Just How Much Traffic Will You Find On The Natchez Trace Parkway?


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I’m often asked questions like, “How much bike traffic is there on the Trace?”

And when it comes to motorcycles, cars, trucks & RV’s… “How many people drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway anyway?”

Vehicle Traffic On The Natchez Trace

As far as the northern portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway is concerned — from the Alabama state line to the end of the Trace in Tennessee — the part between Highway 100 (Bellevue) and Highway 96 (Franklin) is arguably the “busiest” stretch of roadway on the Trace.

Running a close second would be the next leg of the Trace — heading south — from Highway 96 (Franklin) to the Garrison Creek rest area, just past Highway 46 (Leipers Fork).

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However, “busy” is a relative term, because the Parkway itself is very lightly traveled. Sometimes, you can go for hours and still be able to count the vehicles you pass on one hand.

On weekdays (which is when I usually choose to go), there is hardly any traffic at all — especially as it gets later in the day (say, after 3 p.m.). Even in the summertime.

Want the Natchez Trace Parkway to yourself?… Plan your visit for a weekday!

Definitely, the busiest days for vehicle traffic are Saturday and Sunday — especially in the spring and summer months.

On weekends, you’ll find a lot more first-time visitors who are out for a fun & leisurely drive on the Trace. And the seasoned veterans are in full force as well — usually with the top-down or in SUVs, vans and RVs packed with friends & family members.

Remember, there are no commercial vehicles allowed, so you’ll never see a semi (or as they say here in the South, “a tractor-trailer”) on the Natchez Trace Parkway. However, I have been noticing a fair amount of pickup trucks with company logos on the doors lately — I’m guessing they’re simply hopping on at one exit and off at the next en route to their next job.

What About Bicycles And Motorcycles?

On weekdays, you’re likely to find far more bicyclists (and joggers, and even some walkers) enjoying the Natchez Trace Parkway than you’ll find drivers in cars.

The Trace is a bicyclist’s dream road any hour of the day, any day of the week — but especially on weekdays! With so little vehicle traffic on weekdays (even in the Summer), you’ve pretty much got the road to yourself.

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Except for all the motorcyclists…

I would venture to guess that the Natchez Trace Parkway is mostly visited and enjoyed regularly by motorcyclists from places near and far.

While there are obviously more motorcycles (than other vehicles) riding on the Trace on weekends, they are also the most popular vehicle seen on the Trace on weekdays, as well.

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