The Natchez Trace Parkway is located in Tupelo, Mississippi and is a 444 mile road stretching from the southwestern corner of Mississippi across the state diagonally through the northwest corner of Alabama then into the Tennessee.
The parkway was established in 1938 and follows a historic Indian Trace. The parkway is unfinished in Mississippi at the south end. The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and the President of the United States signed a measure that the parkway be administered by the National Park Service. The parkway works to preserve historical sites such as Emeral Mound which is the second largest ceremonial mound in the US.
The trace tells the story of leaders Meriwether Lewis and Andrew Jackson along with outlaws such as John Murrell and Samuel Mason. The parkway was designated part of the National Scenic Byways Program and in 1995 was named as an All American Road and its beauty, historic and intrinsic qualities were commemorated. The old trace is paralleled by the modern parkway and allows travelers the chance to capture the glimpse of history and enjoy a leisurely drive through a historical landscape.
There are many things to see and do along the pathway such as The Meriwether Lewis National Monument, Mount Locust Stand, Ridgeland Crafts Centre, Tupelo National Battlefields and the Vrices Cross Roads National battlefield Site.
The most popular activities along the parkway are hiking and biking along the trails, camping, horseback riding and fishing. There are programs run by rangers educating visitors on the flora and fauna of the area. Tours of the parkway are family friendly and stop at historical sites along the way.
During the summer the weather highs are usually in the 90's with the overnight lows getting down into the 60's. In the winter the day highs are in the 40's and the nights gets to the low 20's. Camping is available at the parkway in either Rocky Springs which has 22 sites, Jeff Busby with 18 sites and Meriwether Lewis with 32 sites. All sites have a level tent site, tables and grills, restrooms and drinking water are provided but there is no hot water, showers, electrical hook ups, sanitary hookups or dumping sites. There are no fees for camp sites and they cannot be reserved. Maximum stay is 15 days during peak periods. Visitors to the area who do not wish to camp can stay at the nearby RV campground at Barnes Crossing, spend the night at the Sleep Inn or James Inn, Tupelo.
Other activities that visitors can participate in while visiting the parkway include a round of gold at the Natchez Trace Gold club; visit Little Turkey Lake, Borden Lake, and Little Sand Creek