Natchez Trace Parkway

Discussion in 'Americas' started by theshnizzle, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

    Mar 24, 2011
    Canada eh?
    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.

  2. wipfel

    wipfel Been here awhile

    Jul 22, 2011
    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.
  3. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Sep 17, 2007
    Okie near Muskogee
    One thing is for sure that a slow speed limit for a couple hundred miles:puke1 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.
  4. Mr. Magoo

    Mr. Magoo n/a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Nice for a while. Pretty. Gets boring. Some cool attractions along the way.
  5. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

    Dec 10, 2007
    Some of the best roads in the east..
    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..
  6. Road Dust

    Road Dust Adventurer

    Dec 20, 2008
    Woodstock, GA
    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.
  7. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Sep 26, 2007
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    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:

  8. montanaman

    montanaman Traveler

    Oct 30, 2003
    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.
  9. Moggs023

    Moggs023 Adventurer

    May 10, 2011
    St Marys, ON
    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 :D
  10. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

    Jan 31, 2008
    Decatur, AL
    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)






  11. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Feb 9, 2008
    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.
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Nov 29, 2007
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I'll add: the Trace is at its best in the spring & fall.
  13. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

    Dec 30, 2009
    Homestead, Florida
    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

    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!!!!!
  14. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

    Sep 1, 2012
    Northern New England, USA
    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.

  15. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

    Jul 2, 2011
    Chicago (sort of)
    It's pretty and relaxing, but not nearly as majestic or grand as the BRP. Exceptionally smooth tarmac though.