Explore the Natchez Trace: Mississippi | Alabama | Tennessee.
Discover America...a unique journey from Natchez to Nashville.
Posted on 07 | 23 | 12 in Trace Blog
There are many places to visit along the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, and the Natchez Trace Compact wants to tell you some of our favorites! From Natchez to Nashville, you’ll have to the opportunity to take a break from your ride, stretch your legs and visit some extraordinary places, filled with beauty and 10,000 years of American history.
Natchez to Jackson:
Emerald Mound – Located at milepost 10.3, it’s the largest Mississippian period ceremonial mound in the country. It’s also the largest mound along the Parkway. Take yourself back in time and imagine what it was like to live along the Natchez Trace at Emerald Mound.
Mount Locust – Located at milepost 15.5, Mount Locust Inn is the only remaining inn on the Natchez Trace. It’s open year round (except on Christmas Day) and you’ll love learning more about the Trace’s history from the park rangers. Mount Locust allows you to see what the “Kaintucks” may have experienced at the stands.
The Sunken Trace – Located at milepost 41. 5, the Sunken Trace is a very popular spot. The trail is sunken due to thousands of travelers walking on the eroded soil. Travel the Sunken Trace and imagine what it would have been like thousands of years ago.
Jackson to Tupelo:
The Ross Barnett Reservoir is a must-see in the Jackson area. This beautiful, man-made body of water parallels the parkway for about eight miles. Relax, watch the sunset on the water and even fish. You can enjoy a walk from the West Florida Boundary at milepost 107.9, or take in the views at Reservoir Overlook at milepost 105.6
Cypress Swamp – Located at milepost 122.0, walk on boardwalks through a water tupelo/bald cypress swamp. It’s a great spot for taking pictures!
Little Mountain Overlook at Jeff Busby – This is one of the highest points in Mississippi along the Parkway. While the gas station recently closed, you can still enjoy the picnic area, campground and the overlook, of course.
Bynum Mounds – This period burial mound site is located at milepost 232.4. The archeological site consisted of six mounds, five of which were excavated in the 1940’s. Two of the largest have been restored, and you can see them today. The interpretive exhibits tell the story of early residents of the Natchez Trace.
Chickasaw Village Site – This archeological site is at milepost 261.8 and reflects the village that once lived here. See the outlines of Chickasaw homes and walk a short nature trail and learn about the area. If you’re interested in a longer walk, the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is available.
Tupelo to North Alabama:
The Natchez Trace Visitor Center – Visit Tupelo at milepost 266 to learn all about the Parkway! You can find a twelve-minute orientation film, interpretive displays about the cultural and natural history of the Trace and even a bookstore. This is the place where you can get your passport stamps for the Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Tupelo National Battlefield, and Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield.
The Old Trace – Find 13 Confederate grave sites at the Old Trace at milepost 269.14. The grave sites of these 13 unknown soldiers is an interesting places to stop.
Pharr Mounds – Visit milepost 286.7 to see eight mounds between two – 18 feet high! Over 2,000 years ago, Pharr Mounds may have been filled with a village full of people. Learn about the mound building process and village life in this area.
Colbert Ferry – In the early 1800s, George Colbert operated a stand and a ferry at this spot. Today you can enjoy a picnic by the river, fish and boat on the Tennessee River. Visit Colbert Ferry at milepost 327.3 for a fun time.
Rock Spring Nature Trail – Located at milepost 330.2, this short half mile loop trail takes you past Colbert Creek. Walk the stepping stones and enjoy the beautiful nature.
Fall Hallow Trail – Like waterfalls? Take a short walk at milepost 391.9 and view this pretty waterfall on the Natchez Trace.
The Tobacco Farm and Old Trace Drive – Located at milepost 401.4, this is a great place to learn about growing and drying tobacco. The two mile drive on the Old Trace has great views of the forest, and is one of two places you can be on the “Old Trace” without walking.
Jackson Falls – Located at milepost 404.7, this is a popular walk along the Parkway. You’ll find yourself walking down a steep trail into a small gorge – it’s well worth the walk! There are picnic tables and even a short trail to Baker Bluff Overlook.
Birdsong Hollow – This spot provides spectacular views of the double-arched bridge on the Parkway. Did you know the bridge rises 155 feet above the valley below? It’s a must-see!
Winding 444 miles through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, there are so many places to go on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Find us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram to see great photos of the Trace.
Credit: National Park Service