A Sunday Drive: The Natchez Trace Parkway

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One Sunday morning, a friend and I decided to go on a leisurely drive.

The Natchez Trace Parkway, known for being a long, scenic route from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. The parkway is 444 miles long and follows the path of the Old Natchez Trace – dating back to the early 1700s.

Check out more information about the Old Natchez and the Natchez Trace Parkway, here. 

We start our journey on the Nashville side, going over the Double Arch Bridge.

#1: Jackson Falls – located at milepost 404.7.

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The walk down is quite steep, so prepare yourselves! The 900 foot long paved walkway leads you down to the base of falls.

At the time we went, there hadn’t been much rain, so the falls were a bit dry. Still a beautiful place, though. Peaceful sounds of the water and nature almost make you forget that you eventually have to walk back up, almost.

Climbing our way back up, we get back into the car to head to the next stop. This was a great time for us to chug down some water and catch our breath.

#2 Tobacco Farm/Old Trace – located at milepost 401.4

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Our furthest stop of the day. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting the Tobacco Farm to look like.  There was an old barn on the scene. Inside you can find tobacco hanging from the ceiling.

On the backside of this stop, you can actually drive along part of the Old Trace. The scenery was beautiful. However, it was very bumpy, so go slow!

Don’t worry about getting lost, the Old Trace leads up to the main parkway!

#3  Old Trace Walk – located at milepost 403.7

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 We were able to walk along the Old Trace. So, now we not only drove along the Old Trace, but we also got to walk it. Much like with most of the scenery found along the parkway, it was beautiful.

A walk was nice after being in the car and as a nice stretch from Jackson Falls earlier in the trip.

#4 Baker Bluff Overlook – located at milepost 405.1

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Baker Bluff Overlook was next. A trail leading you to Jackson Falls can be found here. We didn’t realize that, so I’m letting you know!

 My favorite stop of the day! I’m all about a good view. It was peaceful to look at. Seeing the open land and trees for miles was amazing. I bet it really looks beautiful during the fall and after a snowfall.

#5 Gordon House – located at milepost 407.7

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Gordon House was technically our last stop of the day. I was hoping that we would be able to see into the house, but you can’t. There is a trail that leads you to a ferry site, however, we were growing tired and turned back.

Maybe we can go and try again.

Part of the trail that we did walk was really pretty. There was a little bridge at one spot and some little water areas. Another great spot for to walk around after being in a car for a bit. Or just to enjoy some nature.

#6 Water Valley Overlook – located at milepost 411.8

We did make a stop here. We didn’t get out of the car for this one or take any pictures. Apparently, this was the spot for everyone to park at and have lunch. We weren’t able to get any good pictures because so many cars were lined up along the road.

What we did see was really beautiful, though!

Thoughts:

Overall, we saw a small portion of the parkway. Definitely lots more to see. I really enjoyed this drive. One day, I plan on visiting more and maybe traveling the entire parkway in one trip.

Although, that might be something for later on down the road.

If you live in Tennessee or are traveling through, definitely take a drive through the parkway. If you are a cyclist or ride a motorcycle, don’t worry! You can enjoy the parkway from your bikes, as well!

Tips:

* Wear Tennis Shoes/Hiking Shoes/Comfortable Shoes– Most stops require walking along a trail or steep terrain.

*Wear Comfortable clothing– I wore a workout tank and some Yoga leggings. This will help keep you comfortable while walking and driving! It also helps if you go during our humid months and you start sweating.

However, if you’re just going on a drive, you don’t necessarily have to worry about those!

* If you have a sunroof, wear sunscreen – My friend’s car has a sunroof, we had it open during our drive, I got sunburned. HA! I even applied sunscreen for when we were out at stops, but apparently not on my back.

*Wear Bug Spray – Depending upon when you actually go, this might not apply to you. Just in case bring bug spray for when you walk along trails or come in contact with high grass.

*Bring Water, Snacks/Food – We had plenty of water, however, we didn’t really pack any snacks with us. By the end of the day, we were starving and there are no food stops along the way.

*Fill up on gas – We didn’t have an issue with running out of gas, but it could happen if you’re not careful!

*Keep an eye out! – Cyclists are allowed on the parkway. I’m pretty sure they are able to take up the entire lane, so be on the lookout to keep them safe! We also saw a few kid cyclist with their parents, so remember WATCH OUT! Also, cyclist be aware of cars as well! It’s a two way street!

*Get a map! – We found a map when we stopped at the Double Arch Bridge. I’m sure there are other places that have them. If you have a smartphone, you can also pull up the website and use that. I suggest this because it’s very helpful on choosing certain stops or how far you need to go.

 

Have you driven along the Natchez Trace? Let me know your favorite stops!

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