The Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the National Scenic Byways as well as one of only 31 All-American Roads. From Tennessee to Mississippi there are plenty of interesting spots to see along the way during this scenic drive. Just note, no commercial traffic is allowed.
Where is the Natchez Trace Parkway?
The 444 mile-long road covers the route from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. While the modern Trace dates back to the 1930s, the Old Natchez Trace i.e. the Original Natchez Trace, goes all the way back to the 1700s. In that time, traders known as "Kaintucks" would float their goods down the river; the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, and would then walk up the Trace to return home. Most of the sections of the Old Trace were either animal trails or Native American paths.
Today, visitors can travel along the Trace while maintaining a speed below 50 mph. We've rounded up some of our favorite spots and historic sites you can visit across Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Sites Along the Natchez Trace
The Tupelo area in Mississippi has some very interesting stops. At milepost 269.4 you can find 13 unknown Confederate soldiers gravesites which takes you back to a pivotal part of American History. This area was once home to the Chickasaw people so you can visit the Chickasaw Village Site at milepost 261.8.
In Jackson, you can visit the French Camp Historic Village at milepost 180.7. The village includes the French Camp Log House Museum, the Colonel James Drane House, The LeFlore Carriage House, Black Smith Shop, Welcome Center and Bread Bakery. For history buffs, you can stop by the Battle of Raymond location at milepost 78.3. This Civil War battle was won by General Grant and led to his takeover of Jackson as well as Vicksburg.
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Room at the Inn: Mount Locust, Mississippi. . Mount Locust Inn is one of the oldest structures in Mississippi. Built c. 1780, the structure operated as a residence, plantation, and inn along the Trace. The site was not fully uninhabited until the mid 1940s. . The Trace – which spans +/- 444 miles (from Natchez, MS up to Nashville, TN) and principally follows a geologic ridge line – was created by Native American tribes. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the path was utilized by early European and American explorers, soldiers, traders, itinerant preachers, emigrants, etc. . #historicpreservation #thisplacematters #mississippi #natcheztrace #nps #warof1812 #nationalparkservice
Milepost 15.5 in Jefferson will bring you to Mount Locust, now a historic museum. It once served as a plantation as well as an inn for travelers on the Natchez Trace.
Near Stanton, you can visit the Emerald Mound which is the second-largest ceremonial mound in the United States. This Mississippian period archaeological site is a definite must-visit.
Meriwether Lewis National Monument
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Monument to Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark fame, near Hohenwald, TN off the Natchez Trace Parkway. Lewis was travelling to Washington D.C. in 1809 when he died under suspicious circumstances. It's been assumed he committed suicide and that's why the monument is left broken & unfinished at the top #meriwetherlewis #meriwetherlewismonument #meriwetherlewisburialsite #hohenwaldtn #natcheztraceparkway
The Meriwether Lewis Death and Burial Site can be found at milepost 385.9. This area includes a campground, pioneer cemetery, visitor center, and hiking trails.