Overall Route Rating
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4.4 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.4
33 Reviews

Natchez Trace Parkway

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Jul 01, 2002

Rider Reviews

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Guest
June 16, 2009
Many times I have seen more motorcycles on the…
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dhornick
September 7, 2011
Great, Great ride. We left home in Missouri and…
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Written Directions

The Natchez Trace covers approximately 430 miles. The southern most point is in Natchez Mississippi and the the northernmost point is in a town called Leipers Fork Tennessee (just southwest of Nashville, TN). Of course you can join the parkway at any point in the middle of those 430 miles (use the above interactive online map to find the best entry point for you).

Scenery

On the southern end of the route the forests consist of oaks, pines, beeches and magnolias that gather tightly together and create a dense shade over the underlying ground. Driving along this route in the Spring and seeing the budding dogwoods and redbuds you will know why this is one of the US Department of Transportation's group of elite 'All American Roads'. You will see many of the trees are covered in drapings of Spanish moss that give the forest an eerie Cajon look. The route follows a famous 8,000-year-old pathway that led early Indians, warring armies, Spanish conquistadors and early American settlers to their destinations. It is also the path that boatman used to return to their origins in the Midwest. These boatmen would maneuver their boats down the Mississippi River to deliver their cargo to places such as New Orleans. Then, rather than attempt to return their boats by fighting upstream, they would sell the boats for wood and walk back to their home states along the same path as this route ... as far as Kentucky and Ohio. This process continued until steamboat travel, around the year 1812, became a more safe and favored means of returning up river. Along this route you will see 'Little Mountain' which oddly enough is one of the highest points in all of Mississippi (603 ft).

Drive Enjoyment

The roads you will travel while following this route are generally in good condition and primarily straight with a few hills along the way. Take advantage of the slower than normal speed limits and absence of commercial traffic on this route and enjoy the cruise.

Tourism Opportunities

In the town of Natchez you will find 500 preserved antebellum structures many of which are available for tours. Also along the route (mile post 10) you will find an ancient Indian ceremonial site called the Emerald Mound. The site was built approximately 700 years ago by a tribe called the Mississippians. It is a 35-foot tall earth structure that spans for an incredible eight acres and is the second largest mound in all of America. At mile marker 41.5 you need to stop and checkout one of the few remaining sections of the original path. You will see a tunnel here that is covered in Spanish moss and lined by tall ominous trees ... follow this to an authentic ghost town formerly known as Rocky Springs. Near the town of Jackson Mississippi you will find the Mississippi Crafts Center, which hosts artisan artists gatherings on weekends from March through October. These artists demonstrate their pottery, weaving, quilting and other skills through live demonstrations. Further up the road is the Ross Barnett Reservoir where fishing and water-skiing take place. A short nature trail exists on the north end of the reservoir for those of you who want to learn about the local fauna. Just north of the town of Kosciusko you will find an information center that will teach you about the interesting history of the parkway. Kosciusko is also the birthplace of the famous talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In the town of French Camp you will learn about an interesting travelers' stand that served the travelers on this route. A restored 1840 log cabin displays some of the history including French and Indian artifacts. Up the road is the Jeff Busby Site at where you can camp, picnic, and take advantage of THE ONLY FUEL STATION ON THE ROUTE. In the Tombigbee National Forest you can visit the 200-acre Davis Lake and enjoy various water sports. The town of Tupelo was the scene of the last major Civil War battle fought in the state of Mississippi and the Tupelo National Battlefield marks the spot of this battle. Tupelo is more famous what happened on Jan 8, 1935 in a two-room house built from $180 worth of material. Two twin boys were born. One of which, Jesse Garon, died at birth. But the other one, Elvis Aaron, survived and went on to become the King of Rock-n-Roll. You can see Elvis' boyhood home, elementary and junior highs schools and the hardware store at which he purchased his very first guitar. Up the road on the border you will find one of the most beautiful parks along the way - Tishomingo Sate Park. The park consists of 1,500 acres that include the farthest reaches of the Appalachian Mountains, bluffs and tranquil waterfalls. In Tennessee you may want to visit David Crockett State Park and hike or fish or see the Crockett Falls. You may also want to visit the Meriwether Lewis site for camping, hiking, and water sports. The site was built in commemoration of the famous partner of the Lewis and Clark expedition team. In Jackson Falls Tennessee you'll find the tomb of renowned president Andrew Jackson. And finally the route terminates in Nashville Tennessee where you can visit the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

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GJRonK
February 10, 2013
1027 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
This route has a wonderful introduction above on the sites along the way to visit, so I won't comment there. I traveled the whole distance from north to south, and I enjoyed the recreational feel in not having signs of civilization pressing in everywhere.

Note that the route follows the "area" of the original route, but rarely the exact ground of the first users of the trek from the south. I found it moving to stop at marked locations along the way to step into the woods and view (actually step into) the footmarks of the pioneers of long ago. That gave me chills sometimes--don't miss doing that.
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bkellyusa
November 11, 2013
6 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
I have only been about one third of the total distance on the Natchez Trace but I love it. The curves are laid out like a Formula 1 race track. There are lost of interesting park like stops to make . Many are scenic and others are historic. The drawback is that without any sign of commercial life anywhere along the way it can get a little boring especially when you add in the fact that it is supposedly well patrolled and you will most likely have to ride much slower than the road itself would dictate. I've only been pulled over once but I only ride it for short distances most of the time. On weekends the police are out after the sportbike riders burning it up on the Natchez Trace. If you plan to take this road (which you should because it is so beautiful and so unique) do what you can to plan your trip. Find out where you will have to get off to get gas before you leave and take some gas with you if you can. You might also want to bring a sandwich and something to drink as well. Other than that enjoy the beautiful, one of a kind ride that this trip provides.
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5 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
January 30, 2009
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
GREAT RIDE!!!!! If your time allows, ride the entire length of the Park Way and allow time to stop often as they are alot of pull off's with historical markers. My wife was not very fond of motorcycle riding until we made this trip. Graet ride to break in a new rider.
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5 riders found this road review useful