December 18, 2014

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Parkway is a 440 mile long two-lane highway that runs from just west of Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi, which is on the Mississippi River, 150 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Parkway is actually a National Park, and the park lands extend a short distance on each side of the road. No commercial traffic of any kind is allowed, there is a 50mph (80km/h) speed limit, and there are no traffic lights along its length. All intersections with regular roads have overpasses or underpasses. There is no charge to use the parkway.

The Navigator



Portions of The Trace were used centuries ago by Native Americans, and it was used in the 18th and 19th centuries by workers and traders of the Mississippi steamships, who would use it to return to the northeast on foot or by horseback. During that era it was rife with robbers and highwaymen, who would lie in wait to ambush the unwary. It is much safer today, thankfully.

We have taken this drive several times from Nashville to Jackson, Mississippi, and this time we are driving the entire length from Nashville to Natchez. As I write this, we are staying overnight in a quiet Passport America park near Tupelo, which is Elvis Presley's birthplace. Tupelo is approximately halfway along the parkway.

The scenery along the parkway is beautiful. The northern section in Tennessee is nice country with wooded, rolling hills, and this changes to flatter terrain in the southern part. The road is nice and smooth, and the drive is very relaxing. It is a welcome change from interstate traffic. There are many sightseeing and rest areas, most of which are easily accessible to a 57 foot long rig.








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