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Old 01-29-2013, 05:10 AM   #1
theshnizzle OP
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Natchez Trace Parkway

So' thinking of this in some way shape or form. How similar is this to the Blue Ridge? If I ride it,will it kind of rob me of seeing the local culture etc? Like the BRP, as you know,doesn't really give you a sense of the towns that you are passing through.

Its all lovely countryside'of course, but I am looking for small southern town USA experience.I am happy to take any route suggestions,campground info etc.etc.

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:18 AM   #2
wipfel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshnizzle View Post
So' thinking of this in some way shape or form. How similar is this to the Blue Ridge? If I ride it,will it kind of rob me of seeing the local culture etc? Like the BRP, as you know,doesn't really give you a sense of the towns that you are passing through.

Its all lovely countryside'of course, but I am looking for small southern town USA experience.I am happy to take any route suggestions,campground info etc.etc.

Thanks!
Admittedly I've only ridden the northern 40 miles or so of the Trace and a little bit of the southern end of the Blue Ridge, but I would say the Trace is much more boring. Living in Mid-TN, you definitely don't get a feel for the small towns on the Trace.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
Throttlemeister
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One thing is for sure that a slow speed limit for a couple hundred miles Not bad if you are not in a hurry and very scenic and lots of roadside markers of the history of the route which is nice, towns not so much IIRC as it is limited access road like the BRP.

Nice if you haven't seen it and easy enough to get off of to find your culture.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:22 AM   #4
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Nice for a while. Pretty. Gets boring. Some cool attractions along the way.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:31 AM   #5
LadyDraco
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I have done the whole thing... I have an RR in my thread..

THis RR we only rode 50 miles of the Trace..
The Natchez is a lot like the BRP...From what I could tell... But bigger sweepers... I do recommend to check out The LoveLess Cafe..
A lot of Nashville singers have stopped there... Plus a lot of cool art work..

The writing on the pie said: Shaky Puddin Pie...

The Trace and Shiloh


Here is the RR from The Trace ride...

Natchez Trace part 1

Part 2 Windsor Ruins

Part 3 Natchez Trace

We enjoyed it .. And do want to ride it again.. And camp on the way the next time.. With out a huge group..
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
markbvt
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I rode the BRP, the Natchez Trace, and a lot of other roads in 2011. The Trace is similar to the BRP in being a long, essentially uninterrupted road closed to trucks and controlled by the Park Service, but they have very little in common in terms of landscape. The BRP is mostly mountainous and has a lot of twisty parts; the Trace is fairly flat and straight. But that said, it's still a nice ride in its own way.

For pics and more info, see my ride report:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=697639

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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Natchez Trace starts out in the hills in TN and then gets flat as you get into AL. Slow speed, restricted access, nice ride when you have nothing better to do. Lot of interesting history.

BRP is in the mountains with some good views and curves. The two parkways are totally different.

If you want to see local culture, pick any wiggly road that crosses the BRP. You will still have the mountains, views, and curves. Often the road will not be as well maintained but you will pass through a few small towns.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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I did the northern part of the Trace last year on a rented Harley. I thought it was kind of boring. The road is nice and its decent scenery but not much rider involvement. I wanted to see where Merriwether Lewis was buried ( Hoehenwald) and that was cool.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
Moggs023
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I have ridden both the BRP and the Natchez Trail several times. I found the Natchez interesting the first time around but the second (years later) it was boring. The BRP however, I would go again and again
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:21 AM   #10
Yankee Dog
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I have ridden the Trace from end to end. The cool thing about the Trace is the history. Seems like there is a point of interest about every mile or so. The road for the most part is gentle curves with a 50mph speed limit. It is federally patrolled, but from my experience the police presence is not all that heavy. That said I did get pulled over while riding the Ural (so the guy could look at it)











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Old 01-31-2013, 06:59 PM   #11
Sjoerd Bakker
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The Trace can be a very relaxing ride , if you have adjusted your
expectations for a languid tour, not a timed run.Its character
varies with the seasons. If ridden at the speed limit from end to end with only a few
interruptions for scenic stops or short visits to towns just off the
Trace it will actually take no longer than it would to connect the end points using
the regular road system because the scenic parkway has no stop signs and cuts diagonally across the state and all other routes. In a spring ride from Natchez to near
Nashville I saw lots of snowbirds in motorhomes heading north along it
because they could so avoid heavy traffic . In late fall I imagine
they use it similarly in the opposite direction
If you want to see and experience regular Mississippi towns however
the Natchez Trace will disappoint you., better stick to all the other state
and county roads.

Sjoerd Bakker screwed with this post 01-31-2013 at 08:47 PM
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:02 AM   #12
kantuckid
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I'll add: the Trace is at its best in the spring & fall.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #13
FLARider1
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I have done all the BRP and Skyline Drive on the bike and then last summer did the Trace in the truck. I chose the truck instead of the bike based on a lot of reading about the Trace. There seemed to be way to much to do on the Trace and one would be climbing on and off the bike and gearing up and down all the time. We would be two up, so that compounds it even more. After completion I am glad we did the truck. If you want to just ride, the Trace would be fine. If you want to do the highlights of the Trace, then don't do it on a bike. One inmate already said it seems like there is a historic thing every mile, I tend to agree with that. We found a book in Natchez, MS that describes every single stop on the Trace. It gives you like the top 20 things to see. We stuck to the top 20 and it took us two very long days in the cage and we still didn't really spend the time we wanted at some of the stuff. Unlike the BRP that has some rest stops with food, etc.. along the way, you have to exit the Trace for anything like that. Which is fine because we found some really nice Mom and Pol places for lunch!! The views are right there on the road with you, no real vistas like the BRP, so although awesome in its own way, it has no comparison to the BRP. We did NOLA to Natchez to Tupelo the first day, then Tupelo to Nashville the second.

Heres a link to the guidebook we used
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Natchez-...+trace+parkway

Don't get me wrong, the Trace is way cool, loved the history, but to me its not a trip done on the bike to really see what it has to offer. It would however be a great ride to go from Nashville to Natchez with a couple pre-planned historic visits. The Old Country Store Restaurant in Lorman MS is a must for lunch, IMHO!!!!!
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
John Fabian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshnizzle View Post
How similar is this to the Blue Ridge? I am looking for small southern town USA experience.
The Trace is flatter and the small towns are closer. I've ridden the Trace and stopped in many small towns (and Tupelo too) along the way. The small towns are pure "South" unadulterated by tourism. Many are poor, most of the food is fried. The people are all friendly. Chevy pickups out number Ford's 15-1.

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Old 02-15-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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It's pretty and relaxing, but not nearly as majestic or grand as the BRP. Exceptionally smooth tarmac though.
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