Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi, USA
What makes it great?
The Natchez Trace Parkway retraces the 444 mile historic route south to north from Natchez MS to Nashville, TN. The vast majority of the Trace – over 300 miles – is in Mississippi.
The Trace offers an unparalleled cycling experience for those looking for a relatively flat, enjoyable long-distance route.
Intentionally, there are no gas stops, lodging or stores on the Trace itself, allowing cyclists to enjoy the experience unencumbered. However, many townships are located in close proximity, just 1-2 miles off the Trace, while others are located up to 5-7 mile distance. There are countless cities and townships along the Trace which provide accommodation options, places to eat and drink, local bike stores, rentals and other points of interest and attractions to support your bicycle tour experience along this incredible route spanning much of Mississippi.
The convenient location and distance of the communities, and the variety of services offered provides a great deal of flexibility for how cyclists can choose to experience the Trace by bicycle:
- tour the full length of the Trace from Natchez MS to Nashville TN;
- tour the full length of the Trace in the State of Mississippi from Natchez in the South to Tishomingo in the North;
- select a two to five day section of the Trace depending on the amount of time – and energy! – you have;
- select two or three communities from which to base yourself for 2-4 nights each
- Natchez: 14,886
- Port Gibson: 1,356
- Raymond: 2,210
- Ridgeland: 24,266
- Canton: 12,725
- Kosciousko: 6,891
- French Camp: 168
- Houston: 3,464
- Tupelo: 38,114
- Baldwyn: 3,304
- Tishomingo/Belmont: 334 and 2,025 respectively
There are also communities along the full extent of the Trace in both Alabama and Tennessee.
Climate: The climate along the Trace varies. However, the State as a whole generally expereinces long, hot and humid summers and short, mild winters.
The Natchez Trace’s path to success
Unique qualities the Trace offers are:
- The entire Parkway is a designated bike route
- Commercial traffic is prohibited
- Commercial signage and development is prohibited
- The maximum speed for vehicles along the Parkway’s entire length is 50 mph
- Numerous signs remind cars to share the Parkway with cyclists
- Generally, vehicular traffic is very light (except for the area around Tupelo and Ridgeland)
- The scenery is amazing and varied. The Trace is lined with forest, farmland, creeks and beautiful vistas
- There are numerous historical and natural attractions right along the full extent of the parkway, offering numerous rest stops
- Restrooms are located every 20 to 50 miles along the Parkway. Communities along the Parkway have businesses with restrooms as well.
- There are numerous side trails that take you to many other attractions of the various local communities and townships along the Trace
- There are many bicycle friendly places to stay, eat and drink
The National Parks Service is responsible for maintaining the Trace as one cohesive entity.
Communications teams of the various communities and organizations along the Trace have formed a Compact which meets regularly to ensure a coordinated marketing effort for the Trace.
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