5 Places to Learn About Black History Along the Natchez Trace

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5 Places to Learn About Black History Along the Natchez Trace

By Kristin Luna + Scott van Velsor

While the land populating the Natchez Trace dates thousands of years before the Civil War, there are plenty of sites along the parkway that tell the story of Black history in the American South from slavery to the civil rights movement through the present. Don’t drive the Natchez Trace without making these stops.

Jackson

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened in 2017 as a way to pay homage to and tell the stories of the Black populations who were enslaved, discriminated against, bullied and murdered. Part of the Two Mississippi Museums, the civil rights museum paints a sobering picture of Black strife in the Southern states through pictorial exhibits, facts, broadcast clips and sound effects from actual lynchings. While not for the faint of heart, the facts contained within this museum are an extremely important part of the nation’s past, so if you do just one thing in Jackson, tour the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Clinton

This Mississippi town of 15,000 residents was the site of one of the bloodiest acts of racial violence in the state’s history. In 1875 at the beginning of Reconstruction, Senator Charles Caldwell held a rally of more than 1,500 people, the majority of whom were freed men and their families, in anticipation of that fall’s election. The white mobs showed up, killing more than 50 people—the majority of whom were Black men—in the days that followed. This massacre helped spark the Mississippi Plan. Four months later, Sen. Caldwell was also assassinated. The city is recognizing this history by building an interpretative center at the site of the Clinton Riot.

Clinton has a self-guided walking tour available on a separate website that you can use via your phone while you explore the area.

Natchez

The Forks of the Road Slave Market, just outside of the city of Natchez, was by some measures one of the most prolific marketplaces for the internal slave trade in the United States. Thousands of enslaved Blacks were traded here from the north, along the Natchez Trace and, ultimately, to Southern plantations as the demand for labor increased and the prohibitions on the international trade of slaves came into effect in the early 1800s. It’s estimated that 1,000 human beings were bought and sold each year in this very spot.

Currently, the Forks of the Road is only marked by a sign and a concrete slab filled with manacles and chains, though the Natchez National Historical Park plans to expand the Forks of the Road into a full-on interpretative center in the future. While you’re in Natchez, be sure and also check out the African American Museum of History and Culture to continue expanding your knowledge of Black history in the South.

Tupelo

Tupelo’s history is rooted in music, and without the jazz and blues that emanated from Shake Rag’s restaurants, cafes and performance venue’s in the Roaring Twenties, North Mississippi’s music scene might look very different today. Tupelo’s historically Black community, Shake Rag was located alongside the railroad and most famously gave rise to a Tupelo-born musician by the name of Elvis Presley, who grew up next door and was heavily influenced by the neighborhood’s powerful sound.

In the 1960s, Shake Rag was demolished to make way for an urban renewal project, its residents relocated. Today, the shiny, new Tupelo Visitors Center sits on what was once the hallowed Shake Rag ground, paying tribute to the historical figures who shaped this neighborhood’s identity through interactive exhibits that are free and open to the public.

Nashville

Newly opened in downtown Nashville this winter, the 56,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music shares the central role Black artists have played in shaping more than 50 genres of music, including spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B and hip hop.

Hazardous Tree Clean-up Continues After Winter Storm

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Hazardous Tree Clean-up Continues After Winter Storm

TUPELO, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway is asking motorists to watch out for work crews and hazards in the roadway as winter storm clean-up continues. Workers have cleared over 200 downed trees. 

Last week’s ice storm weakened many trees along the Parkway causing some to fall and others to become hazardous. The ground remains saturated and forecasted rain may cause more trees to fall. Drivers should be alert and lower speeds while traveling on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  

“We worked quickly to clear trees from last week’s storm to restore Parkway access. Now, work begins to assess and fell hazardous trees,” said Chief of Facilities Management Greg Smith. “Please be on the lookout for falling trees and slow down for work crews.” 

For additional information and current conditions of the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit www.nps.gov/natr, Facebook @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS, or call (662) 680-4027.  Dial 911 or (800) 300-PARK(7275) in the event of an emergency on Natchez Trace Parkway. 

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway Winter Travel Advisory

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Natchez Trace Parkway Winter Travel Advisory

Avoid traveling the Parkway from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN 

TUPELO, MS – A travel advisory is in effect for the entire Natchez Trace Parkway.  Ice and snow are accumulating rapidly. Rangers are reporting hazardous conditions on the entire 444 miles of motor road and  are advising travelers to stay off the Parkway.   

As a reminder, the Natchez Trace Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service, does not plow or use any chemicals on the Parkway. Motorist are advised to stay home or use alternative routes if travel is absolutely necessary.  

“If drivers get stuck or are involved in a crash, the response time maybe hours or longer, especially when active rain, sleet, or snow is accumulating” stated Chief Ranger Prashant Lotwala. “I do not want to place my law enforcement personnel in harm’s way unless it is an immediate life-threatening issue, but the response could be delayed due to impassable sections of the Parkway. Trees may fall blocking sections of the Parkway and our maintenance employees may not be able to remove the hazard till tomorrow or Friday if the weather lets up. I am appealing to all motorist not to travel on the Parkway.”  

In the event of an emergency on the Natchez Trace Parkway, please call the Parkway Communications Center at (800) 300-PARK (7275) or 911.  

Current weather information is available through your local radio and television stations. Parkway conditions will be updated via our website, www.nps.gov/natr and on Facebook with photos @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS.   Dial 911 or Park Dispatch at (800) 300-PARK(7275) in the event of an emergency on the Parkway. 

www.nps.gov 

Additional Sections of Natchez Trace Parkway Close Due to Severe Weather

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Additional Sections of Natchez Trace Parkway Close Due to Severe Weather

Avoid traveling the Parkway from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN 

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway is closed from Mileposts 0 to 152, 355 to 370, and 429 to 442 due to severe weather and icy conditions. Additional closures are anticipated as the severe weather moves along the Parkway. National Park Service rangers are advising individuals to avoid traveling, especially on any section of the Natchez Trace Parkway.  

Drivers who slide off the roadway or wreck may have to shelter in place for an extended period of time as emergency personnel may have a delayed response during this weather event. Roads are almost impassable in the northern and southern sections of the park and most bridges are iced over. The Parkway does not chemically treat the roadway in icy conditions. As weather continues to deteriorate, trees and limbs will come down onto the Parkway. Staff will not respond to downed trees until conditions are safe to do so. Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 266 and Mount Locust at Milepost 15.5 are closed. 

Current weather information is available through your local radio and television stations. Parkway conditions will be updated via our website, www.nps.gov/natr and on Facebook @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS. Dial 911 or Park Dispatch at (800) 300-PARK (7275) in the event of an emergency on the Parkway. 

www.nps.gov 

Natchez Trace Parkway Closed from Milepost 429 – 442 Due to Adverse Weather

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Natchez Trace Parkway Closed from Milepost 429 – 442 Due to Adverse Weather

Icy conditions span the entire Parkway from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN 

TUPELO, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway has issued a travel advisory from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN due to adverse winter weather. The Natchez Trace Parkway is closed from Milepost 429 – 442. We anticipate further closures as conditions deteriorate. 

Travelers are advised not to use the Parkway due to icy conditions on most bridges and some sections of the motor road. Forecasted weather over the next several days calls for lower temperatures with some accumulation of snow and ice. Poor weather may cause trees to fall across the road. Staff will not respond to downed trees until conditions are safe to do so.  

Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 266 and Mount Locust at Milepost 15.5 will close at 3:30 pm today. These facilities as well as some sections of the motor road will remain closed through the holiday weekend.  

Current weather information is available through your local radio and television stations. Parkway conditions will be updated via our website, www.nps.gov/natr and on Facebook @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS. Dial 911 or Park Dispatch at (800) 300-PARK (7275) in the event of an emergency on the Parkway. 

www.nps.gov 

National Park Service implements mask requirement across all parks and federal buildings

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National Park Service implements mask requirement across all parks and federal buildings

Date: February 2, 2021
Contact: NewsMedia@nps.gov

WASHINGTON – To protect the health of those who live, work and visit our national parks and facilities, and in support of the President’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, the National Park Service (NPS) today implemented a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors.

“Wearing a mask around others, physical distancing, and washing your hands are the simplest and most effective public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said NPS Office of Public Health Director Captain Sara Newman. “Getting outside and enjoying our public lands is essential to improving mental and physical health, but we all need to work together to recreate responsibly.”

Face masks are now required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes. Additional public health measures are in place across the service, from capacity limits to one-way trails, or even temporary closures in response to local conditions.

“Working with public health officials and following the latest science and guidance, we can make national parks safer for employees, visitors and partners,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “We will continue to evaluate operations and make appropriate modifications to visitor services as needed.”

Visitors should check individual park websites and social media channels for details on operations before they visit. Park rangers are on duty to provide information, protect visitors and park resources, and uphold this requirement. Other tips to recreate responsibly are available on NPS.gov.

www.nps.gov

Prescribed Fires to be Conducted Along Natchez Trace Parkway

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Prescribed Fires to be Conducted Along Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway will conduct several prescribed fires in Mississippi over the next two months.  As soon as Friday, January 29, fire crews will start burning areas that they have prepared over the winter months.  During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution.   

Motorists should reduce speed significantly when smoke is visible in the area. Reduce speed to a maximum of 30 mph, turn on headlights, and stay alert.  There may be short term closures of trails and picnic sites during the burns. Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line. If visibility falls below 500 feet (150 m), the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared. Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations. 

National Park Service staff and cooperating agencies will work in the following areas: 

  • Witchdance West, Milepost 234, Chickasaw County 
  • Hernando de Soto, Milepost 244, Chickasaw County 
  • Tockshish, Milepost 250, Pontotoc County 
  • Lakeside, Milepost 260, Lee County 
  • Blackbelt Overlook, Milepost 252Lee County 
  • Chickasaw Village, Milepost 262Lee County 
  • Headquarters, Milepost 266, Lee County 
  • Twentymile Overlook, Milepost 278, Lee County 
  • Tishomingo State Park, Milepost 304, Tishomingo County 

Prescribed fires help to restore the native prairie and open woodlands, as well as reduce hazardous fuels that could burn in a wildfire.  It is a cost-effective tool used to manage the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway. Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.  

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management program, please visit nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.  Current conditions and alerts on Natchez Trace Parkway can be found at nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/conditions.htm 

www.nps.gov

Journeys of Discovery: Featuring The Natchez Trace

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Journeys of Discovery: Featuring The Natchez Trace

Journeys of Discovery: Exploring Amber Falls Winery in the heart of Tennessee’s Natchez Trace
Amber Falls Winery and Cellars, situated close to the Natchez Trace Parkway, is just 17 minutes away from the town of Hohenwald and an hour and a quarter to downtown Nashville. In addition to a tasting room with retail sales and outdoor live-music events scheduled throughout the year, cottages adjacent to the winery are available for overnight stays. Read more here.

Journeys of Discovery: Leiper’s Fork Distillery–homage to spirit of Natchez Trace pioneers
Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit with Lee Kennedy, owner of Leiper’s Fork Distillery located on the outskirts of uptown Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Kennedy shares insights about producing Tennessee whiskey and bourbon, events at the distillery and the process of growing his elixir’s market distribution. Read more here.

Journeys of Discovery: Puckett’s Grocery store rocks with live music
Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Rob Robinson, musician and owner of Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Puckett’s has been a community center of sorts in town since 1953. It’s much more than a grocery and eatery—it’s also a rocking live music venue. Read more here.

Journey of Discovery articles from kcbx.org

The New York Times (1995): Following an 8,000-Year-Old Buffalo Trail

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The New York Times (1995): Following an 8,000-Year-Old Buffalo Trail

About the Archive
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

GLIDING through the cool, pine-scented air of a Mississippi spring morning, my bicycle’s tires humming on the gently rolling Natchez Trace Parkway, I was Huck Finn on an asphalt river: the joy of biking crystallized in a sense of freedom and self-reliance.

I had wanted to bike on the parkway — a 421-mile history lesson that cuts through three states and 8,000 years — since driving on a section of it three years ago. So in late May last year I packed bike and gear into a rented car and headed for Tupelo, Miss. I had decided to ride parts of the parkway in Mississippi between Tupelo, in the northeast corner of the state, and Natchez, in the southwest.

[ Keep reading ]

10,000 miles of national park trails restored in 16 states. It took three years

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10,000 miles of national park trails restored in 16 states. It took three years

The National Park Foundation and Nature Valley completed a three-year project to restore 10,000 miles of trails within 19 national parks across 16 states, including the Natchez Trace Parkway. Read the story here.

thestate.com

Controlled Burning along Natchez Trace Parkway

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Controlled Burning along Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway will conduct several small prescribed fires (controlled burns) in the Tupelo area during the month of December 2020.  All fires will be small scale and limited to mid-day burning to help mitigate any potential smoke impacts.  

During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the parkway as a precaution. Motorists should reduce speed to a maximum of 30 miles per hour with headlights on when smoke is in the roadway and should reduce speed significantly when smoke is in visible in the area. There may be short term closures of trails and picnic sites during the burns. Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line. If visibility falls below 500 feet, the parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared. Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended. 

These prescribed fires will help to restore the native prairie and open woodlands, as well as reduce hazardous fuels that could burn in a wildfire.  The two areas that National Park Service staff will be working are listed as follows: 

  • Headquarters Tupelo at milepost 266 in Lee County, MS 
  • Lakeside at milepost 260 in Lee County, MS 

Prescribed fire is a cost-effective tool used to manage the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway. Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.  

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management program, please visit nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.  For information, current conditions and alerts on Natchez Trace Parkway go to nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

www.nps.gov

Outside Magazine: 50 Family Adventures Across the U.S. for 2021

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Outside Magazine: 50 Family Adventures Across the U.S. for 2021

Take a look at Outside Magazine’s blog, “50 Family Adventures Across the U.S. for 2021” featuring the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Commercial Vehicles and the Natchez Trace Parkway

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Commercial Vehicles and the Natchez Trace Parkway

Release Date: Immediate 

Contact: Prashant Lotwala, Chief Ranger, prashant_lotwala@nps.gov, 662-680-4013 

 

TUPELO, MS – On November 18, 2020, early in the morning, law enforcement Park Ranger Tim McElwain was conducting traffic enforcement patrol when he stopped four semi-trucks on the Parkway near milepost 250 and cited all four drivers. Later in the afternoon, Ranger McElwain stopped two additional semi-trucks, and again both drivers were cited. 

Supervisory Park Ranger John Hearne stated, “Despite increasing signage and enforcement, commercial vehicles on the Parkway remain a recurring problem. The Parkway is not wide enough for large trucks and the roadbed was never build for their weight. The poor condition of the Parkway is caused, in part, by overweight vehicles.” 

“We are concerned about commercial vehicles being operated on the Parkway,” said Chief Ranger Prashant Lotwala. “Natchez Trace Parkway is a unit of the National Park Service and should be utilized for outdoor recreational activities and for scenic drives. The Parkway should not be used by commercial vehicles including semi-trucks.” Rangers remind the public that commercial vehicles operating on the Parkway should be reported to the Communication Center by calling 1-800-300-PARK(7275). 

www.nps.gov 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 422 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. 

3 Things You Didn’t Know About The Natchez Trace

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About The Natchez Trace

There are plenty of things many visitors already know about one of America’s favorite scenic byway — the Natchez Trace Parkway, of course. It’s an incredibly beautiful stretch of road, complete with outdoor recreation, cycling, and all manner of wildlife peeking out from the seasonal foliage. The 444-mile path from Natchez to Nashville is full of interpretive sites and history, from the days of Native American inhabitation to battles and skirmishes of the American Civil War and beyond. And small – and not so small – communities sprinkled along the 444-mile route are full of music, culture, and friendly local personalities.

But how about a few little tidbits of Natchez Trace-ness you may not have heard before? Here are three of our favorite lesser-known facts that make traveling the historic Trace just that much more special of a treat.

1. The Natchez Trace is Very, Very Old

Although the current path we know and love was begun in 1938, and didn’t take its current form until 2005, the roots of this route are far older. The first human travelers were local Native American tribes including the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. Historians have identified numerous sites along the Trace that date back to the Paleo-Indian Period, from roughly 14,000 to 9,000 years ago. Just think of all the unique peoples and personalities in whose footsteps you can follow – literally.

2. Bison Built The Natchez Trace

That’s right, bison. Anyone familiar with the American Southeast these days might be surprised to hear of bison navigating the back woods of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Most folks associate the massive mammals with the open plains of the Old West, but they had their place down South as well. Bison, elk, deer, and their predators wore the trail one hoof at a time as they headed back and forth on migratory routes from wide-open grazing territory to visit tasty and nutritious salt licks near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

3. The Natchez Trace is Curvy For Good Reason

It may seem like the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway is curved and winding just because it makes for a pretty and entertaining trip, but there’s actually a lot more to it. Both ancient animals and early human Trace traffic followed a curving route as they stuck to the ubiquitous hilltops and ridges that fill the area. They did this for two clever reasons.

First, following the tops of hills meant spending far less energy climbing up and down hills in efforts to walk as the crow flies. Second, traveling the tops of hills afforded a superior view of a person’s surroundings, decreasing the likelihood that a passerby would be ambushed by lurking mountain lions or dangerous highwaymen. While the Parkway’s shape echoes the path of the Old Trail, your journey today won’t follow the same pattern when it comes mountain lions! But thankfully the legacy of these security concerns now afford us excellent views from numerous scenic overlooks, and provide a little fun factoid to share with friends and family.

_________________________

We hoped you learned something new about the historic Natchez Trace. Now it’s time to get outside and enjoy a piece of American travel history.

Give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share your journey with us. While you’re at it, mosey over to download the official Visitor’s Guide and get to planning your next adventure on the Natchez Trace Parkway!

Storm Damage Cleanup to Begin at Cypress Swamp and River Bend

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Storm Damage Cleanup to Begin at Cypress Swamp and River Bend

RIDGELAND, MS– The Natchez Trace Parkway will begin storm damage cleanup in the vicinity of Milepost 114 – Milepost 124 this week. Construction crews will be removing storm damaged timber from the perimeter of the motor road, Cypress Swamp, Riverbend, and sections of the National Scenic Trail. Motorists should use caution and watch out for work crews when traveling along this section of the Natchez Trace Parkway. 

The National Park Service will assess Cypress Swamp and Riverbend pullovers to determine the extent of the damage upon removal of the downed timber. “The straight-line winds that moved through the area earlier this year had a major impact on our park’s resources. We’re excited to get the area cleaned up, so the Parkway can move forward with more in-depth assessments of the damage to the area,” stated Chief of Maintenance, Greg Smith. Once crews have completed the initial cleanup of the area, the work will require heavier equipment. The motor road will be closed due to unsafe conditions within the roadway, and a detour will be put in place. Information about the detour and closure will be provided when the heavy equipment operation begins and will remain in effect until the work is complete. For more information about this project and the Natchez Trace Parkway, call (800) 305-7417. 

www.nps.gov

Sections of Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail to Close for Maintenance

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Sections of Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail to Close for Maintenance

RIDGELAND, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway will close sections of the Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail near Ridgeland, MS starting November 1, 2020. The work will take place along three sections of trail beginning near the Highland Colony Parkway trail crossing and ending south of the Ross Barnett Reservoir Overlook (Milepost 100.8- Milepost 105.3).  

Over approximately two weeks sections of trail will be closed as the work progresses. The trail requires regular maintenance and repair work to maintain optimal conditions for visitor use. Signs and barricades will be placed at trail access points to mark the closures. All access to the closed portions of the trail is prohibited during this time. The trail west of Highland Colony Parkway will remain open. 

For more information about this project and the Natchez Trace Parkway, call (800) 305-7417. 

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway is Increasing Access to Parkway Comfort Stations

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Natchez Trace Parkway is Increasing Access to Parkway Comfort Stations

TUPELO, MS – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Natchez Trace Parkwayis increasing access to the Parkway Comfort Stations. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the  COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. 

Beginning October 19, 2020, Natchez Trace Parkway will reopen access to the following Comfort Stations:  

  • Rocky Springs, MS. Milepost 55 
  • Ridgeland Information Cabin, Jackson, MS.  Milepost 102 
  • Pharr Mounds, Marietta, MS.  Milepost 287 
  • Glenrock Branch, Waynesboro, TN.  Milepost 365 
  • Garrison Creek, Leipers Fork, TN.  Milepost 425 

All other outdoor spaces, including all roadways, trails, pullouts, and roadside exhibits along the Parkway remain accessible to the public. Visitors have access to maps and brochures at the Visitors Center located in Tupelo MS, at the Mount Locust Information Center, and online interaction through Facebook posts and emails.  

With public health in mind, the following facility remains closed: 

  • Meriwether Lewis Campground, located at Hohenwald TN
      

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Natchez Trace Parkway, our operational approach continues to be centered on examining each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.  

A safe and enjoyable park experience begins at home. The NPS encourages visitors to plan their visit by checking the park’s website and social media for current conditions and travel tips. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.We ask the public to be our partner in recreating responsibly, by following CDC and state and local guidance, social distancing, and wearing a face covering when social distance cannot be maintained.  

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on www.nps.gov/natr and Facebook @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on http://www.nps.gov/coronavirus.  

www.nps.gov

Fall Foliage on the Natchez Trace Parkway

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Fall Foliage on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

2020 Fall Colors Reports from the National Park Service here

COVID-19 Travel Info: Current Conditions here

When you visit the scenic Natchez Trace, a National Park, All-American Road and National Scenic Byway, you’ll discover spectacular views of fall foliage that you won’t find anywhere else in The South. This fascinating parkway links Natchez with Nashville and crosses some of the most beautiful terrain in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.

As a National Scenic Byway, a road recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation for intrinsic qualities, including: archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic — it’s clear the Trace lives up to this recognition. This 444-mile route was named one of America’s most beautiful scenic byways AND one of America’s best drives by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Autumn is one of the more popular seasons to visit the Trace. In mid to late October, the weather cools down and the maple, hickory, oak and other hardwood trees begin to change colors. Visitors have the opportunity to view the brilliant fall foliage as it comes to life.

The picturesque red and orange colors offer an unforgettable travel experience. And we aren’t the only ones who agree! National Parks Traveler has also encouraged its readers to take the open road of the Natchez Trace during fall. Roadtrippers quoted in their article, “A beautiful road trip, especially this time of year.”

Check out these fall foliage photos in recent years along the Natchez Trace:

If you make the Natchez Trace you’re next getaway–a wise choice–you won’t be disappointed by its exceptional scenery! 

Follow @TheNatchezTrace on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.