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Chances are, at one time or another, you’ve heard someone talking about the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Often, people who don’t live anywhere near Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee (the states that the Trace passes through) have heard enough to make them wonder where exactly the Natchez Trace Parkway is, and what makes it so unique.
Here’s how to make your way to the Trace…
The Natchez Trace Parkway
Following an 8,000-year-old Indian trail, the Trace (an old-fashioned
term for a path or roadway) was officially turned into a scenic highway drive in the 1930s.
Along the entire 444-mile route (with the May ’05 completion of the last 6 miles), some 300 segments of the old historic trace have been preserved.
The Natchez Trace Parkway itself runs through three states, starting in Nashville, passing through Alabama, and ending in Natchez, Mississippi.
Specifically, the northern end of the Natchez Trace encompasses that portion of roadway from the Tennessee/Alabama border at milepost 341.8 (in Lauderdale County, Alabama) all the way to Nashville at milepost 440 (in Williamson County, Tennessee).
The southern end of the Natchez Trace then continues on for about 30 miles through the northwest corner of Alabama before entering Mississippi in Tishomingo County. It then then heads southwest another 300 miles, passing near Jackson and ending in Natchez on the Mississippi River.
My Favorite: The Northern Section Of The Trace
The northernmost tip of the Natchez Trace Parkway begins about 10 miles southwest of Nashville, and continues southwest in Tennessee about 90 miles into Lauderdale County, Alabama.
Here, you exit (or enter) the Trace via a long, concrete bridge with the words “Natchez Trace Parkway” etched across the center. These words can best be viewed from Highway 100 which runs under the bridge itself. A long, circular ramp connects the bridge to Highway 100 — at milepost 440 on the Trace.
The Trace traverses over 101 miles in the state of Tennessee, and passes through 7 Tennessee counties: Davidson, Williamson, Maury, Hickman, Lewis, Lawrence, and Wayne (from north to south, respectively).
We’ve lived in the Nashville area since 2001 — and all 3 of our houses have been situated relatively close to the Natchez Trace Parkway. To me, the ‘The Trace’ is a hidden gem of Nashville — a place to go when you want to get away from it all and be one with nature. I’ve hiked it, biked it, motorcycled it, walked it with my dogs, and driven my car on The Natchez Trace Parkway more times than I can count! This is where I share some of my favorite things to do along the Natchez Trace Parkway — which runs 444 miles from Nashville Tennessee to Natchez Mississippi and through parts of Alabama. When I’m not enjoying the beautiful outdoors along the Natchez Trace Parkway, you’ll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).