Welcome to the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444 mile National Scenic By-way that takes you from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee. It’s off limits to commercial traffic, narrow, limits speed to 50mph, loaded with natural scenery and is a more relaxing drive than driving expressways! The Trace also crosses 4 eco systems and 8 major watersheds, is home to countless plant species, birds, and reptiles.
The Trace dates back many centuries and was a natural travel corridor for several Indian tribes. As the United States expanded, a growing number of travelers tramped the rough trail into a clearly marked path. Slaves were also marched down the trace. Trader would float cash crops or livestock down the Mississippi River on flatboats, sell the goods and boats, and return via the Trace. In early 1800, Thomas Jefferson designated the Trace as a national post road for mail delivery between Nashville and Natchez. Today it’s part of the National Park Service and creates a greenway from the foothills of Tennessee, to the bluffs of the lower Mississippi.
One of the many stops along the way was the Cypress Swamp, a nature trail complete with cypress trees, Spanish moss, and alligators!
All along the Trace there are numerous historical stops. The maximum length of a vehicle traveling the parkway is 55 ft. Since we were at the limit our challenge in traveling the Trace was we were too big for some of the pull outs. We had to be careful not to get in a situation where we could not turn around.
Planning to drive the trace is a requirement as there are no fuel stations or food stops. There are small towns along the way but access is somewhat limited. All and all, the trip on the Trace was very enjoyable.