A drive along the Trace

Happy May 1st!

This past Sunday the weather was glorious, so of course a drive was in order. As a good Sunday drive in the South, we ventured along the Natchez Trace. If you’ve never traveled any of the Natchez Trace, it would definitely be worth your time.

Here is what The Scenic Trace has to say about it:

“The Natchez Trace Parkway leads you 444 miles through three states and 10,000 years of North American history. This scenic parkway links Natchez with Nashville and crosses some of the most beautiful terrain in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The parkway has been declared a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road, and has been chosen as one of America’s 10 best biking roads. As the United States expanded westward in the late 1700s and 1800s, growing numbers of travelers tramped the rough trail into a clearly marked path. The “sunken” sections you can walk along today are clear signs of historic use. In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson designated the Trace a national postal road for the delivery of mail between Nashville and Natchez.  

Gen. Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809), and Ulysses S. Grant are among the famous American to have traveled the Natchez Trace.

In the early 1800s through the mid-1820s, “Kaintucks” from the Ohio River Valley floated cash crops, livestock, and other materials down the Mississippi River on wooden flatboats. At Natchez or New Orleans, they sold their goods, sold their boats for lumber, and walked or rode horseback toward home via the Old Trace. As the road was improved, stands (inns) provided lodging, food, and drink to the Trace travelers.

Today, the Trace provides a near-continuous greenway from the southern Appalachian foothills of Tennessee to the bluffs of the lower Mississippi River. Along the way are sites like Emerald Mound, a national historic landmark and one of the largest American Indian mounds in the United Sates; and Mount Locust, one of the only two surviving stands.

The Natchez Trace also crosses four ecosystems and eight major watersheds, and provides habitat for nearly 1,500 species of plants, 33 mammal species, 134 bird species, and 70 species of reptiles and amphibians.”

I hope you enjoy the pictures of the Trace.