Mississippi Map

Natchez Trace Parkway

Basics
Length:
444 miles (714 km)
Time:
Two days to enjoy the Byway.

Description

For over 8,000 years, this timeworn path has felt the tread of travelers. Buffalo and other wildlife were first to wind their way through the wilderness. Later, American Indians, traders, trappers and missionaries joined their fellow creatures on the rough track. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, boatmen floated merchandise down river to New Orleans where they sold their flatboats and their goods and returned home on foot or horseback, using the well-worn Natchez Trace. Back then the Trace went through rough territory dominated by many hazards, such as bandits, American Indians and wild animals. All these hazards earned the route the ominous nickname, "Devil's Backbone." Cautious travelers of the old Trace made sure to acquire safety in numbers by accompanying postal workers on their regular routes. Because of their influence on traveling the Trace, postal workers were later chosen as the official symbol of the Parkway.

Today's visitors will not need this historic safety measure to enjoy the Trace's rich wildlife and scenery. Crimson clover, butterweed, Japanese honeysuckle and ground ivy are just a few of about 100 species of wildflowers to be found along the Parkway at different times of the year. There are also numerous hiking trails, exhibits, picnic sites, campgrounds, and water recreation areas. On either side of the Parkway lie communities with wonderful places to stay, excellent places to dine and plenty to see and do.

Hiking on the Parkway presents both challenges and rewards. With over 60 miles of National Scenic Trail and 28 different hiking and self-guiding trails, there is something for every kind of traveler to experience. Be sure to bring your camera along; beautiful scenery will greet you no matter what time of the year you choose to visit!

Tourism Resources

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Bear Creek Mound (AL)

This ceremonial structure was built around 200 AD. Peering closely at it, there are still barely-visible signs of a structure having once been built on the top of it.

Bear Creek Mound (MS)

This ceremonial structure was built around 200 AD. Peering closely at it, there are still barely-visible signs of a structure having once been built on the top of it.

Boyd Mounds (AL)

Another example of earthen mound burials, the Boyd Mounds were built from AD 800 to AD 1100.

Boyd Mounds (MS)

Another example of earthen mound burials, the Boyd Mounds were built from AD 800 to AD 1100.

Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site (MS)

Located on MS Hwy 370 west of Baldwyn, this one-acre battlefield site commemorates the battle that had one objective--to make it impossible for Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest to interfere with General William T. Sherman's railroad supply line from Nashville to Chattanooga during the Atlanta campaign. Forrest scored a decisive victory over General S.D. Sturgis' Union forces when they met at Brices Cross Roads on June 10, 1864. The Union lost five men to every Southern casualty and General Forrest's troops managed to capture desperately needed supplies, including guns, ammunition, cannon, and wagons. The battle was considered a major tactical victory for the Confederacy, but did not diminish the effectiveness of Sherman's campaign as supplies continued to flow.

Directions

The Site is 6 miles (9.6 km) west of Baldwyn on MS 370.

Buzzard Roost Spring (AL)

Take a short trail to Buzzard Roost Spring and read exhibits telling the story of Chicksaw Chief Levi Colbert.

Buzzard Roost Spring (MS)

Take a short trail to Buzzard Roost Spring and read exhibits telling the story of Chicksaw Chief Levi Colbert.

Bynum Mounds (AL)

The six burial mounds and associated habitation area at the Bynum site were built during the Middle Woodland period, between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D.

Bynum Mounds (MS)

The six burial mounds and associated habitation area at the Bynum site were built during the Middle Woodland period, between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D.

Casey Jones Museum State Park (AL)

Shortly after midnight on April 30, 1900, the "Cannonball" left Memphis, Tennessee with Jonathan Luther "Casey" Jones at the throttle. Trying to make up time in the run from Memphis to Canton,Mississippi, Jones had just ran through a stop signal when a freight train came into view crossing the track in front of the"Cannonball." Realizing that a crash was inevitable, Jones ordered his fireman to jump clear just before the "Cannonball" rammed into four cars of the freight train. Jones was killed in the crash.

Directions

Casey Jones State Park can be reached by I-55, junction with the Natchez Trace in Jackson, and travelling north approximately 20 miles.

Colbert Ferry (AL)

George Colbert operated a stand and ferry here and reportedly charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across the river.

Directions

Colbert Ferry is located at milepost 327.3 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Colbert Ferry (MS)

George Colbert operated a stand and ferry here and reportedly charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across the river.

Directions

Colbert Ferry is located at milepost 327.3 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Freedom Hills Overlook (AL)

A steep, 1/4-mile trail leads to Alabama's highest point on the parkway, 800 feet.

Directions

Located at milepost 317 on the Natchez Trace.

Freedom Hills Overlook (MS)

A steep, 1/4-mile trail leads to Alabama's highest point on the parkway, 800 feet.

Directions

Located at milepost 317 on the Natchez Trace.

Rock Spring (AL)

This self-guiding trail along Colbert Creek takes 20 minutes to walk.

Directions

Rock Spring is located near Colbert Ferry at milepost 330.2.

Rock Spring (MS)

This self-guiding trail along Colbert Creek takes 20 minutes to walk.

Directions

Rock Spring is located near Colbert Ferry at milepost 330.2.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (AL)

In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands and sent them to Indian Territory (today known as Oklahoma). The Trail of Tears tells their story.

Directions

The Trail of Tears meanders through Alabama, Tennessee and the water route passes through Mississippi.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (MS)

In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands and sent them to Indian Territory (today known as Oklahoma). The Trail of Tears tells their story.

Directions

The Trail of Tears meanders through Alabama, Tennessee and the water route passes through Mississippi.

Details

Length:
444 miles (714 km)
Time:
Two days to enjoy the Byway.

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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