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Natchez Trace Parkway

444 miles. No stop signs. No red lights. No gas. No food.

I am amazed by how LITTLE is known about this National Park. It runs from Nashville to Natchez Mississippi. It began as a Bison and Buffalo migration trail eons ago. Then an Indian trail. Then it was one of Americas first "Wilderness Roads".

I hated getting off for gas and having to re-enter society.

When it dumped me out in Natchez I was ready to turn around and do it again.

Wow. I heard that this was a tourist trap road by a buddy that has ridden all over the lower 48. Continuously going thru a lot of small towns, start/stop traffic. I may have to take another look at this road and skip the Blue Ridge Parkway this fall.

Jena & I traveled the North 1/2 last year in the 4-wheeler. Very nice. Exceptional sidecar road. 50 mph and ongoing slight sweeping curves. Very nice indeed. I'd sure enjoy it on the sidecar.

Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

I've ridden the Trace twice from end to end. I really enjoyed it.

no gas and no food?? okay, let's see...444 miles at 35 or so mpg is more than 12 gallons. 2 1/2 gallon tank on the old Virago. okay; two five gallon cans of gas and some sody warters and sandwitches, can't forget the camera. sounds like a great adventure!

I'll be travelling to Alexandria, LA to pick up Carney's BMW/EML Rig. I might take the "Trace" on the way Home, with a side stop in "Yazoo City Mississippi!" to visit Jerry Clower's Birthplace! 🙂

Maybe I'll run into a sime "kin", or a "Leadbetter" or two! 😮

~ Russell

Rustle - 2/28/2013 3:26 AM
I'll be travelling to Alexandria, LA to pick up Carney's BMW/EML Rig. I might take the "Trace" on the way Home, with a side stop in "Yazoo City Mississippi!" to visit Jerry Clower's Birthplace! 🙂 ....

Great idea Rustle. Looks like you'll be only 75 miles from the South terminus of the Parkway. Good ride to adjust to a new rig.

Hey: Take some pics and notes and submit to Martin for The Sidecarist to tell us about your trip.

Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

I'll pack the camera! Sounds like a "fun project" on the ride!

My wife and I just drove the trace this week from Nashville to Tupelo. We didn't ride because I have the fork apart on the bike plus the weather. This will be great on the bike later in the year. We drove it on a sunday and there was no traffic to speak of. We started about 11:00am and were on the trace till 6pm. We packed a lunch so once we got on the trace we never had to get off. Probably only saw 20 other cars the entire day. Car gets 31MPG, so no problem with fuel. Did try to get a B&B set up for an evening but it consisted of e-mailing them with my info and then waiting for them to e-mail back. If riding the entire length, might need to get rooms set up in advance.
Look up the trace on the net and they will send you a map of the entire length plus a list of possible gas and food stops. The only problem we had with the trace was that there is something to stop and see every few miles.

The wife and I hit the trace two weeks ago, we had rode as far as the tennesse river last summer on the Goldwing, we bought a wing with a friendship III on it and hit it on Saturday morning, made a few of the spots of interest stops, and we were in tupelo miss. around 4:45, there is a visitor center on the trace there at the tupelo exit, closes at 5, we made it just in time to get some info, they had a map of all the gas stations that were a mile or so off the trace, easy off and back on..about a mile off of the trace, there were several hotels and what ever you want to eat, $78 hotel room for Saturday evening without reservations, LaQuinta inn, we had passed a longhorn steak house on the way to the hotel, got checked in and went back for a nice diner. Hotel had a good breakfast, hit the rode back home about 10 am, hit some rain about the tennesse Alabama line, suited up and about 25 miles later drove out of it. We live in Bowling Green Ky, 607 miles round trip, very enjoyable ride, very little traffic, just a nice relaxing ride...

I rode the trace from Natchez a month ago and found it a very enjoyable trip. I had forgotten how nice the roads are in Alabama and Mississippi and the trace has beautiful roads all the way to Nashville. I guess the reason for the bad stretches on the Blue ridge are caused by the amount of ice and snow that they get every winter.

We like to ride the Trace every year, always lots of stuff to see and enjoy the laid back riding.

I rode the Natchez Trace a couple of years ago South to North on my to the national in Arkansas, great road. It is the same as the Blue Ridge Parkway in that it is a park with no stops but there are plenty of towns not too far off of the parkway for fuel for the rig and for you.

Some of ours on the Trace.

Attached files

We took the Trace from end to end last Spring on our cross country trip. I piloted our Bonneville/Cozy rig and my girlfriend a Triumph Thruxton from Nashville to Natchez. I found it to be generally impeccably well groomed for the entire length, and riding any 10 miles of the Trace would leave you thinking it the most amazingly wonderful motorcycle road you've ever been on. After 100 miles or so that awesome feeling faded away and a weird unexplainable monotony began to set in. I think the Trace's consistency is it's downfall. There just isn't enough variation to keep it fun and interesting which is something I never ever expected. If you are a history buff you may find the War of 1812 historical markers along the way fascinating, but as far as America's scenic highways and byways go I think there are more memorable choices. If you just happen to be going in the direction that the Trace goes and want to enjoy the protection of a very safe park road vs the interstates then it remains an excellent option, just a little dull.

There are no towns on the trace, its just like the blue ridge parkway only better roadways.

You do have to be a little more cautious in Mississippi, the cross roads actually come to a stop sign at the Trace but most locals do not stop. They also use the Trace as a shortcut in areas and go well above the posted 45 MPH speed limit.

The Trace is definitely not a tourist trap. You do need to plan your rest and gas stops as you really cannot see any sign of civilization from the road - just trees. There are a lot of historic sites to stop and visit along and just off of the trace. It is best to study up and do some net surfing before you set out.