U.S. Department of Interior Names Natchez Trace Parkway as one of America’s Best Drives

Natchez Trace Parkway Double-Arched Bridge
Natchez Trace Parkway Double-Arched Bridge in Franklin, TN

The Natchez Trace Parkway leads you 444 miles through three states and 10,000 years of North American history. This scenic parkway links Natchez with Nashville and crosses some of the most beautiful terrain in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Declared as a National Scenic Byway offering stunning scenery, outdoor recreational activities, and historic attractions, we strongly encourage you pay a visit. But don’t take it from us — take it from the U.S. Department of the Interior. They recently named the Natchez Trace Parkway as one of America’s Best Drives!

The U.S. Department of the Interior says, “Nothing is more quintessentially American than the road trip,” and we agree. Each year, millions of people load up their cars and embark on scenic drives through national parks. These roads represent astonishing feats of American engineering, blending the road into the landscape, and guiding visitors through some of the most beautiful sights in the nation. They’re also a great option for visitors who may otherwise not be able to access the parks.

So, they decided to put together a list of where to hit the road and take advantage of the scenic lookouts along the way, while immersing yourself in some of the best views this country has to offer. The Natchez Trace is perfect for just that.

To give you some history, this little-known trail has seen over 10,000 years of travelers. The most celebrated travelers of the Trace were farmers and boatmen from the Ohio River regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky — floating supplies down to ports in Natchez and New Orleans at the beginning of the 1800s. Before that, the Natchez Trace was a major trail through Choctaw and Chickasaw country. It also ran through a series of mounds that had been built by people over the previous 2,000 years.

Today, the trail is accessible for visitors in vehicles as well as hikers, cyclistsmotorcyclists, horseback riders, and campers. RVs are also a popular way to explore the Natchez Trace Parkway. Take your pick!

In addition to all of the options for exploring the Parkway, there are so many interesting places to stop, stretch your legs, and expand your horizons. As you leisurely make your way up (or down) the historic route, pull off at the wayside exhibits and interpretive sites. These sites offer a great way to learn while enjoying the natural, historic wonders of the Trace.

Not only is the Parkway a historic route, but as we’ve mentioned, a scenic one. What makes it special is that there are no billboards, stop lights, stop signs, or even commercial traffic. You will be viewing forests, farmland, creeks and pretty vistas. Plan your trip in springtime or fall to experience the gorgeous seasonal foliage!

Traveling is a lot of fun, and can leave you pretty hungry and tired at the end of the day. Campgrounds, RV parks, cabins, and cottages are available. If that’s not your thing, book a cozy hotel or B&B stay at one of the 18 communities along the way. Need food? These 18 communities from Natchez to Nashville have plenty of dining options. Because sometimes all you need in front of you is a plate of fried chicken, fried okra, and mashed potatoes.

Ready to plan your trip to one of America’s Best Drives? Click HERE to see our Interactive Map and plan your own itinerary. You can also view brochures and maps of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

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Rock Spring Nature Trail at milepost 330.2.
Rock Spring Nature Trail at milepost 330.2.