Description - The Natchez Trace Parkway tells the story of people on the move, the story of the age-old need to get from one place to another. It is a story of Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Indians following traditional ways of life, of French and Spanish people venturing into a new world, and of people building a new nation.
At first, the trace was probably a series of hunters' paths that slowly came together to form a trail that led from the Mississippi River over the low hills into the Tennessee Valley. By 1785, Ohio River Valley farmers searching for markets had begun floating their crops and products down the rivers to Natchez or New Orleans. Because they sold their flatboats for lumber, returning home meant either riding or walking. The trail from Natchez offered the most direct route for them to follow.
The parklands along the Trace preserve important examples of our nation's natural and cultural heritage. Since the late 1930's, the National Park Service has been constructing a modern parkway that closely follows the course of the original trace. Today, the parkway gives present-day travelers an unhurried route from Natchez to Nashville. It is a subtle driving experience. Motorists and bicyclists alike enjoy the scenery, from the rock-studded hills of Tennessee, past the cotton fields of Alabama, to the flat and meandering southern extremes shaded by trees and Spanish moss.
- The Natchez Trace Parkway-Tennessee is known for it's Archeology, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.
Recreation - A variety of excellent opportunities are available to the traveler on the Parkway. In addition to scenic views, hiking is available in select areas of the trail, as well as a many other activities that can be discovered by the adventerous traveler.
Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cooling fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant foliage colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall color change.
The Natchez Trace Parkway winds along 445 scenic miles through three states, including Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Directions from : The entire parkway is a two-lane, undivided linear drive between Nashville, TN, on the north and Natchez, MS, on the south. The parkway also crosses the northwest corner of Alabama. The Tennessee portion of the Trace begins just north of Nashville at its junction with Tennessee Route 100. From there, the Trace travels north to the Alabama state line.