"An Unknown Treasure - The Natchez Trace Parkway" Top 5 Page for this destination Mississippi by calcaf38

Mississippi Travel Guide: 1,617 reviews and 3,705 photos

I shouldn't say unknown, exactly, but the Natchez Trace Parkway doesn't have the reclame of, say, Mount Rushmore. I confess I had never heard of it.

The Natchez Trace was a footpath created by Chickasaw, Choctaw and Natchez Indians, and adopted by French settlers in the 1730s. By the 1810s, it was a major road, with many inns along the way, but also notorious for its murderous thieves. Improved river navigation in the 1820s meant the end of the Natchez Trace as a business artery, and it reverted to a country lane.

In the 1930s, a peaceful two-lane road was built next (and sometimes above) the old trace. Today, this amazing road, with interesting stops every few miles, runs from Natchez to Nashville. I drove the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez to Tupelo (half of the total length), with a short interruption around Port Gibson.

Driving up or down the Trace is quite an experience. There is hardly any traffic. The speed limit is 50 miles an hour. After a while, you can feel isolated, especially around dusk. You can't help thinking of the travelers who trod the path by foot, at the mercy of wild animals and those bloodthirsty thieves.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A major attraction with no crowds and no cost
  • Cons:Can be almost eerie
  • In a nutshell:An authentic American experience
  • Last visit to Mississippi: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Aug 21, 2010
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Reviews (11)

Comments (4)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, given what you say, I have never heard of this route, but it looks a great little journey to make! Like you I love the Cypress Swamp especially ;-)

  • Feb 20, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Thanks for sharing about the Natchez Trace Parkway. Looks like a very nice part of Mississippi. Also I like this kind of local history museums such as Oren Dunn.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    thanks for this info - great to know about as Id love to go visit a friend in Nashville and would now make sure I take this drive to get to her!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Oliver, you certainly saw lots of interesting, quaint and odd sights along the Natchez Trace Parkway! Thanks for the ride - I love exploring odd places like this myself. Great views of how footfalls beat down the path over the years!


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