 17,000 sq ft pool)
- Pirate's Plunge (open twisting & turning waterslide)
- Pirate's Plank (completely enclosed slide)
- Lil' Smuggler's Cove (kiddie pool)
- Sea Dog Galley (food court)
- Castaway Cove (campground activity pool)
A seasonal campstore is available with camping supplies, convenience store items, ice, souvenirs and wearing apparel. An activities center within the complex is also seasonal and provides activities for the kids, including video games, pool tables, ping pong and foosh-ball. (The campstore/activities area is also within Phase III reconstruction and is tentatively scheduled to open Summer 2011).
Jackson's Ridge Disk Golf
This Par 3, 18-Hole disk golf course is designed to be fun for the entire family. This 3659 ft course has tight fairways, doglegs and natural obstacles that will challenge the avid disk golfer, yet will still be fun even for the most inexperienced player. There is no charge to play, however the normal park entrance fee is required.
Pirate's Alley Nature Trail
Nearly 8,000 trees and varying vegetation was destroyed due to the high winds and tidal surge of Hurricane Katrina. Four years of new growth has changed the landscape of the trail, but it still provides an opportunity for guest to see nature in its most natural setting. This 1.8 mile, self-guided trail, encompasses many species of Oaks, Magnolia, Pines and a variety of indigenous plants and animals of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A pier with a gazebo extends over Mud Bayou's canal, where visitors may spot some Brown Pelicans, Egrets, Osprey or feeding Blue Crabs.
Three newly designed bathhouses have been built to replace the original bathhouses leveled by Hurricane Katrina. The bathhouses have hot showers, are ADA accessible and are conveniently located throughout Buccaneer's campground.
The day use area is currently under construction and is tentatively set to open Summer 2011. Set under majestic Oaks, just off of Beach Boulevard and overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this 76 acre picnic area includes picnic tables, grills, a playground, and a large picnic pavilion with restrooms.
Laundry facilities are located inside the activities building. (These facilities are included in Phase III construction plans and are currently not available).
A large playground has been built and is designed to accommodate kids of all ages. This playground is located by Pavilion 3 and includes a rock climber, 3 swings sets, monkey-bars, multiple slides, merry-go-round, fireman's pole, and a new sphere challenge climber.
Hanging Moss amphitheater is located in the campground across from Jean Lafitte campsites and overlooking Mud Bayou. Non-denominational services are held every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sunday services begin at 8:30 am.