The Natchez Trace Parkway Is An Inexpensive Road Trip Destination In Mississippi That’s Affordable
One way to keep a road trip affordable is to stick to nature, and there’s no better way to stick to nature in Mississippi than a road trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
One of the most scenic drives in the eastern United States, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile two-lane road that starts in the middle of Tennessee, cuts through the northwestern corner of Alabama, and descends nearly the full length of Mississippi diagonally to the Mississippi River.
Operated by the National Park Service, the parkway loosely follows and preserves parts of the original Natchez Trace, an ancient forest footpath developed over millennia by native Mississippian cultures, used later on by the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, and further utilized by European explorers and settlers. Remnants of prehistoric, indigenous cultures along the parkway date as far back as 2,000 years. Besides these ancient features, drivers along the parkway will discover trails, camping, and historic towns. Best of all? It’s free to drive the parkway and to use the park’s designated campgrounds (first come, first served!).
Though most of the parkway is in Mississippi, you can continue to the Alabama and Tennessee portions all the way to Nashville to extend your road trip into hillier territory.
You can find out more about the parkway, what to see along the way, and find updated information about road conditions and closures by visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway website. There is also a website for the National Scenic Trail.
Have you traveled along the Natchez Trace Parkway? What are some of your favorite stops? Let us know in the comments.