This has to be one of the most tranquil, scenic drives in the whole country.
A few years ago we travelled and stayed in Hohenwald, TN, near the northern part of The Natchez Trace. That was our first taste of this little piece of heaven and as promised to ourselves, not to be our last.
This year, since we were enjoying such nice weather and we were in no rush so we opted to travel the southern section of The Trace for about another 270 miles.
Also known as the ‘Old Natchez Trace’, this historical path extends about 444 miles through three states and 10,000 years of North American history from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.
There are no commercial vehicles permitted on this wonderful two lane piece of serenity.
The Parkway commemorates the most significant highway of the Old Southwest.
The natural travel corridor that became the Natchez Trace dates back many centuries. It bisected the traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. As the United States expanded westward in the late 1700s and early 1800s, growing numbers of travelers tramped the rough trail into a clearly marked path. The ”sunken” sections you can walk along today are clear signs of historic use. In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson designated the Trace a national postal road for the delivery of mail between Nashville and Natchez.
Gen. Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809), and Ulysses S. Grant are among the famous Americans to have traveled the Natchez Trace.
Most travelers were anonymous working folks. In the early 1800s through the mid-1820s, “Kaintucks” from the Ohio River Valley floated cash crops, livestock, and other materials down the Mississippi River on wooden flatboats. At Natchez or New Orleans, they sold their goods, sold their boats for lumber, and walked or rode horseback toward home via the Old Trace. As the road was improved, stands (inns) provided lodging, food, and drink to Trace travelers.
With the rise of steamboat culture on the Mississippi, the Trace lost its importance as a national road, as goods could be moved more quickly and cheaply, in greater quantity, on the river.
There were rest areas and plenty of places to pull over and enjoy nature or you could find your own spot to stop and add water to the radiator. Or something?
The speed limit is only 55 mph and there was very little traffic on the morning that we were traveling. We did meet another motorhome . . .
heading in the wrong direction? Or maybe heading to the Tiffin Plant in Red Bay?
There was a short distance of devastation caused by the storms earlier this year.
Ross Barnett Reservoir:
If you have not experienced this beautiful and calming stretch of highway you owe it to yourself . . . another item for that bucket list.