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“National Treasure”

Natchez Trace Parkway
Ranked #2 of 24 things to do in Tupelo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This 444-mile parkway follows a Native American footpath from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
215 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“National Treasure”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

I returned to the Natchez Trace with my daughter after a long absence. Fond memories became a reality again as I got to enjoy the relaxing nature of driving on the no-stress road with continually beautiful surrounding.

We entered the road at Highway 64 in Tennessee and exited at Highway 78 in Missippi and made a return trip exiting at Highway 72 and resuming at Highway 20. Even late at night, there is traffic- the road is likely a commuter road for those in Florence and Tupelo and other cities without interstate access. However the strictly enforced speed limit and civilized drivers are a plus, as is the ban on commercial traffic. Receational vehicles are allowed, and they are notorious for constipating traffic on two lane roads, but this was not an issue on this trip and it is a perfect road for the RV traveler in any event.

The Freedom Hills Overlook (mm317) is spectacular but is a quarter-mile uphill walk so not for those who don't excercise. The Cave Spring (mm308.4) is also recommended. Several Indian mounds are in close proximity to the road and can be seen and photographed from the car at pull-off points.

Restrooms along the route are another convenience. Be forewarned that the Colbert Ferry rest rooms are a good five mile trip on winding acess road from the Parkway. Obtaining one of the paper maps is recommended and those maps are far more user-friendly than the website map.

Conceived and opened in 1938 when driving was considered recreation, the Natchez Trace is still a place where driving can be fun again.

Visited October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

742 reviews from our community

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Picayune, Mississippi
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The Trace - Natchez to the TN Border”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Having ridden a motorcycle on snippets of "The Trace" before, this longer excursion brought into clearer focus of what this experience is, and is not. In and of itself, the road is an anacrhronism of an earlier time, when the journey was the thing, not the destination. It is easy to imangine yourself in an earler age, before interstates, as the road genlty bends to and fro, without the clutter of modern days, or the urge to speedly arrive.

The road surface itself is remarkable, with at least 95% falling into the "Velvet Road" catagory. In fact, it is so smooth, travellers are cautioned to take breaks, should they become drowsy. This speaks to one of the greater challenges: there are times when the travel is a bit boring. What you find in Natchez, is what you will find along much of the roiute: a very smooth roadway, gentle rising/falling elevation changes and broadly sweeping curves along an immaculately manicured verge. Given the often sun-dappled surface, it would be easy to be lulled into a state of sleepiness, or inattentiveness. With a stringently enforced 50 mph or, briefly less, speed limit, coupled with a "no commercial vehicles allowed," rule, there are few vehicles on The Trace. In my, (nearly 600 miles, out and back,) travel there were more govenment maintenace vehicles than civilian.

Travelling here, particulaly on a motorcycle, requires doing your homework, especially for gas stops. If you are going to be doing more than a quick "get on and get off" segment, then you should consider a few things. First, there is no gasoline and lodging available on The Trace and there are no markers along the route which indicate where you may find them. Secondly, with the single exception of French Camp (open 10 AM - 7 PM) at Mile Marker 180.7, there is no food service. Thirdly, the readilly available route map does not indicate interchange access to adjacent towns. In other words, you are left on your own for these needs. My suggestion is you obtain a guidebook, before you go, or use the internet for guidance.Take a look at www.natcheztracetravel.com for a lists of gas, lodging and other services, listed by milepost. Be advised: the lists may not be fully up to date. The one item, which seems to be in reasonable supply, are restrooms along the way.

This brings us to the approximately 100 (so called) stops, which include historical markers, identifcation of portions of the traditional Old Trace. camping, water features, etc. Somewhat irritating, are the several stops which note an historical occurrance which took place a distance away from the stop and/or where there are no visible remnants.(Granted, many events are 200 years old.) It seems a bit like noting the Gettysburg Address from a road sign in Baltimore. Again, a guide book will offer the best choices for your interests and stops.

For the urban traveler, seeking a bit of quet motoring peace in the "country" this may be a welcome respite. The Trace should also be considered as an alternate, more direct (nee faster,) route between cities, (Jackson to Tupelo for example,) in spite of the slower speeds.

Visited October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
273 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Peaceful and calming”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We drove the parkway from outside Vicksburg to Natchez. We essentially had the road to ourselves. It was a very pleasant drive and I recommend it over an interstate any day.

Visited September 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, UK
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Far better than the Interstate”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We travelled the southern 200 or so miles to Tupelo and while it may be slow progress it is certainly a relaxed and incredibly scenic drive.

The verges are excellently maintained and immaculate - highly recommended

Visited September 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
527 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“Must See”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I have been to Tupelo dozens of times and never really paid the Parkway much attention. I did not realize what I was missing. It has a little somethig for everyone from runners to nature lovers. A lot of history happened along this route that changed the MS area and the USA and everyone should learn about it. I travel to Tupelo serval times a year and will make sure to go back to learn even more.

Visited September 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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