Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Quick Facts

Natchez Trace Parkway

Mississippi

(800) 305-7417

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Used by American Indians, "Kaintucks", settlers, and future presidents, the Old Trace played an important role in American history. Today, visitors can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.

Don't forget that for some, the "thing to do" along the Natchez Trace Parkway is to relax and let the explorer in you take you to places that you may not have otherwise visited. Either the mystery of the mounds in Mississippi, the beauty of the waterfalls in Tennessee, or a summer rain shower in a cypress swamp could be the memory that stays with you after your time on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Map of Natchez Trace Parkway

Latitude, Longitude: 33.056011, -89.563122

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling has become a popular activity on the Natchez Trace Parkway. To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, bicyclists are encouraged NOT to use the following areas during heavy traffic periods: Clinton to Ridgeland, Mississippi, Milepost 87-103, from 7 am-9 am and from 4 pm-6 pm and Tupelo, Mississippi, Mileposts 258-268, from 7 am-8:30 am and 3 pm-5 pm on weekdays. Those who are biking the Parkway may be interested in the bicycle-only campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The most popular way to see the Natchez Trace Parkway is by car. The one hundred miles between Natchez and Jackson, Mississippi provides numerous opportunities to get out of your car and learn more about the history of the area. From prehistoric American Indian mounds, to a town abandoned in the early 1900's, there are thousands of years of history along the Natchez Trace.

  • Camping

    There are more than a dozen campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, three in the park, and many others just outside the park. The three Parkway campgrounds are free, primitive, and available on a first come, first serve basis. They do not offer electricity, showers, or dump stations. They are spread out along the Parkway: Rocky Springs (Milepost 54), Jeff Busby (Milepost 193.1) and Meriwether Lewis (Milepost 385). Many of the other campgrounds along the Parkway corridor offer electricity, showers, and dump stations.

  • Fishing

    For those visitors interested in spending more time on the Parkway, fishing is a great way to spend an afternoon. Fishing is allowed in lakes and streams along the Natchez Trace Parkway and fishing regulations vary by state. The Parkway also provides access to other state and federal agencies with more fishing opportunities.

  • Hiking

    Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail: The Old Natchez Trace was a 500-mile footpath that ran through Choctaw and Chickasaw lands connecting Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. You can experience portions of that journey the way earlier travelers did - on foot. Today there are four separate trails totaling 65 miles and they are administered by the Natchez Trace Parkway.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding has become an increasingly popular activity on the Natchez Trace Parkway. While there are no concessions available on the Parkway, visitors are able to bring horses to ride on the established horse trails. Four horse trails have been developed adjacent to the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi and Tennessee, in connection with the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. The Natchez Trace Parkway also provides access to the Witch Dance Horse Trail on the Tombigbee National Forest. Horseback riding is prohibited on all other areas of the parkway, including on the roadway itself.

  • Picnicking

    From Jackson to Tupelo, Mississippi, there are recreational activities at the Ross Barnett Reservoir, scenic overlooks, and archeological sites. From Tupelo north through Alabama to the Tennessee State line, there are opportunities for short walks, stops at prehistoric mound sites and other historical points of interest. Those who are interested in the Civil War may enjoy Tupelo National Battlefield and Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield located near Tupelo, Mississippi. Once in Tennessee, you will find more stops with both natural and historical significance, including the Old Trace Drive and beautiful waterfalls.

  • RVing

    Recreational vehicles (RVs) are another popular way to see the Parkway. The length restriction for RVs is 55 feet, including a tow vehicle, and the height restriction is 14 feet six inches. Most stops along the Natchez Trace Parkway are accessible to RV's, with the exception of those marked "no circular drive".

  • Water Sports

    There are recreational activities at the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Seasonality/Weather

In the summer, expect hot and humid weather throughout the length of the Parkway, high temperatures typically in the 90s. In the winter, because the Parkway spans 444 miles north and south, conditions vary greatly. Expect very mild winters near Natchez with only occasional freezing. In Tennessee, snow and icy bridges are common. Spring and fall are very pleasant.

Directions

Driving

Directions to the Natchez Trace Parkway vary greatly depending on what part of the tri-state Parkway you are trying to reach. There are more than 50 roads that access the Parkway in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Below are listed some of the more common ways that travelers may access the Parkway.

In Natchez, Mississippi - The southern terminus of the Parkway is accessed off of Liberty Road in Natchez, Mississippi. Technically, this is starting your trip from the historical "beginning" of the Old Trace, in Natchez, at milepost zero.

In Jackson, Mississippi - There are two major access points in the Jackson area. One access is from I-20, and the other from I-55.

In Tupelo, Mississippi - U.S. Highway 78 (future I-22) accesses the Parkway.

In Cherokee, Alabama - U.S. Highway 72 accesses the Parkway.

Southwest of Nashville, Tennessee - The northern terminus of the Parkway (milepost 444) intersects with Tennessee Highway 100 about 17 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Travelers can also follow I-40 west of Nashville to exit 192, McCrory Lane. Travel on McCrory Lane for about 5 miles to the entrance to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

It should be noted that the list above is only meant to highlight some of the more popular access points to the Parkway. Please keep in mind that there are over 50 roads that access the Parkway.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(800) 305-7417

Links