The Natchez Trace is known as one of the prettiest drives in America, but did you know it’s also one of the loneliest? A couple hundred miles on the same stretch of road, rushing through all sorts of country greenery and forgotten Tennessee pockets, you’re bound to reach for a hand at some point. Let’s explore the Natchez Trace for a moment, and experience the wonder of it all – together.
Natchez Trace Parkway traces (pun intended) a trail created by and for Native Americans from what is now Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi on the Mississippi River.
The Natchez Trace is at the center of a lot of Southern history. In fact, the Trace was the path that Major General Andrew Jackson would use to march southward from Tennessee to defend the city of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
The Natchez Trace has always been known for its seclusion -- in the early 19th century, it was known as the "Devil's Backbone" because of the spooky things that would happen so far from civilization and the all-too-common bands of highwaymen that would rob unsuspecting travelers. There aren't any highwaymen any more, but the remoteness of the highway remains.
Possibly the most iconic spot along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway is the double-arched bridge at milepost 438. The bridge spans a secluded valley about twenty-five miles southwest of Nashville.
There are many sights to see as you drive the Trace. You can visit the Fall Hollow Trail and Waterfall at milepost 391.9, the Meriwether Lewis Monument at milepost 385.9. In fact, this monument is the location of Lewis' death in 1809.
As you drive down the scenic road, be sure to stop at some of the frequent overlooks, trails, and picnic areas to take in the pristine Tennessee countryside. We recommend the Baker Bluff overlook and the short hike to Jackson Falls.
The Trace crosses in to Alabama at milepost 342, a full hundred mile stretch. If you make it that far, you'll realize how far you've come -- it's two and a half hours back up the Trace to Nashville where it starts.