Located in the Winston and Neshoba counties, the Nanih Waiya State Park is a large, rectangular platform mound which is twenty-five feet high, one hundred forty feet wide, and two hundred eighteen feet long. Nanih Waiya means “leaning hill” in Choctaw Indian. This small, burial mound is situated outside the Nanih Waiya State Park boundaries and has been leveled by plowing.
There is a long, raised embankment enclosing the site and although cultivation has destroyed most of the enclosure, there is a short segment running along the edge of the swamp which has remained. It is unknown when precisely the mound was constructed without any archaeological investigations, but it is typical of the Mississippian period mounds that were prevalent from the 1000 to 1600 A.D.
Although it was the American Indians who built the mound, it was the Choctaw tribe who had come to see it as divine and worshipped it. The site has a pivotal role in the origin legends of the tribe. One legend says that the mound gave birth to the tribe. Today the site has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected for future generations. It is the best-documented mound site in the entire country with descriptions dating as far back as 1775.
Not as large as other parks and with limited amenities, it is not famous for folks who enjoy adventures and the outdoors, but its significant place in history ensures a substantial number of visitors yearly. There are picnic tables across the road where you can eat a meal with friends and family while pondering the area’s thousand years of history. Although lacking in amenities, one of the park’s redeeming factor is its acceptance of pets in the vicinity, but they have to be kept on a leash. It is also their pet parents' responsibility to clean up after them.