Do you want to explore the wonders of Mississippi in a unique way? If you love riding a bike in nature and discovering historical gems, a good old-fashioned trip along the Natchez Trace Parkway is a must. Drive or bike through more than 10,000 years of history and explore our gorgeous state on a jaw-dropping, scenic road. Read on to find out more about what this outdoor adventure has to offer and make plans to visit today!
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Your Guide to Bicycling the Natchez Trace Parkway
What Is the Natchez Trace Parkway?
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 2-lane road that stretches 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. This long, scenic drive passes through 18 different communities and features countless sights. It also winds through some larger cities like Jackson, MS, and Florence, AL.
History of the Parkway
The Parkway has been in use for approximately 10,000 years. (Yes, you read that right!)! Native Americans were the first to travel the course, followed by early settlers years later. European explorers found that this route was the best method of communication and traveled it frequently. It was only President Roosevelt that made the road an official parkway in the year 1938. Since then, it has been traversed by countless individuals, including Meriwether Lewis and Andrew Jackson!
Your Biking Trip Along the Natchez Trace Parkway
Driving might be a popular way to enjoy the Natchez Trace Parkway, but biking is the best! In fact, the whole route was designated as a bike route. Picture yourself bicycling along this magnificent route, with only nature to surround you and soothe your spirits. The scenery is unparalleled with numerous forests, farmland, creeks, and gorgeous vistas. It’s refreshing, calming, and an overall wonderful experience. We recommend taking a look at a Natchez Trace trail map before your expedition and choosing the route that’s right for you. Each one has something different to offer, such as scenic overlooks, hiking trails, waterfall views, and much more.
There are also plenty of amazing attractions scattered along the road, and if you’re a history buff, you’re going to love each of them! Here are some of our favorite stops to help you spend the best day possible on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
- Tupelo National Battlefield – Tupelo, MS
If you love learning about the Civil War era, you need to stop by the Tupelo National Battlefield. The battle fought there is also known as the Battle of Harrisburg and happened in July 1864.
- Jackson Falls – Duck River, TN
This gorgeous waterfall is the refreshing break you need after biking. You can sit by the water, enjoy the soothing sound of the stream, and even have a picnic! In addition, three tables and two grills are at your disposal.
- Old Natchez Trace – Milepost 397.4
Take a step back in history at the Old Natchez Trace and walk in the footsteps of Native Americans who walked along the Trace 200 years ago. It was their journey that created the valley underneath you!
- Emerald Mound – Natchez, MS
Emerald Mound is one of the largest of its kind in North America, and only a short driving distance from Jackson. The Mound spreads across eight acres and was built between 1250 and 1600. It was then used as a ceremonial center for local populations.
Note: Cell phone service is not always reliable along the Trace. Make sure you pack a first-aid kit and bicycle repair kit just in case. You can usually find bicycle repair shops in the towns neighboring the Parkway.
What’s the Best Season for Biking the Natchez Trace Parkway?
You can bike along the Parkway all year round, but our favorite season for this is fall. There’s nothing like bicycling in perfect weather conditions, surrounded by colorful redbud trees and auburn forests. This gorgeous foliage is a must-see and will blow your mind. Remember to pack a camera to capture the beauty of the rural farms, wooded hills, and rich wildlife.
Well-Deserved Rest Awaits at the Historic Fairview Inn
After such a long and wonderful day riding along the Parkway, it’s time to come home to a relaxing base camp. Fairview Inn is the perfect place to unwind; our bed and breakfast in Jackson offers comfortable accommodations, top-notch dining at 1908 Provisions, a private library lounge, and a game room, and a spa for guests to enjoy. Our Hayloft Suite, for example, is perfect for you and your loved one. Enjoy this private carriage house as you lounge in the spacious sitting area, sip a glass of wine, and sleep like a baby on our plush bed with luxurious linens.