Would you like to travel the Natchez Trace on a southern road trip that combines scenery with history on a slow crawl through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. The 444-mile green corridor meanders through forests, farmland and swamps as it follows an ancient path that is now a national park.
With opportunities to hike 28 designated trails, fish in nearby lakes or bike the route, travelers choose from an array of adventures. And, numerous ranger-led programs provide learning experiences for those who want to know more about the area’s history.
You can drive the entire length of the Trace or pick a portion to explore. That’s what Alan and I did. On a spring day trip, we traveled from Mathison to Jackson in Mississippi. White dogwood blossoms peeked through the green tunnel that arched over the roadway as we started our journey. Wildlife sightings along the way included wild turkey and deer.
We stopped at French Camp Historic District to explore an American Revolution era village operated by a Christian community that also sponsors a private school. For lunch, we chose The Council House Cafe where homemade bread made for outstanding sandwiches. If accommodations had been available at French Camp Bed and Breakfast, we would have stayed in the area for a night.
After pausing at the Pearl River overlook to watch fishermen try their luck in the murky water, we exited the Natchez Trace at Jackson to continue the drive to our final destination, Vicksburg, a town that’s filled with Civil War History. Next time, we’ll continue to Natchez to explore more of the deep South or start at the northern end for hiking in Tennessee or Alabama.