Because from here on out, I get to work on my Bucket List because I've got the Monkey off my back!


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Days 3-6: The Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace (2)

Beginning Mileage: 133,546 miles
Trail miles: 444
YTD Miles: 1141
Major Rivers Crossed: Clinch, Caney Fork, Stoney.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a national park that runs along the ancient Natchez Trail from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. It is about 440+ miles with no stop signs, traffic lights, gas stations, billboards, power lines, or businesses. Just an occasional speed limit sign (50 MPH), picnic or rest area, wooden mile markers, and many historical and sightseeing stops. A smooth 2-lane road through a beautiful, rolling and pristine landscape. A historical trail that was created by migrating bison and other herds of animals. The ‘trace’ of a trail they created over centuries was taken up and used by hunting and trading partners of the Natchez area native-Americans. These Native-Americans were followed by Kentucky and Tennessee trappers and farmers who would float their goods down river to trade in Natchez, Mississippi followed by a long hike back home via the trace to Nashville, Tennessee and points beyond. Later slave traders and armies would march the road.

Tennessee River (1)The Natchez Trace Parkway crossing the Tennessee River.

the Trace (4)Like most of my routes on this 49 State Road Trip I am planning my route along historical and significant routes, such as; the Wilderness Road, Route 66, the Old National Road (US 40), etc.

The Natchez Trace is one of the oldest known road/trails in America and like the Cumberland Gap and Kentucky segment of the Wilderness Road was probably originally established by centuries of bison and other herds finding paths from one part of the country to another creating trails that were further used by Native-Americans for hundreds of years.


One of original bucket list items was to hike or bike the Natchez Trace, with an artificial hip that goal was modified to driving the Trace. It took 4 days, an intentionally casual and insightful drive, to complete.


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