Wednesday, April 25, 2012

380 Miles of pure beauty...The Natchez Trace Parkway

One of the many "places to see" on our list, was the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. It has a fascinating history (I'll let you read up on that one on your own) but high on my list was it's incredible natural beauty. After many cities and two weeks in New Orleans, we were ready for some peaceful & serene driving through parts of our country that neither one of us had seen, that was away from buildings, people, activities, etc. This fit the bill.

We began the trip right in Natchez at the Mile Marker 0 and headed north. We were armed with all the various brochures and pamphlets telling us what we'll be seeing along the way, where to stop and giving us the history. We quickly realized that we wanted to take this slowly, it was way to beautiful to drive quickly through. Luckily, they have several small campgrounds spread out (in just the right amount of space between them) that you can "dry camp" in on a first-come-first-serve basis for free. We had been advised to stop by mid-day, no later than 2pm to secure a spot - no problem, as we wanted to anyway to just sit and take in the surrounding beauty.

We were surprised at how little traffic there was, including at the small campgrounds; lucky for us! We did enjoy meeting some interesting people on our stops tho, including Pastor Rick - who has two full-time jobs (Pastor of a church and a Lab Tech at the VA Hospital) who, when gets any spare time, is hiking the Trace. He was outfitted from head to toe in "tick preventive gear" because "the fields are thick with them, you know!" I later had a wonderful chat with a 75 yr old gentleman that came riding up on his bicycle with his MP3 blasting 50's music. He in turn, only had shorts and a sleeveless T shirt on. He shared with me that he had moved here about 5 years ago from Quebec after retiring from a 50 yr career. "It was just him and his dog, with no responsibilities, so he could ride his bike and enjoy his day as he wishes!" All were very friendly and encouraging, sharing with us "the best parts, not to be missed" along the Trace.

We took three days and traveled 380 miles of the Parkway, leaving it after our stay at the Meriwether Lewis Memorial & Campground and headed into Memphis TN. We plan to return at some point and finish up the last 60 miles of Tennessee, just because it's that beautiful, and we're told it "only gets better as you go".

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

...on the road in Tennessee, Marie

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