The Natchez Trace Parkway is a beautiful drive through a part of the USA that is perhaps underappreciated by travelers. Specifically I'd like to talk about the Rocky Springs Campground which is located on the Parkway about 1/2 way between Jackson, MS and Natchez. The campground is administered by the National Park Service as part of the parkway. Rocky Springs is located in a very rural area. There are no towns or cities close by. Black bears have been known to wander through the area but are extremely rare. Don't expect to see one. Surrounded by thick forests Rocky Springs consists of a campground, hiking trails, a picnic area and historic areas. First, the campground. Camping at Rocky Springs is free. Campsites are on a first come, first serve basis. Most are shaded, with a picnic table, and accommodate tents to fairly large motor homes. There are no electric, water, or sewer hookups. There are a couple of modern bathrooms in the camping area, but no showers. Campfires are OK if conditions permit. Would suggest you bring your own firewood, since only downed wood can be used and it can be hard to find. We've been camping at Rocky Springs on a regular basis for 30 years. Take a short hike, wade in the creek, then return to your campsite and enjoy the sounds of the night. We are often sung to sleep by the distant howl of coyotes. Rocky Springs also has a picnic area with nice, shaded tables and grills. There is a bathroom in the picnic area. Finally, there are the remains of a ghost town. The only building still standing is a historic church built in the early 1800's. (note that the church is actually outside of the park, but there is a trail & is accessible from the park) Fall and spring are our favorite times to visit the park. A spring treat are the beautiful dogwoods which are abundant in the picnic area. In the fall you'll find the same trees have changed to brilliant red. Mosquitoes can be an issue during the summer so be sure to take plenty of repellent. Raccoons will probably visit your campsite at night so be sure food is secured. Enjoy!
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