Natchez Trace Parkway: The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Natchez Trace Parkway is a very scenic drive through three states in the southeastern United States. It may not hit you at first, but when you drive along the road you'll be traveling down the approximation of a 10,000-year-old pathway steeped in history.

Natchez Trace Parkway

What states does the Natchez Trace go through?

The drive is also known as the Natchez Trace or simply the Trace. This scenic parkway spans through the states of Mississippi (308 miles from the Alabama state line to Natchez), Alabama (33 miles) and Tennessee (101 miles from Nashville to the Alabama state line).

Where does Natchez Trace Parkway begin and end?

This scenic parkway runs from Natchez (in Mississippi) to Nashville (in Tennessee). It’s 715km (444-mile) long running through the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. It loosely follows the original Natchez Trace that connected southern portions of the Mississippi River to salt licks in todays central Tennessee.

Is the Natchez Trace Parkway paved?

This two-lane parkway road is totally paved. The parkway's lanes are narrower than normal roadways and that the road has little to no shoulder for most of the route. It was officially completed in 2005.

Is the Natchez Trace safe?

The route is fairly unique. The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. Commercial traffic and all terrain vehicles are prohibited along the entire route, and the speed limit is 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Obey posted speed limits. Be sure to keep these safety precautions in mind. Always wear your seat belt. The length restriction for RVs is 55 feet, including a tow vehicle, and the height restriction is 14 feet. Dangers from wildlife are minimal and exercising commonsense should prevent any unwanted encounters. There are three species of venomous snake in the area (Southern Copperhead, Western Cottonmouth, and Canebrake Rattlesnake), which, while rarely seen, can be avoided by paying close attention to where hands and feet are placed. Note that all wildlife, including venomous snakes, is protected along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Cell phone coverage can be spotty.

How long does it take to drive the Natchez?

Plan about two days to complete the drive. However, due its beauty, it can take much longer by stopping at all of the pullouts, taking short hikes and exploring nearby communities.

Is Natchez Trace Parkway Scenic?

This recreational road and scenic drive through three states is one of the most scenic drives in the USA. A road trip down the Natchez Trace Parkway can be an awe-inspiring experience. It may not hit you at first, but when you drive along the Parkway, you'd be traveling down the approximation of a 10,000-year-old pathway steeped in history. The route is fairly unique in that a driver can travel the 444-mile length without seeing commercial buildings, traffic lights, or many other signs of the modern world. You can visit the Natchez Trace Parkway any time of the year. However, the best time to take your road trip along the Parkway is in the Spring and Fall when the famous Natchez Pilgrimage Tours take place and when all the famous historic attractions along the Parkway are open to visitors. If you're going on the pilgrimage, you ought to plan ahead and reserve as early as possible.

Is the Natchez Trace Parkway open?

The road is usually open year-round but short term closures are common in winter due to dangerous weather conditions.