However, if you want to meander (north or south) along one of the nation's most peaceful, serene and scenic drives, make your way to the Natchez Trace Parkway that follows a winding course 444 miles between Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee.
It is speculated that as far back as 10,000 years ago, large animals may have formed and traveled along what is known as the Old Trace. Early on, American Indian hunter-gatherer societies found the trail and followed or 'traced' the migration patterns of deer and bison herds.
|The Old Trace Drive, at milepost 375.8, mid-October. (NPS)|
Many opportunities for family RV Short Stops can be found at the Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 266 (Parkway Headquarters). This is the spot for ongoing events and activities. Click here for the latest calendar events.
Potkopinu Section of the Old Trace
|Potkopinu Section (NPS)|
The Potkopinu section, between milepost 17 and 20, follows the historic Old Trace that was formed in the soft loess soil by the millions of animals, American Indians, trappers and traders over centuries of use.
"The Natchez Indians may have called these paths 'potkopinu' which means 'little valley'," states a post on National Park Service's Facebook page. This is the longest stretch of the 'sunken' trace available to hike, reflect and wonder.
|Natchez Trace Parkway is popular with RVers. (NPS Photo)|
RVers love, love, love the Natchez Trace Parkway. However, be aware that the length restriction for recreation vehicles is 55 feet, including your tow vehicle. Height restriction is 14 feet. There are a number of pulloffs that are closed to RVs and bridge clearances under 15-feet. Click here for the list of those closures and bridges.
Also be on the lookout for cycling tourists, those healthy humans pedaling their way along the Parkway. The entire 444 miles is a designated bicycling route, according the National Park Service.
Most of the way, the two-lane road is only 22-feet wide. That's only 11-feet in each lane with little-to-no shoulder. So while you are enjoying the drive remember to avoid looking at the scenery when bicyclists are present. Although the speed limit is posted at 50 mph in most stretches, there have been numerous reports by bicyclists of locals using The Trace as a commuter highway. Be cautious and courteous.
There are more than a dozen campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, three in the park, and many others just outside the park. The three Parkway campgrounds are free, primitive, and available on a first come, first serve basis. Click here for campground listed from south to north.
For more information
Natchez Trace Parkway
Visitor Center, Milepost 266, Tupelo MS
2680 Natchez Trace Parkway
Tupelo, MS 38804
Phone: (800) 305-7417
-- Julianne G. Crane
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