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Horn Island (Mississippi)

Location of Horn Island, Mississippi, south of Ocean Springs (center right)

Horn Island is a long, thin barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, south of Ocean Springs. It is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.[1] Horn Island is several miles long, but less than a mile wide at its widest point. It occupies about 11 square kilometers.


The island, in part, shelters and bounds the Mississippi Sound to its north, and has a long beach on the Gulf of Mexico on its south side. The island is undeveloped, except for a small ranger station mid-island. Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, it is a favorite boating destination for those living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Horn Island has long stretches of sugar-white sand, dunes punctuated with sea oats, tall pines on small groves, saw palmettos on small groves, and a few inland lagoons. It is home to varied wildlife including alligators, ospreys, pelicans, anhingas, ibises, manatees, ducks, rabbits, raccoons, tern, herons, and other migratory birds. The Sound and the Gulf host innumerable species of sea life.


From 1943 to 1945, Horn Island was closed to all public access and activity for use as a biological weapons testing site by the U.S. Army.[2]

From 1946-1965, Walter Inglis Anderson, an artist from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, often visited the island to draw and paint the landscapes and life on the island.[2] Many of his works are on display at the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs.[2]

Nearby islandsEdit

South Side of Horn Island

Horn is not alone in its small island group. Similar nearby islands include Petit Bois Island to the east, and Ship Island and Cat Island to the west. Of the group, Horn Island is the largest.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c McGinnis, Helen. Hiking Mississippi: A Guide to Trails and Natural Areas, (Google Books), University Press of Mississippi , 1995, pp. 100-03, (ISBN 0878056645).

Coordinates: 30°15′41″N 88°40′52″W / 30.26139°N 88.68111°W / 30.26139; -88.68111