Crystal Lake is a hidden gem. While it is just a stones throw from the heart of Jackson, most people are probably unfamiliar with this site.
Crystal Lake is in Flowood, just off of Flowood Drive (Hwy 468) near Old Brandon Road, formerly “East Jackson.” This area has a colorful history as the Gold Coast of Mississippi, but currently houses a diverse wildlife and plantlife.
Crystal Lake is like a big maze. Study the map before going, because you can easily get lost in the complex layout of shoots and ponds within ponds. I’ve kayaked the lake three times now and explored entirely different parts of the lake without seeing the same thing twice. There are even parts that I didn’t have time to get to.
Bring a camera because the wildlife is pristine. Not only can you get up close and personal with flowering lilly pads, dogwoods, and japanese magnolias, there are also a diverse array of plant life that I rarely see, especially in Jackson.
On top of the greenery, you will notice an entire city of bird life. Bird waters would be in paradise. The birds, especially the white cranes, were very tame. I could kayak within fifteen feet of some before they flew away. You’ll see families of birds, nests, feeding, and hunting.
Because this lake is relatively shallow in most parts, you won’t miss a big crane scooping up some top water fish just meters away from your boat.
For a story about fishing on Crystal Lake; check out this article.