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The only bad thing about driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway in the summertime (…especially the blazing hot summer days we’ve been having this summer!) is: there’s no place to park in the shade!
Not in Tennessee anyways.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of parking places at each of the roadside pulloffs, but I can’t think of one that’s got some shade to it — between the hours of 10AM and 4PM anyways.
And, yes, fortunately there are plenty of shady picnic spots… you just have to park your vehicle in the hot sun while you’re enjoying your picnic. And that means a scorching hot car when you return.
I just think it’s interesting (and quite a shame) that, in this beautiful forested piece of parkway, there’s hardly any way to appreciate the shade from those trees when you’re in your car.
It Gets Shadier In The South…
The closer you get to the Alabama state line, the more the roads become canopied and the parkway becomes mildly shaded here & there. The same cannot be said for the northern end of the Trace in Tennessee.
So, I’m just saying… don’t expect to be able to pull over and read the map in the shade anywhere.
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).