The Natchez Trace Parkway with the historic Natchez Trace Footpath shown disappearing under the
canopy of trees to the left.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service Scenic Highway that closely follows the historic foot path known as the Natchez Trace. It is almost 500 miles long, beginning near Nashville, Tennessee and ending at Natchez, Mississippi, The Natchez Trace was created by foot traffic, primarily of boatmen who would float cargo down the Mississippi River, to Natchez or New Orleans. There they would sell their flat bottom boats for lumber and walk back to Nashville. There is much history about the trace presented on interpretive markers along the parkway.
The parkway has no stores or businesses on it, and has a strictly enforced speed limit of 50 mph with no commercial vehicles allowed. A few homes and farms are visible from the parkway but it is basically void of any civilization. It is a 500 mile long greenway! Other than the large number of RVís traveling the road, it is perfect for bicycling. To cycle the parkway requires good planning since there is no food or lodging on the parkway itself.
Adventure Cycling was involved in getting some tent camping privileges established for bicyclists at some locations near the parkway. It is not publicized. Andy Miles and I participated in Adventure Cycling's experimental van-supported tour of the Trace in May of 1995. That was the one and only van-supported tour they offered. They still do the trip, 2 or 3 times each year, but all of them are self-contained camping trips. I highly recommend Adventure Cycling membership and participation in their tours.
Adventure Cycling's Page
email questions/comments: Lamar Martin