Why the Natchez Trace Parkway Has the Best Picnic Spots

Ahh… picnics. They’re defined as “a meal that is eaten outdoors especially during a trip away from home; a trip or party that includes a meal eaten outdoors: something that is pleasant or easy.” How could anyone not love them with a description like that? Picnics are a refreshing, old-fashioned activity that gives travelers the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with a delicious sandwich–or something equally as simple and tasty–in hand.

Whether you enjoy a big blanket spread or relaxing at a wooden bench beneath the trees, the Natchez Trace Parkway offers some of the best picnic spots. In fact, the Tennesseean asked their readers and social media followers to name their favorite picnic places, and there’s no question the Natchez Trace made the list. Readers said “Any of the stops along the Natchez Trace are good picnic points,” while some described it as “a progressive picnic with one course at various stops along the route.”

Picnic on the Natchez Trace

Because this historic 444-mile route provides gorgeous scenic views in a calming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place for a fantastic picnic experience. There are over 90 sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway, with many providing multiple picnic tables in shaded areas.

From Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, check out these great picnic spots for your enjoyment:

Mississippi:

  • Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway – 293.2
  • Pharr Mounds – 286.7
  • Chickasaw Council House – 251.1
  • Monroe Mission – 245.6
  • Hernando de Soto – 243.3
  • Witch Dance – 233.2
  • Ballard Creek – 201.3
  • Jeff Busby -193.1
  • Bethel Mission – 176.3
  • Holly Hill – 154.3
  • Robinson Road – 135.5
  • River Bend – 122.6
  • West Florida Boundary – 107.9
  • Dean Stand – 73.5
  • Rocky Springs – 54.8 (*July 31, 2017 – Recent high winds and rainfall caused many trees to fall along this area. Due to safety concerns, the Rocky Springs Campground Spur Trail at milepost 55.0 is currently closed.*)
  • Owens Creek Waterfall – 52.4
  • North Fork Coles Creek – 23.0
  • Mud Island Creek – 22.0
  • Coles Creek – 17.5
  • Mount Locust – 15.5
  • Turpin Creek – 12.1

Alabama:

  • Lauderdale – 328.7
  • Colbert Ferry – 327.3
  • Bear Creek – 313.0

Tennessee:

  • Garrison Creek – 427.6
  • Old Trace – 426.3
  • Burns Branch – 425.4
  • Water Valley Overlook – 411.8
  • Jackson Falls – 404.7
  • Meriwether Lewis – 385.9
  • Metal Ford and Buffalo River – 382.8
  • Jacks Branch – 377.8
  • Glenrock Branch – 364.5
  • Cypress Creek – 342.5

Whether it’s a ham and cheese sandwich brought from home or meatloaf and mac n’ cheese from your favorite Southern restaurant along the Trace, there’s no better time to visit the Trace for a good ole’, all-American picnic. 

Don’t forget to pack these things on your next picnic:

  • Napkins, utensils and plates
  • A cooler to store cold food items and beverages
  • Bug spray
  • Blanket or spread to sit on
  • Trash bag for your garbage
  • A bag for your recyclables

Ready-made meals in a relaxing outdoor spot with good company? Yes, please! Plan your trip and come unwind on this 444-mile National Scenic Byway and All-American Road.

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