2017 ANNUAL MEETING- KOSCISUKO OCTOBER 28, 2017

logo

The 2017 Natchez Trace Parkway Association Annual Meeting will be held in Kosciusko, MS (mile marker 160 on the parkway) on the Public Square at 4:00 p.m. in Barrister Hall.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with a full day of events hosted by the City of Kosciusko Tourism Board to commemorate the State of Mississippi Bicentennial.  Natchez Trace Parkway Association Living History will provide educational events for the day, and we will introduce a new program to mark the Old Natchez Trace.

Event highlights:

9:30 a.m. Grand Parade of Natchez Trace Characters.

                Ceremony to Mark the Old Natchez Trace at Red Bud Springs

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Living History, Period Music, Period Dance, Blacksmith, Period Cooking, Choctaw Dances, Choctaw Fry Bread, Re-creation of Choate’s Stand on the Old Trace.

4:00 p.m.  NTPA Business Meeting

5:00 p.m.  Hospitality and Dinner by the City of Kosciusko at Barrister’s Hall- (Ticketed event)

7:00 p.m.  Lantern Tour of Historic City Cemetery by the Historical Society.

Sunday, October 29

Period Worship Service

Check back for additional details or email us at info@natcheztrace.org

 

2016 ANNUAL MEETING- CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL

Natchez Trace Parkway Association

2016 Annual Meeting

 

CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL

OF  THE

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Florence, Alabama

October 20-22

 

Thursday, October 20

3:00 Check in – Marriott Shoals

5:00 – BBQ buffet dinner:   Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence, AL. (Cost $7 payable on site).

View historic photographic exhibit of our National Parks

7:00:  Celebration of the NPS Centennial with Theodore Roosevelt, a one-man show with James Foote,  who portrays the president at the TR New York Birthplace and  other locations.  Location:  The historic Shoals Theatre, 123 N. Seminary St., Florence, AL,  two blocks from Kennedy-Douglass (no charge, reserved seating for association attendees)

 

Friday, October 21

9:00 – Opening Welcome and Chapter Reports

9:15 – Welcome Center Development and New Projects

9:30 – Pew Charitable Trust

9:50 – Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund Safety Program

10:10 – Living History

10:30 – Outreach

10:45 – Trails, Trail Fit, Trail Volunteer Program

11:00 – Business Meeting: Dick Jordan

Approval of Financial Report

Approval of MINUTES

Elections

11:15 – Chickasaw Inkana Foundation and its new work in the Natchez

Trace Homeland,  Jacob Dawson, Inkana Foundation Development Director

11:45 – BREAK

12:00 – Luncheon:  ($15) Speaker, Natchez Trace Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser.  Purchase tickets at 1-888-356-8687.

1:30 – Free time in afternoon.  Visit the many sites in Florence at your leisure.  A Museum Pass is included in your welcome bag that allows you to visit the Florence Museums complimentary:  Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House, Historic Pope’s Tavern, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, W.C. Handy Home and Museum, the new Florence Indian Mound Museum (not officially open but you are welcome to go climb the mound and visit the inside though the exhibits are not yet completed)

5:00- Social Hour at the Florence Visitors Center

Dinner on your own

Enjoy music at the hotel or visit the annual Renaissance Festival in Florence.

Saturday, October 22                Explore the Park  (Exact Locations Subject to NPS Permit)

Check out of the hotel .

8:00  Cycling Safety and Bike Ride.  Colbert Ferry.

Leave 9:00 from hotel for tour of Tom Hendrix’s Wall – Tom Hendrix

10:30 – Nature Walk at Rock Spring and Birding – Led by Charles Rose

11:30 – Living History at Chief Colbert’s Ferry – Reenactment of Creek Removal Council with the Chickasaws and Choctaw House Dances

12:00 – Boxed Lunch Picnic ($10). Purchase tickets at the Annual Meeting.

 

 

 

NATCHEZ TRACE NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL

 

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail has been designated 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville.  About 70 miles of the NTNST have been completed.  The national scenic trail is not the parkway highway.  It is a separate trail that parallels the parkway.  Portions of the trail are the old Natchez Trace.

Currently, completed sections of NTNST have been given their own designations.  Each has its own unique scenery and physical environment, from the soft soil and Spanish Moss near Natchez to the scenic hillside views in Tennessee.

427 to 407   Highland Rim Section.

The north trailhead is located at Garrison Creek, where the old Natchez Trace military highway dropped from the ridgetop to the valley below.  The first section rises 200 feet to produce one of the most strenuous climbs of the NTNST.  At the top, an overlook gives a view of the valley, where the old Natchez Trace Indian trail led by the late 1700’s fortification that gave Garrison Creek its name. The next 1.5 miles is a well-preserved section of the old Natchez Trace military highway.  The trail leads to the War of 1812 monument, memorializing soldiers who marched and died on the Natchez Trace during the War of 1812.  From there the trail leads to Burns Branch and on to the Tennessee Valley Divide, that once formed the border with the Chickasaw Nation and where President Jefferson’s soldiers camped when building the military highway.  The trail then heads south through the forest, giving the sense of being away from civilization, but in reality, the trail is rarely more than 25 yards from the parkway motor road.  The trail leads to a spectacular overlook at Water Valley and then to the section trail head at Duck River, near the Gordon House.

 

 

Re-enactor’s Schedule and Information- Natchez

               RECEPTION AND BALL

                                         honoring

                           GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON

 

 

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 6:00PM – 9:00PM

 

WHERE: Historic Jefferson College

Washington, Mississippi Territory

 

SPONSORS: The Natchez Trace Parkway Association (NTPA)

Visit Natchez

Historic Jefferson College

 

BACKGROUND:

Following the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815, and upon his return to Nashville, Tennessee, receptions and dances were held for General Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson.   One such gala event was held in Washington, MS, on April 24, 1815.

In commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Natchez Trace Parkway Association (NTPA), www.natcheztrace.org , the nonprofit friends group to the National Parks Service, would like to partner with the City of Natchez, Natchez businesses, Visit Natchez, and Historic Jefferson College to offer a reenactment of this gala event for Natchez citizens.

The event at Historic Jefferson College will be the first of four events along the Natchez Trace Parkway from April – July, 2015, commemorating General Jackson’s triumphant return to Nashville.   The final event will occur at The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, on July 3 & 4, 2015, ending the nationwide Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

The Natchez Trace Parkway Association is proud to bring to conclusion this American Bicentennial Event.   The City of Natchez has already played an important role in the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 through hosting the Natchez Trace Parkway Association’s “RETURN TO NASHVILLE, BECOMING OLD HICKORY” Living History Initiative in April, 2013

 

EVENT SCHEDULE

General Public

 

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

9:00AM – Morning Colors

9:00AM – 12:00Noon – Educational Initiative for schools. Open to the public.

4:00 – 5:00PM – Parade through downtown: King’s Tavern to Bowie’s Tavern.

5:00 – 5:30PM – Address on the bluff to the citizens of Natchez – Gen. Jackson.

5:30 – 7:30PM – Re-enactors have dinner at local restaurants.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

9:00 – Morning Colors

9:00AM – 4:00PM – Encampment open to the public.

Educational Stations, 9:00AM – 2:00PM

10:00 – 10:30AM – “Speech of an Indian” Presentation and book release by Chickasaw Elder, Robert Perry – West Wing Parlour. Book signing follows.

10:45AM – 12:00 noon – Panel discussion. Tony Turnbow, moderator, West Wing The Role of Adams & Jefferson Counties in the creation of a New American Spirit

12:00 – 1:00PM – lunch

1:00 – 3:00PM – Period Dance Lessons – West Wing Dining Hall

2:00 – 5:00PM – free time for re-enactors. Prepare for evening event.

5:30PM – Evening Colors – (Evening participants encouraged to attend)

6:00 – 7:00PM – Reception, heavy hors d’oeuvres

6:30PM – General Jackson, Rachel, & Andrew Jr. arrive by carriage. A brief speech

by General Jackson, followed by the invitation to dance.

7:00 – 9:00PM – Grand Ball

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

8:30 – 9:00AM. Period Worship Service. Open to the public

9:00AM – Retiring of Colors – Event Closes

 

 

THE GRAND BALL

Saturday, April 25, 2015

6:00 – 9:00PM

 

  • Upon arrival, guests will need to walk from the designated parking area to the West Wing. Golf cart transport will be available all evening for those needing assistance.
  • Soldiers will escort & assist guests.
  • Food and beverages will be available in the West Wing Parlour beginning at 6:00PM. Cash bar.
  • The Ball will be held in the West Wing Dining Hall or Refectory. Music will be provided by the Booneslick Strings from St. Charles, Missouri.   The dance will be called by Mr. Martin Aubuchon, of Dance Discovery/St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Andrew Jackson will be portrayed by Grant Hardin of Hampton, TN.
  • Rachel Jackson will be portrayed by mezzo-soprano, Lester Senter Wilson, who will perform for General Jackson during intermission.
  • The dances will be simple so that all guests will feel comfortable to participate.   Mr. Aubuchon and Ms. Jeanne Anderson will assist participants. Dance lessons will be held from 1:00 – 3:00PM on Saturday.
  • Cost – $40.00/person. Purchase tickets by contacting Visit Natchez at     601-446-6345 or 800-647-6724
  • Effort is being made to make this as period correct as possible. Please help in this effort.
  • Period dress is suggested, but not required of the general public.               DO NOT LET THAT KEEP YOU FROM COMING !!!

 

HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS

  • Those wishing to stay in a hotel will be responsible for making their own arrangements
  • HOST HOTEL – Vue Hotel & Restaurant. 130 John R. Junkin Dr.   Block of 20 rooms, discounted to $89.00 + tax/night. Vue is locally owned. Go to vuehotelandrestaurant.com and use Group Code 11116.   Or, call 601-442-9976 or 888-946-4727 and say you are with the event sponsored by the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.

CONTACTS

 

Bryant R. Boswell

Event Coordinator

Immediate Past President, Natchez Trace Parkway Association

601-845-7994 (H) 618-978-7317 (C)

mtcreeklodge@aol.com

 

Mr. Adam Gwin

Local Arrangements

President, South MS Chapter, Natchez Trace Parkway Association

601-807-4088 (C)

adam@gwinfinefurniture.com

“SPEECH OF AN INDIAN”

By

Robert Perry

 

Book Release – 10:00AM, Saturday, April 25, 2015

Historic Jefferson College

Washington, MS

SYNOPSIS FROM THE BACK BOOK COVER:   A storyteller carries a bag of memories and forever seeks new tales. Stories have lives, too. If someone doesn’t share the story, it dies. Unless, like in this case, at least some fragment of the narrative remains. Within these pages you will find the storyteller discovers a published 1824 speech that a 19-year old Chickasaw man gave at Jefferson College (MS) commencement about survival on the wild frontiers of America. The story, long dead, begged for life. Strange that the speaker and storyteller had the same surname and were Chickasaw.

The Chickasaw people were removed from Mississippi in 1837 to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The author from Oklahoma knew about James Perry, who founded Perryville.   Yet to be discovered: Perryville would have been Perry Town except that James Perry knew that town existed near Natchez, MS. His descendants had come from there. Everywhere the author turned, some new exciting bit was added to the chronicle. Engulf yourself now in the pages of the full fascinating narrative that has been skillfully woven together.

Living History Information- Alabama

LIVING HISTORY INFORMATION- TUSCUMBIA, FLORENCE
April 11- THURSDAY EVENTS. Re-enactors camp on the Bluff in Sheffield.

6PM   Claunch Café in Spring Park.  Private meal served to re-enactors and event workers.  Meeting to check final details.

SATURDAY, June 6

  • 10 – 12 AM. Muscle Shoals City Hall, 2010 E. Avalon. War of 1812 Speakers.
  • Robert Perry, Chickasaw Elder with 1812 arrows, Lanny Perry on 1812 ancestors, Keith Willingham on firing 1812 rifle.

FRIDAY, June 12

  • 9-5 PM: Sheffield Encampment of Soldiers, Civilians and Indians. Welcome by Mayor Ian Sanford. Alabama Forestry Service will dedicate a sign on the historic site. Richard Sheridan tells the rich history of the area. Educational events to follow. Period Crafters on site. Concessions offered by Sheffield Parks & Recreation.
  • 2PM: Memorial honoring the War of 1812 Veterans on the front lawn of Colbert County Court House, Tuscumbia with the American Legion, re-enactor soldiers, Uriah Blue’s Indians and Freemen of Color. Recognize Student Essay Contest Winners.
  • 5PM: Texas Christian Univ. Professor Gene Smith will speak on the Freemen of Color Soldiers in the War of 1812.

SATURDAY, June 13 (Locust Hill available 9AM to 12 PM)

  • 10:00AM: Florence-Lauderdale Tourism and Visitor Center. Welcome by Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock and NTPA President Dick Jordan.
  • 10:30 – 12:00AM. General John Coffee speech. Native American Circle. Speakers: NTPA Bryant Boswell and Tony Turnbow.
  • 5:00 PM. Andrew Jackson arrives Locust by horse-drawn carriage.
  • 5:30-6 PM at Locust Hill. Welcome comments by Tuscumbia Mayor Pro-temp Mitchell. General Jackson speaks and dismisses troops.
  • 6PM: Doors open. Appetizers served. Music by Sinclair Strings.
  • 7-11PM: Dances begin called by Marty Aubuchon with music by the Booneslick Strings.

SUNDAY, 9AM June 14, Historic St. Johns Church, 300 N. Dixon St., Tuscumbia. Period 1812 church service by preacher Jeff Sinclair, music by Sinclair quartet Public invited.

FOR UPDATES, SEE FACEBOOK: Triumphant Return Celebrating a New American Spirit. www.NatchezTrace.org.

EVENT CONTACT LIST

  • Local Arrangements and Chairman, Alabama Chapter NTPA:   Annie Perry, 256-415-0700; annrunningwater@comcast.net
  • NTPA, AL History Committee: Angela Broyles, Lee Freeman. Contact: Angela Broyles, 256-762-7153, Broyles@gmail.com
  • NTPA, AL Education Committee: Dr. Gayle Satchel, Jennifer Berry, Bob Perry. Contact: Bob Perry, 918-500-3467, rperr1603@comcast.net
  • NTPA, Living History: Bryant Boswell, Tony Turnbow. For Soldiers, contact Bryant Boswell, 618-978-7317 and home: 601-845-7994, mtcreeklodge@aol.com. For Indians, contact either Annie or Bob Perry (see above).
  • Sheffield Encampment: Keith Willingham, 256-394-2807, UncleKeith@aol.com, Bryant Boswell, 618-978-7317.
  • Finances: Bob Perry, Angela Broyles, Bud Pride. Contact: Bob Perry: 918-500-3467.
  • Marketing: Susann Hamlin, ColbertTourism@comcast.net, 800-244-0783, 256-383-0783.

 

  • Sponsors:
  • Florence Lauderdale Tourism
  • Colbert County Tourism
  • Helen Keller Foundation
  • City of Tuscumbia
  • City of Sheffield—Encampment site
  • Sheffield Parks & Rec.—concessions, cleanup
  • Poarch Creek Band of Indians
  • Magnum Systems
  • Allen Heat & AC
  • Vulcan Materials
  • Valley Credit Union
  • Muscle Shoals National Heritage Assoc.
  • Bluewater Publications
  • City of Sheffield
  • City of Muscle Shoals
  • City of Florence
  • Chickasaw Foundation
  • Tuscumbia Utilities
  • Sheffield Utilities
  • O’Bryans Restaurant
  • of No. Alabama Film Studies

 

 

 

Living History Information- Natchez

RECEPTION AND BALL

honoring

GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON

 

 

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 6:00PM – 9:00PM

 

WHERE: Historic Jefferson College

Washington, Mississippi Territory

 

SPONSORS: The Natchez Trace Parkway Association (NTPA)

Visit Natchez

Historic Jefferson College

 

BACKGROUND:

Following the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815, and upon his return to Nashville, Tennessee, receptions and dances were held for General Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson.   One such gala event was held in Washington, MS, on April 24, 1815.

In commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Natchez Trace Parkway Association (NTPA), www.natcheztrace.org , the nonprofit friends group to the National Parks Service, would like to partner with the City of Natchez, Natchez businesses, Visit Natchez, and Historic Jefferson College to offer a reenactment of this gala event for Natchez citizens.

The event at Historic Jefferson College will be the first of four events along the Natchez Trace Parkway from April – July, 2015, commemorating General Jackson’s triumphant return to Nashville.   The final event will occur at The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, on July 3 & 4, 2015, ending the nationwide Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

The Natchez Trace Parkway Association is proud to bring to conclusion this American Bicentennial Event.   The City of Natchez has already played an important role in the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 through hosting the Natchez Trace Parkway Association’s “RETURN TO NASHVILLE, BECOMING OLD HICKORY” Living History Initiative in April, 2013

 

EVENT SCHEDULE

General Public

 

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

9:00AM – Morning Colors

9:00AM – 12:00Noon – Educational Initiative for schools. Open to the public.

4:00 – 5:00PM – Parade through downtown: King’s Tavern to Bowie’s Tavern.

5:00 – 5:30PM – Address on the bluff to the citizens of Natchez – Gen. Jackson.

5:30 – 7:30PM – Re-enactors have dinner at local restaurants.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

9:00 – Morning Colors

9:00AM – 4:00PM – Encampment open to the public.

Educational Stations, 9:00AM – 2:00PM

10:00 – 10:30AM – Speech of an Indian,  Presentation and book release by Chickasaw Elder, Robert Perry – West Wing Parlour. Book signing follows.

10:45AM – 12:00 noon – Panel discussion. Tony Turnbow, moderator, West Wing The Role of Adams & Jefferson Counties in the  War of 1812 and the Creation of a New American Spirit

–  Mimi Miller, Natchez Historic Foundation

-Lance Harris, Natchez Grand Village

-Jessica Crawford, Southeast Archaeological Association

– Lou Ritten, Author, Fort Adams

12:00 – 1:00PM – lunch

1:00 – 3:00PM – Period Dance Lessons – West Wing Dining Hall

2:00 – 5:00PM – free time for re-enactors. Prepare for evening event.

5:30PM – Evening Colors – (Evening participants encouraged to attend)

Bicentennial Re-creation of 1815 Natchez and Washington Victory Balls for General Jackson and the Soldiers

6:00 – 7:00PM – Reception, heavy hors d’oeuvres

6:30PM – General Jackson, Rachel, & Andrew Jr. arrive by carriage. A brief speech

by General Jackson, followed by the invitation to dance.

7:00 – 9:00PM – Grand Ball

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

7:00AM – Reveille

8:30 – 9:00AM. Period Worship Service. Open to the public

9:00AM – Retiring of Colors – Event Closes

 

 

THE GRAND BALL

Saturday, April 25, 2015

6:00 – 9:00PM

 

  • Upon arrival, guests will need to walk from the designated parking area to the West Wing. Golf cart transport will be available all evening for those needing assistance.
  • Soldiers will escort & assist guests.
  • Food and beverages will be available in the West Wing Parlour beginning at 6:00PM. Cash bar.
  • The Ball will be held in the West Wing Dining Hall or Refectory. Music will be provided by the Booneslick Strings from St. Charles, Missouri.   The dance will be called by Mr. Martin Aubuchon, of Dance Discovery/St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Andrew Jackson will be portrayed by Grant Hardin of Hampton, TN.
  • Rachel Jackson will be portrayed by mezzo-soprano, Lester Senter Wilson, who will perform for General Jackson during intermission.
  • The dances will be simple so that all guests will feel comfortable to participate.   Mr. Aubuchon and Ms. Jeanne Anderson will assist participants. Dance lessons will be held from 1:00 – 3:00PM on Saturday.
  • Cost – $40.00/person. Purchase tickets by contacting Visit Natchez at     601-446-6345 or 800-647-6724
  • Effort is being made to make this as period correct as possible. Please help in this effort.
  • Period dress is suggested, but not required of the general public.               DO NOT LET THAT KEEP YOU FROM COMING !!!

 

HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS

  • Those wishing to stay in a hotel will be responsible for making their own arrangements
  • HOST HOTEL – Vue Hotel & Restaurant. 130 John R. Junkin Dr.   Block of 20 rooms, discounted to $89.00 + tax/night. Vue is locally owned. Go to vuehotelandrestaurant.com and use Group Code 11116.   Or, call 601-442-9976 or 888-946-4727 and say you are with the event sponsored by the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.

CONTACTS

 

Bryant R. Boswell

Event Coordinator

Immediate Past President, Natchez Trace Parkway Association

601-845-7994 (H) 618-978-7317 (C)

mtcreeklodge@aol.com

 

Mr. Adam Gwin

Local Arrangements

President, South MS Chapter, Natchez Trace Parkway Association

601-807-4088 (C)

adam@gwinfinefurniture.com

“SPEECH OF AN INDIAN”

By

Robert Perry

 

Book Release – 10:00AM, Saturday, April 25, 2015

Historic Jefferson College

Washington, MS

SYNOPSIS FROM THE BACK BOOK COVER:   A storyteller carries a bag of memories and forever seeks new tales. Stories have lives, too. If someone doesn’t share the story, it dies. Unless, like in this case, at least some fragment of the narrative remains. Within these pages you will find the storyteller discovers a published 1824 speech that a 19-year old Chickasaw man gave at Jefferson College (MS) commencement about survival on the wild frontiers of America. The story, long dead, begged for life. Strange that the speaker and storyteller had the same surname and were Chickasaw.

The Chickasaw people were removed from Mississippi in 1837 to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The author from Oklahoma knew about James Perry, who founded Perryville.   Yet to be discovered: Perryville would have been Perry Town except that James Perry knew that town existed near Natchez, MS. His descendants had come from there. Everywhere the author turned, some new exciting bit was added to the chronicle. Engulf yourself now in the pages of the full fascinating narrative that has been skillfully woven together.

TRIUMPHANT RETURN- CELEBRATING A NEW AMERICAN SPIRIT- TUSCUMBIA

 

TRIUMPHANT RETURN- CELEBRATING A NEW AMERICAN SPIRIT

TUSCUMBIA, ALABAMA

JUNE 13, 2015

WAR OF 1812 BICENTENNIAL

Soldiers ReturnCommemoration and Reenactment of the Return of United States Soldiers on the Natchez Trace Following the Victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

As General Andrew Jackson returned on the Natchez Trace to his home the Hermitage in Tennessee, citizens from Natchez to Nashville held victory balls for the general and his troops.   General Jackson told his soldiers that they had “conquered the conquerors of Europe” by defeating the British to confirm their independence.  Though soldiers who marched to war at New Orleans identified themselves by their states or ancestry, they returned unified as one American people.  The victory led to a new identity as one nation and to a new American spirit.

A number of early Alabama leaders developed leadership and political skills while serving under General  Andrew Jackson and General John Coffee.  Several of the soldiers who fought at New Orleans soon bought land in what became the State of Alabama and became some of the state’s earliest citizens.    Jackson and Coffee are said to have decided to develop the town “York’s Bluff” during a return march.  The development became the town of Sheffield, Alabama, just north of Tuscumbia.

80th Anniv

SCHEDULE

Pre-Events.

SATURDAY, April 18, 12:30 -2:30PM. Helen Keller Library, Tuscumbia. Lisa Pace teaches workshop to make period women’s dance dress.

SATURDAY, MAY 9, 10-2PM, City of Tuscumbia Multi-Purpose Center, 601 E.N.Commons. Marty Aubuchon, caller from St. Louis, to teach period dances.

SATURDAY, June 6

  • 10 – 12 AM. Muscle Shoals City Hall, 2010 E. Avalon. War of 1812 Speakers.
  • Robert Perry, Chickasaw Elder, Mark Hubbs, Lanny Perry.

FRIDAY, June 12

  • 9-12 AM: Sheffield Encampment. Welcome by Mayor Ian Sanford. Alabama Forestry Service will dedicate a sign on the historic site and Richard Sheridan tells the rich history of the area. Educational events to follow. Concessions offered by Sheffield Parks & Recreation.
  • 2PM: The re-enactor soldiers and the Tuscumbia American Legion honor War of 1812 Veterans on front lawn of Colbert County Court House, Tuscumbia. Recognize Essay Contest Winner.
  • 5PM: Hiking and Cycling events sponsored by NTPA will end at the Encampment. Professor Gene Smith will speak on   Freemen of Color Soldiers in the War of 1812.

SATURDAY, June 13 (Locust Hill available 9AM to 12 PM)

  • 9AM: Coffee Cemetery, Florence. Private ceremony to lay a wreath at John Coffee’s grave.
  • 10:30AM: McFarland Park, Florence. Welcome by Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock. Speech by General John Coffee.
  • 10:30 – 12:00AM. Florence Tourism Conference Room, McFarland Park. Speakers: NTPA Bryant Boswell, NTPA Tony Turnbow.
  •  5:00 PM Parade east on 2nd Street to Locust Hill. General Andrew Jackson, wife Rachel and Andrew, Jr. ride in horse-drawn carriage in parade with Tennessee Volunteers.
  • 5:00-5:45 PM at Locust Hill. Welcome comments by Gov. Robert Bentley (invited, unconfirmed). General Jackson speaks and dismisses (musters out) troops by name.
  • VICTORY CELEBRATION AND  PERIOD BALL
  • 6PM: Doors open. Appetizers served.  Music by Sinclair Quartet.
  • 7-11PM: Dancing begins called out by Marty Aubuchon with music by the Booneslick Boys.
  • Hourly breaks for the musicians, Ubadu African Dancers on the lawn. Join in.

SUNDAY, 9AM June 14, . Period 1812 church service by preacher Jeff Sinclair, music by Sinclair quartet Public invited.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT COLBERT COUNTY CVB..

REENACTORS INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING, CONTACT DR. BRYANT BOSWELL AT mtcreeklodge@aol.com AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.

PHOTOS FROM PAST NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION LIVING HISTORY EVENTS AND PARTICIPATION IN  WAR OF 1812 BICENTENNIAL EVENTS:

Click on a link below:

BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS

DEFENDING THE NATCHEZ TRACE: SOUTHEAST AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE WAR OF 1812

CAMP BLOUNT

FORT MIMS

EXPEDITION NATCHEZ 1813:  BECOMING OLD HICKORY

MUSTER ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE

NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION LIVING HISTORY AND EDUCATION INITIATIVES ARE FUNDED THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MARTY OWENS LIVING HISTORY FUND.  TO DONATE, CLICK ON THE “DONATE” TAB BELOW, OR CONTACT US AT info@natcheztrace.org

Link

TRIUMPHANT RETURN- CELEBRATING A NEW AMERICAN SPIRIT- NATCHEZ

TRIUMPHANT RETURN- CELEBRATING A NEW AMERICAN SPIRIT

NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI

APRIL 24-25, 2015

WAR OF 1812 BICENTENNIAL

Soldiers ReturnCommemoration and Reenactment of the Return of United States Soldiers on the Natchez Trace Following the Victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Just prior to General Andrew Jackson’s return on the Natchez Trace to his home the Hermitage in Tennessee, citizens of Natchez and nearby Washington, Mississippi Territory held victory balls for the general and his troops.   General Jackson told his soldiers that they had “conquered the conquerors of Europe” by defeating the British to confirm their independence.  Some British prisoners of war  from the Battle of New Orleans were sent to Washington, Mississippi Territory to be held until exchanged. Though soldiers who marched to war at New Orleans identified themselves by their states or ancestry, they returned unified as one American people.  The victory led to a new identity as one nation and to a new American spirit.

80th Anniv

SCHEDULE

Friday, April 24, 2015

9 a.m.- Noon.  ENCAMPMENT AND EDUCATION INITIATIVE.  Historic Jefferson College, Washington, MS.  Reenactors portray Jackson’s  victorious troops in period camps.  School groups and general public.

4:00 p.m.  PARADE.  Natchez, MS.  Parade of soldiers through the historic town.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

9 a.m.- 2 p.m.  ENCAMPMENT AND EDUCATION INITIATIVE.  Historic Jefferson College, Washington, MS.  Reenactors portray Jackson’s victorius troops in period camps.  General public.

9:00AM – 4:00PM – Encampment open to the public.

10:00 – 10:30AM – Speech of an Indian,  Presentation and book release by Chickasaw Elder, Robert Perry – West Wing Parlour. Book signing follows.

10:45AM – 12:00 noon – Panel discussion. Tony Turnbow, moderator, West Wing The Role of Adams & Jefferson Counties in the War of 1812 and the  Creation of a New American Spirit

–  Mimi Miller, Natchez Historic Foundation

-Lance Harris- Director, Natchez Grand Village

Smoyke Joe Frank- Local Historian

-Jessica Crawford- Southeast Regional Director,  The Archaeological Conservancy

– Lou Ritten- Author, Fort Adams

12:00 – 1:00PM – lunch

1:00 – 3:00PM – Period Dance Lessons – West Wing Dining Hall.

5:30PM – Evening Colors

6 p.m. – 9 p.m.  VICTORY BALL.  West Hall,  Historic Jefferson College, Washington, MS.

      – Reception and heavy hors d’oeuvres in West Parlour.

      – Arrival of General Jackson, Rachel Jackson, and Andrew Jackson, Jr.  by carriage.  General Jackson delivers a brief victory address.

      – Period dance in the refectory.  Music by the Booneslick Strings, of St. Charles, Missouri.  Called by Martin Aubuchon of Dance Discovery of St. Louis, Missouri. (Period dress is suggested but not required).

VICTORY BALL tickets are  $40 each.  To purchase tickets, call VISIT NATCHEZ at  601-446-6345 or 800-647-6724.

SUNDAY, April 26, 2014.

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.  PERIOD WORSHIP SERVICE.  Historic Jefferson College.  Jeff Sinclair portrays Andrew Jackson’s chaplain Rev. Learner Blackman.  Open to the public.

REENACTORS WHO WISH TO PARTICIPATE, CONTACT DR. BRYANT BOSWELL AT mtcreeklodge@aol.com AND CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Historic Jefferson College is located on the old Natchez Trace between the historic sites of Fort Dearborn and Washington Tavern where the 1815 victory ball was held.  Neither site is open to the public; however, the buildings at Historic Jefferson College date from c. 1820.

PHOTOS FROM PAST NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION LIVING HISTORY EVENTS AND PARTICIPATION IN  WAR OF 1812 BICENTENNIAL EVENTS:

Click on a link below:

BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS

DEFENDING THE NATCHEZ TRACE: SOUTHEAST AMERICAN INDIANS IN THE WAR OF 1812

CAMP BLOUNT

FORT MIMS

EXPEDITION NATCHEZ 1813:  BECOMING OLD HICKORY

MUSTER ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE

NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION LIVING HISTORY AND EDUCATION INITIATIVES ARE FUNDED THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MARTY OWENS LIVING HISTORY FUND.  TO DONATE, CLICK ON THE “DONATE” TAB BELOW, OR CONTACT US AT info@natcheztrace.org.

More than 16,000 Trees Planted Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

More than 16,000 Trees Planted Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway is home to more than 16,000 brand new tree seedlings, planted near the new intersection of Highway 6 and Parkway milepost 257.  “When the new roadway came through, some forest was removed,” said Dr. Lisa McInnis, Chief of Resource Management.  “This project will restore some of that forested habitat, and provide for scenic protection going into the future.”

A mixture of many hardwood tree species and a few shortleaf pines were planted, totaling 23 acres. Plantings were done in accordance to a re-vegetation plan conceived by the Parkway Ecologist, Jesse Burton.  “Care was taken to select species that are appropriate for the area and the soil type,” said Burton.

This project is part of the Parkway’s preparation for the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary in 2016.

www.nps.gov

It’s a New Year on the Natchez Trace

winter

It’s 2015 on the Natchez Trace! America’s most beautiful and historic scenic byway has added another year to its belt. That makes the Trace, let’s say 2,000 years old this January? But why should a person visit the Natchez Trace Parkway in 2015? There are plenty of reasons. Have a New Years resolution? Is it to get in better shape? Spend more time with family? Start a new hobby? In 2015, the Natchez Trace is where its at.

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

If you’re looking to get in shape, the Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level. Whether hiking, biking, walking, jogging, or even paddling your kayak, there are countless opportunities to get out and get healthy on the trace. The Trace is a cyclist-friendly route, where commercial traffic is forbidden and on/off ramps mean there is no cross traffic to worry about. If you’d like to work out your arms, try paddling around the Ross Barnett Reservoir and catching a fish or two.

Ross Barnett Reservoir and the Natchez Trace Parkway

Ross Barnett Reservoir in Ridgeland, MS

Want to spend more time with family? The Natchez Trace Parkway offers excellent opportunities for horseback riding, camping, and having a tasty bite to eat. Southern food, BBQ, seafood…. you name it, you can find it in one of the beautiful Trace communities.

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tennessee is one of the four Parkway trails available for horseback riding. Photo courtesy: NPS

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tennessee is one of the four Parkway trails available for horseback riding. Photo courtesy: NPS

Even as you’re traveling to and from your new year’s activities, the Parkway offers beautiful views along the length of the drive. Sure winter time isn’t known for leaves and flowers, but the lack of those will help you peer into your surroundings, spotting the old farmhouses, tractors, and furry inhabitants that usually hide from view in warmer months.

Deer

Wildlife along the Parkway

Pick up a new hobby like getting more exercise and enlightenment by exploring history along the Trace. Originally a series of trails that stretched 500 miles through the Chickasaw and Choctaw lands from Mississippi to Tennessee, throughout the years it has accumulated rich layers of history that continue to fascinate visitors who travel in the footsteps of all those who’ve trekked before.

Near Tupelo, Mississippi, you’ll find the Pharr Mounds, large hills built by Native Americans who lived in the area over 2,000 years ago. Evidence of these original inhabitants and hundreds of years of new travelers is still abundant along the 444-mile scenic trail.

Or visit Windsor Ruins in Port Gibson, one of the most photographed site in Mississippi. In 1890 the main structure was destroyed by fire, leaving only stately columns as mute evidence of a glorious, historic past.

Windsor Ruins Near Port Gibson, MS

Windsor Ruins – Port Gibson, MS

So there you have it – all the excuses you need to make the Natchez Trace Parkway a part of your 2015 trip plans!

To learn more about the Natchez Trace Parkway and plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. You should also check out helpful information about the Natchez Trace Parkway on National Park Service website here.

Get social and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

National Park Service Celebrates Centennial Along the Trace

Credit: NPS

Credit: NPS

The National Park Service is gearing up to celebrate 100 hundred years of service in preserving America’s natural and historical treasures. While the official Centennial date–August 25, 2016–is pretty far off, the celebration is already starting on the Natchez Trace Parkway!

The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that was founded in 1916. NPS manages all of our national parks, many national monuments, and promotes historical preservation and conservation efforts at sites across the country. The agency was created by the National Park Service Organic Act which was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

The Natchez Trace in Fall

The Natchez Trace Parkway in fall

As the National Park Service reflects on its work over the last 100 hundred years, one of its projects, your Natchez Trace Parkway, is celebrating its own storied history. Way before the National Park Service began administering the Natchez Trace, history was in the making along the 444-mile trail from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.

Let’s take a look at some of the historical highlights from the yesteryear on the America’s most beautiful scenic byway…

Credit: Wiki Commons

Pharr Mounds at milepost 286.7

Way before European settlers found their way to the Trace, Native Americans used the Natchez Trace as a well-trod trading route and set up numerous large settlements along the path. Evidence of these original inhabitants is abundant along the Trace. One of the most impressive is the Pharr Mounds, large hills built by Native Americans who lived near Tupelo, Mississippi nearly 2,000 years ago. The National Park Service excavated these mounds in 1966. Archeologists found fire pits and ceremonial materials from as far away as the Great Lakes. The first Natchez Trace travelers really got around!

Many years later Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto traveled through the area in 1541, while first-known European to trek the entire Natchez Trace was a Frenchman who ambled through it in 1742. Thanks to the preservation efforts of the NPS, you can walk, bike, or drive this same path nearly 300 years later!

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

During the 1800s, action along the Natchez Trace really heated up. Shortly after the Revolutionary War, a new nation sought to expand connections with what was then called the Southwest – the Natchez Trace area. President Thomas Jefferson ordered the Trace to be expanded in 1803, and the trail was expanded sufficiently to handle horse-drawn wagons by the time the War of 1812 broke out. During both the War of 1812 and the Creek War, President-to-be Andrew Jackson commanded troops as they traveled the road to battle the British and Red Stick Creek Indians, respectively.

The Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin Reenactment

During the Civil War, both sides used the Natchez Trace to ferry troops and materiel between points of conflict. Along the Trace you can still find Port Gibson, Mississippi, a town General Grant dubbed, “too beautiful to burn.” You’ll also find the grounds of the epic Battle of Franklin.

More recently, numerous musical artists including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton have recorded hits in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. You just can’t drive a mile down the Natchez Trace without running into history!

The Swampers of Muscle Shoals, Alabama

The Swampers of Muscle Shoals, AL

So as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its Centennial next year, keep in mind the thousands of years of history that is at your fingertips along the Natchez Trace Parkway. We are lucky and appreciative of the great work the National Park Service has done along the Trace and around the country, and we hope you’ll celebrate the Centennial with all of us on the Natchez Trace Parkway!

Find us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace to see beautiful photos of the Trace. Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE.

Nature on the Natchez Trace

For a true picture of the great outdoors on the Natchez Trace, you might paint by numbers like these:

hummingbird

  • 136 types of birds (and still counting), from jewel-toned hummingbirds to lumbering flocks of wild turkey to graceful, long-limbed blue heron. The Parkway is a birder’s delight.
  • 2202 types of plant species, including hardwoods, conifers, old growth and new, from lacy spring dogwood blooms to knobby cypress needs breaking black swamp water to the blaze of fall colors on towering maples and oaks.
  • 205 mammals, herptiles, and fish species, including deer, fox, armadillo and coyote, and eight species federally listed as threatened or endangered. Altogether, a thriving ecosystem protected from commercial encroachment.
  • 15 nature trails for your enjoyment
  • 64 miles of national scenic trails; 28 different hiking and self-guided trails for a total of 100 miles of hiking heaven.

If you wanted to paint a picture of the Parkway outdoors, you might also use a magic-like the disappearing act of the “Sunken Trace,” a portion of the Old Trace pounded so deep by eons of human and animal traffic that riders on horseback could (and did) disappear from view.

Cypress Swamp

Cypress Swamp

Or you might choose mystery-like the curious enchantment of Cypress Swamp, where those knobby cypress knees share dark waters with reclusive alligators, which may be spied upon by diligent detectives from the elevated boardwalk above.

Or maybe you prefer the majesty of endless acres of brilliant blue, from Ross Barnett Reservoir to Colbert’s Ferry to Pickwick Lake, where blue herons skim the surface and bald eagles sail the deep blue canopy overhead.

Magical, mysterious, majestic–however you picture the outdoor beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway, be sure you picture a spectacular view around every bend, and a place so unspoiled you can easily feel the centuries slip away, not to mention everyday cares and troubles. The natural world of the Natchez Trace is truly picture perfect.

To get the most out of your Parkway explorations, we suggest you bring binoculars and hiking boots. And yes, you’ll want to have a camera to capture all that perfection, and for souvenirs to go with great memories!

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace

Winding 444 miles through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, there are so many places to experience the wonderful nature on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace to see beautiful photos of the Trace.

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE. Visit the National Park Service website to learn more about visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway

ELEVEN EMPLOYEES WITH MORE THAN 300 YEARS OF COMBINED SERVICE RETIRE FROM NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: By the end of the year, Natchez Trace Parkway will say “Happy Trails” to 11 employees who have decided to exchange the day-to-day grind for a life of leisure.

“These employees have contributed more than 300 years of combined service to the Parkway, stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “They take with them an incredible amount of institutional knowledge and experience. We will miss them but wish them well.”

Following is a list of our colleagues who are moving on to their next adventures: District Rangers Kim Korthius (29 years) and Patrick Shell (30 years); Rangers Andy Atkins (28 years) and Dave Henry (32 years); District Foremen Terry Stanley (31 years) and Terry Hale (26 years); Maintenance Mechanics Mike Frazier (30 years) and Paul Brown (29 years); Tractor Operators Claude Taylor (19 years) and Mancil Deason (29 years); and Interpreter Mike Hazlip (23 years).

The retirements from the maintenance division have the potential to impact the visitor experience significantly.  The men from this division are who make the parkway a pleasant place for visitors to come.  They are the ones who make the Parkway neat and clean; they know how to do the best job in the least amount of time; they are dedicated to make this park the best it can be.

Chief of Maintenance Barry Boyd added, “For me, this is also quite a blow.  I will miss these men because of how much I have come to appreciate each one of them.  I will miss their loyalty, their character, their honesty, and their leadership; but most of all their friendship.”

Chief Ranger Sarah Davis offered, “These employees have left an indelible mark on the National Park Service and the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Parkway will miss their professional expertise, which includes over 120 years of experience from the four rangers.  I thank each of them for their service and dedication to the Ranger Profession and for their protection of our National Parks and the people who visit them.“

“Mike has been a critical part of the Mount Locust operation since 1991. He has personally guided thousands of park visitors through the historic site and enjoyed sharing his love of the site and its history with area schoolchildren and the traveling public,” stated Chief of Interpretation Terry Wildy. “Mike enjoyed taking on the persona of “Mike Fink” the boatman and telling the story of the heyday of the old trace when thousands of boatman would return home using the Natchez Trace. His expertise will be missed.”

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr.

About the National Park Service.  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 3, 2015, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn of its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

 

www.nps.gov/natr

 

NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY PREPARES FOR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S SECOND CENTURY

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “The National Park Service will celebrate the beginning of its second century on August 28, 2016,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “To prepare for the celebration, staff members spent a week landscaping around the visitor center and headquarters building near Tupelo.”

The Tupelo Visitor Center and Headquarters were part of a program titled “Mission 66,” which was a 10-year, billion dollar initiative timed to be completed in 1966 – the 50th anniversary of the National Park Service. The program built numerous visitor centers, expanded campgrounds, widened roads, constructed comfort stations, and hundreds of other facilities in national parks. Over the years, many of the landscaping plants around the Natchez Trace Parkway visitor center died and were not replaced. The result was a relatively barren landscape. “This project reinvigorated the original design intent of the landscape,” stated Landscape Architect Greg Smith.  Use of a diverse group of native herbaceous and woody plants in the landscape not only looks attractive but benefits local wildlife.

“This week’s work was truly an inter-divisional effort to complete this project,” continued Risser. “The maintenance and fire management crews were instrumental in prepping the area for the planting. They also planted many of the larger trees throughout the week. On Friday, many of the employees took a break from working on computers and went outside to help with the planting.”

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit www.nps.gov/natr

visitorcenter

Natchez Trace Parkway – FY2015 Prescribed Fire Schedule

TN, AL, and MS: The Natchez Trace Parkway released its prescribed fire (controlled burning) schedule for 2014-2015. From December 2014 through September 2015, prescribed fire operations will be conducted at various locations along the Parkway (see table below).

Prescribed Fire Name Milepost   Prescribed Fire Name Milepost
MP 404 Burn Pile 404.4 Arlington WUI 260.9 – 261.1
Tobacco Farm 401.7 – 403.1 Lakeside WUI 259.9 – 260.8
MP 401 Barrens 400.9 – 401.6 Hernando de Soto 243.2 – 245.9 W
ML Hiking Trails 385.7 Monroe Mission 243.2 – 245.9 E
MP 386 Burn Pile 385.6 Chickasaw Agency 241.0 – 241.6
Old Trace Drive 375.3 – 377.5 MP 231 Burn Pile 231.2
MP 334 Burn Pile 334.0 MP 219 Burn Pile 219.1
MP 309 Burn Pile 309.5 Little Mountain 192.9 – 193.3
Tishomingo State Park 304.0 – 304.9 MP 148 Burn Pile 148.4
Twentymile Overlook 278.3 – 278.6 MP 120 Burn Pile 119.5
Need Center 265.2 – 266.5 West Florida Boundary 107.9 – 108.2
Lakeshire Woodlands 262.4 – 263.8 Boyd Site 106.7 – 107.3
Chickasaw Village 261.4 – 262.0 Rocky Springs 54.1 – 55.8

Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway.  Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.

During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution.  Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible.  Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line.  If visibility falls below 500 feet, the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared.  Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit http://www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

Natchez Trace Parkway – Controlled Burn Madison County, MS

TUPELO, MS: Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway plans to conduct two prescribed fires (controlled burns) in Madison County, MS on December 10 and 11, 2014. The prescribed fires are located at:

Prescribed Fire Name

Milepost

Boyd Site

107

West Florida Boundary

108

The parking areas at both sites will be closed during the burns. The hiking trails at the West Florida Boundary will also be closed during the burns.

Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway.  Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.

During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution.  Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible.  Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line.  If visibility falls below 500 feet, the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared.  Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit

http://www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

Places to Go Along the Natchez Trace

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

There are many exciting and memorable places to visit along the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway. From Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll have to the opportunity to take a break, stretch your legs and visit some extraordinary places, filled with beauty and 10,000 years of American history.

Natchez to Ridgeland:

Emerald Mound

Emerald Mound

Emerald Mound – Located at milepost 10.3, it’s the largest Mississippian period ceremonial mound in the country. It’s also the largest mound along the Parkway. Take yourself back in time and imagine what it was like to live along the Natchez Trace at Emerald Mound.

Mount Locust – Located at milepost 15.5, Mount Locust Inn is the only remaining inn on the Natchez Trace. It’s open year round (except on Christmas Day) and you’ll love learning more about the Trace’s history from the park rangers. Mount Locust allows you to see what the “Kaintucks” may have experienced at the stands.

The Sunken Trace

The Sunken Trace – Located at milepost 41. 5, the Sunken Trace is a highly popular spot. The trail is sunken due to thousands of travelers walking on the eroded soil. Travel the Sunken Trace and imagine what it would have been like thousands of years ago.

Ridgeland to Tupelo:

The Ross Barnett Reservoir is a must-see in the Ridgeland area. This beautiful, man-made body of water parallels the parkway for about eight miles. Relax, watch the sunset on the water and even fish. Enjoy a walk and take in the views at Reservoir Overlook at milepost 105.6.

Cypress Swamp – Located at milepost 122.0, walk on boardwalks through a water tupelo/bald cypress swamp. It’s a great spot for taking pictures!

Cypress Swamp

Cypress Swamp

Little Mountain Overlook at Jeff Busby – This is one of the highest points in Mississippi along the Parkway. Enjoy the picnic area, campground and the stunning overlook, of course.

Bynum Mounds – This period burial mound site is located at milepost 232.4. The archeological site consisted of six mounds, five of which were excavated in the 1940’s. Two of the largest have been restored, and you can see them today. The interpretive exhibits tell the story of early residents of the Natchez Trace.

Chickasaw Village Site – This archeological site is at milepost 261.8 and reflects the village that once lived here. See the outlines of Chickasaw homes and walk a short nature trail and learn about the area. If you’re interested in a longer walk, the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is available.

Tupelo to North Alabama:

Parkway Visitor Center

Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center

The Natchez Trace Visitor Center – Visit Tupelo at milepost 266 to learn all about the Parkway! You can find a twelve-minute orientation film, interpretive displays about the cultural and natural history of the Trace and even a bookstore. This is the place where you can get your passport stamps for the Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Tupelo National Battlefield, and Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield.

The Old Trace – Find 13 Confederate grave sites at the Old Trace at milepost 269.14. The grave sites of these 13 unknown soldiers is an interesting places to stop.

Pharr Mounds

Pharr Mounds

Pharr Mounds – Visit milepost 286.7 to see eight mounds between two – 18 feet high! Over 2,000 years ago, Pharr Mounds may have been filled with a village full of people. Learn about the mound building process and village life in this area.

Colbert Ferry – In the early 1800s, George Colbert operated a stand and a ferry at this spot. Today you can enjoy a picnic by the river, fish and boat on the Tennessee River. Visit Colbert Ferry at milepost 327.3 for a fun time.

Rock Spring Nature Trail – Located at milepost 330.2, this short half mile loop trail takes you past Colbert Creek. Walk the stepping stones and enjoy the beautiful nature.

Rock Spring Nature Trail

Rock Spring Nature Trail

Tennessee:

Waterfall at Fall Hollow

Fall Hollow Trail – Love the view and sounds of waterfalls? Take a short walk at milepost 391.9 to view this pretty waterfall on the Natchez Trace.

The Tobacco Farm and Old Trace Drive – Located at milepost 401.4, this is a great place to learn about growing and drying tobacco. The two mile drive on the Old Trace has great views of the forest, and is one of two places you can be on the “Old Trace” without walking.

Jackson Falls – Located at milepost 404.7, this is a popular walk along the Parkway. You’ll find yourself walking down a steep trail into a small gorge – it’s well worth the walk! There are picnic tables and even a short trail to Baker Bluff Overlook.

Birdsong Hollow

Birdsong Hollow  – This spot provides spectacular views of the double-arched bridge on the Parkway. Did you know the bridge rises 155 feet above the valley below? It’s a must-see!

 

 

 

 

Winding 444 miles through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, there are so many places to make a stop on the Natchez Trace Parkway! Find us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace to see beautiful photos of the Trace.

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

Visit the National Park Service website to learn more about visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway.

November Visitation Numbers for Natchez Trace Parkway is Released

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced a significant increase in November recreational visits in 2014 over 2013 figures,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “This year, 747,606 people used the Parkway in November compared to 505,759 who were counted in 2013.”

Month 2014 2013
January 466,706 443,307
February 422,365 422,579
March 491,577 349,273
April 512,813 512,248
May 489,190 535,303
June 518,693 563,565
July 550,032 587,695
August 496,436 533,555
September 728,172 534,955
October 747,606 546,421
November 689,456 505,759
Year to date 6,113,046 5,534,660

These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top ten most visited National Park Service sites.  The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level.  Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding, there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit www.nps.gov/natr.

Celebrate the Holidays Along the Natchez Trace

2014 Christmas Parades and Festivals Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Santa is out on the Trace & you should be too! Credit: Jerry Brinegar

Santa is out on the Trace & you should be too!
photo credit: Jerry Brinegar

It’s Christmastime along the Natchez Trace Parkway! Eighteen beautiful communities dot the 444-mile scenic byway, and there are plenty of exciting holiday events for one and all. You can find all sorts of events here, but here are a few more you may not have made plans for just yet.

Natchez, Mississippi

The Natchez Little Theater will present A Christmas Carol, the classic Christmas story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a old cranky man who had his Christmas spirits lifted by visits from spirits of a more ghostly quality. The show will go on Fridays, Saturdays, and Tuesdays at 7:30pm from December 5th – 20th. On Sundays, you can catch A Christmas Carol December 7th, 14th, and 21st at 2:00pm.

If you’re in the mood for a tasty adult beverage, check out Libations at Linden on Saturday, December 20th. Admire the Christmas decorations at Linden and enjoy a famous Natchez Milk Punch. You can find tickets here.

Ridgeland, Mississippi

photo credit: craftsmensguildofms.org

Credit: craftsmensguildofms.org

If you find yourself in Central Mississippi, don’t miss the Chimneyville Crafts Festival. The festival runs Friday, December 5th through Sunday, December 7th. Named the “Best Festival in Mississippi,” you can find fine crafts of wood, pottery, glass, metal, jewelry, and just about anything else! The preview party is Friday, December 5th from 7-10pm.

Tupelo, Mississippi

photo credit: Tupelo Main Street Association Facebook

Credit: Tupelo Main Street Association

Make a holiday stop in Elvis’s hometown! The 66th Annual Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade will be Monday, December 8th on the streets of downtown Tupelo.  The parade will begin at 6:30pm at the intersection of Main Street and Front Street.

Florence, Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Florence, Alabama

From December 5th through December 24th, community groups and local individuals will create an alluring exhibition using nine, 12-foot tall spruce and fir trees to tell their stories. At The Trees of Christmas, decorators use a variety of uncharacteristic techniques and materials to carry out both traditional and unexpected trees. A wonderful and visual Christmas pleasure is in store for audiences who attend this one of a kind exhibit.

Franklin, Tennessee

Santa Steps Out in Franklin

Santa Steps Out in Franklin, TN

Join the locals in Historic Downtown Franklin, TN where Main Street will be packed with revelers for the annual Franklin Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 2:00pm on December 6th. Once the parade is over, be sure to check out the excellent choices for food and drink in town!

Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee

The Annual Christmas Parade in Leiper's Fork

The Annual Christmas Parade in Leiper’s Fork, TN

The nearly world-famous, quirkiest, most charming homegrown Christmas Parade begins at 2:00 pm on December 13th in Leiper’s Fork, TN. Check it out here!

Nashville, Tennessee

GirlIceSlideACC

Country Christmas in Nashville

From November 14, 2014 – January 3, 2015, the magic of the Christmas season comes to life at Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas in Nashville, TN. Visitors can enjoy snow slides, ice skating and riveting shows. You’ll find it all here.

You can also celebrate the holidays in Music City with a dinner and show on the General Jackson Showboat! The show will keep you entertained with the Heart of Christmas in the Victorian Theater. A sixpiece show band and six outstanding featured performers fill the stage with colorful production numbers of Christmas favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland” and Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.” Fill your belly too with a selection of holiday foods from master chefs on board. The show is going on now through December 23rd from 6:15pm to 9:45pm.

Winter is an awesome time to visit the Natchez Trace Parkway (here’s why.)

frozen-waterfall-300x225

Frozen Waterfall on the Parkway

Here’s to a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Natchez Trace Compact! To plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. Get social with us and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

Natchez Trace Parkway Ridgeland Information Cabin Restroom Closure

RIDGELAND, MS: Natchez Trace Parkway officials announce that the restroom located at the Ridgeland Information Cabin, at milepost 102.4, is closed until further notice.

A failed utility line under the building will need to be repaired. Options are currently being considered, and the facility will reopen once the repairs are completed. The next closest restroom on the Parkway is located at milepost 122.6 near River Bend.

For questions regarding the closure, please contact the visitor center at (800)305-7417 or check out www.nps.gov/natr.

 

 

October Visitation Numbers for Natchez Trace Parkway is Released

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced a significant increase in October recreational visits in 2014 over 2013 figures,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “This year, 747,606 people used the Parkway in October compared to 546,421 who were counted in 2013.”

Month 2014 2013
January 466,706 443,307
February 422,365 422,579
March 491,577 349,273
April 512,813 512,248
May 489,190 535,303
June 518,693 563,565
July 550,032 587,695
August 496,436 533,555
September 728,172 534,955
October 747,606 546,421
Year to date 5,423,590 5,028,901

These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top ten most visited National Park Service sites.  The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level.  Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding, there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit www.nps.gov/natr

 

Why Winter is an Awesome Time to Visit the Natchez Trace Parkway

The last few months on the Natchez Trace Parkway have been good ones. From Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, folks from all over the country made use of the Trace’s numerous parks and communities to spend time with loved ones while the days were warm. Since September, the days have grown steadily shorter as the hardwoods along the Natchez Trace showed off shades of yellow, red, and orange in a beautiful display of fall foliage.

As we shift from fall to winter, the days become shorter, the air becomes chillier, and you may be losing your itch to get out and enjoy the Trace. But don’t do that quite yet! First, let us give you three reasons why the Natchez Trace Parkway is great for visiting during the winter months.

Sunken Trace During Winter

Sunken Trace During Winter

Discover New Sights

During the summer and fall months, the Natchez Trace develops an almost tunnel-like quality, with the winding road surrounded by thick trees and brush on both sides. While it is certainly beautiful, the thick leaves make it hard to see much further than the edge of the road.

During wintertime, the trees let their guard down. You’re far more likely to discover points of interest you wouldn’t notice at other times. Whether it’s a historic farmhouse hidden among the trees, a sunken trail forming the original trace, or a family of whitetail deer, you’ll be able to enjoy all the Trace’s treasures that it keeps to itself during the warmer months.

More Excuses to Indulge in Local Specialties

All along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, communities of various sizes populate the trail throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. In sum, eighteen communities offer local foods, drink, lodging, and entertainment of all sorts.

Exploring the Trace on a crisp winter’s day gives you all the more reason to stop at a local coffee shop in the quaint community of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, or take your cup of coffee to explore the ruins of Windsor Plantation near Port Gibson, Mississippi. Make a pit stop for a warm southern hospitality at one of Natchez, Mississippi’s many bed and breakfasts. If you get too chilly, there’s no better way to warm up than get down to live music in Nashville, Tennessee AKA “Music City.” No matter which few miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway you decide to explore, the winter cold will reward you with plenty of reasons to take a break and indulge in local charms.

Click here to check out restaurants, lodging and attractions.

Let It Snow

Generally a common encounter for our northern neighbors, much of the Trace lies in areas where snow is a little more special. You’ll need to slow down for safety, but the Natchez Trace Parkway is a pleasure cruise anyway. So watch the weather this winter, and don’t miss the beauty of this scenic route the way you’ve never seen it before.

snowy cabin

Trace Information Cabin Near Ridgeland, MS

Frozen Fall Hollow Waterfall, Milepost 391.9

Frozen Fall Hollow Waterfall, Milepost 391.9

Now that we’ve made our case on why the Natchez Trace is a fantastic trip to take during the winter months, let us offer one more bonus: You’ll have it to yourself! While the locals and most experienced Trace travelers know the scenic byway is great in the winter, many folks do not. This means that you–the savvy adventurer–can ply the Trace more like its original passengers did hundreds of years ago, and enjoys all the thrills and chills along the way.

Visit the National Park Service website to learn more the Natchez Trace Parkway.

To plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. Get social with us and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn of its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov/natr

2014 Natchez Trace Parkway Fall Foliage Photos

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile scenic route stretching from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The terrain along the Trace changes from 70 to 1,100 feet in elevation and passes through five degrees of latitude. It is one of the most beautiful drives for viewing fall foliage, and we can prove it. Actually, our visitors can prove it…

Our social media followers (TheNatchezTrace) love playing photographer. Who could resist taking pictures with amazing fall colors all around? Just for our readers, the Natchez Trace Compact put together a gallery of gorgeous fall color photos taken this fall by Parkway visitors.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Prepare to be speechless when you flip through these:

Did you know VisitSouth recently named the Natchez Trace Parkway a grand fall scenic road trip? What an honor!

Click here to see the latest fall color reports from the National Park Service. Please remember that fall colors can change rapidly, and leaf color will vary widely along the 444-mile length of the Parkway.

In addition to stunning foliage, the Trace offers cyclists a great route for riding, recreational activities, and historic sites and attractions. Along either side of the Natchez Trace Parkway, visitors can stop for a good night’s rest at the quaint B&Bs and hotels available. We can’t forget to mention the delicious (and we mean DELICIOUS) restaurants along the way, too. If you love to eat, be outdoors, and see interesting attractions, the Natchez Trace Parkway is for you.

Want to see more fall foliage photos or upload your own? Give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

Buy Locally this Holiday Season

24-Kosciusko_shop

It’s that time of year for gift giving, and the communities along the Natchez Trace Parkway have wonderful local shops where you can fulfill all of your holiday shopping needs!

We encourage travelers along the Natchez Trace Parkway to shop locally and support small town communities this Christmas. From Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, there are many local and family-owned businesses with rare and beautiful gifts you can’t find anywhere else. Purchasing from large corporations could mean ending up with the same ole ole. Buy uniquely and locally!

Do you live in one of the communities along the Trace? Shopping locally benefits you and your very own community in ways you couldn’t imagine. Encourage your family and friends to shop locally this season, too.

The Natchez Trace Compact pulled together a list of the communities along the Natchez Trace Parkway to help guide you with more information. Look for local shops where you can find fun, creative and one-of-a-kind items during gift giving time. Don’t forget about gift certificates, as well!

Reeds_Shopping

Mississippi:

Alabama:

Tennessee:

shopping_Christmas4Remember to shop locally this Christmas! You’ll be sure to find unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.

Get social with The Natchez Trace and follow on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

 

Timberland Park is Open for Fun in Williamson County, Tennessee

Timberland Park is located at mile marker 437.2 on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Timberland Park is located at mile marker 437.2 on the Natchez Trace Parkway

More than 14 years ago Williamson County got a hold of 74 acres adjacent to the Natchez Trace Parkway. Now, the county has finished transforming what was once declared surplus property into a public park that all visitors can enjoy.

Perched on hilly, secluded land, Timberland Park is meant to be a recreational spot for Tennesseans and other travelers going through the historic Franklin area along the Trace. The park features hiking trails and an interpretive center that highlights the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway, the native American tribes that called the area home and the more recent history of logging. Don’t worry though, the logging has long passed and the local trees are currently employed as natural artists, painting the sky with brilliant fall foliage this time of year.

See more on fall colors along the Natchez Trace Parkway here.

Fall Foliage on the Natchez Trace

Fall Foliage on the Natchez Trace

The county used two grants and matching funds from county coffers to make improvements to the park beginning last winter. Because the park is located along the Natchez Trace, a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, the county also received a federal grant to undertake the project. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation also chipped in.

The project installed a hiking trail, parking areas, picnic tables, a visitor building and other amenities visitors can enjoy. Learn more about recreational activities along the Parkway here. Also, see why the Natchez Trace has the best picnic spots.

The land is full of steep ravines and is far from flat. In fact, the only area that could be called level is a small area where the building and parking areas are located. The hills and gullies make for an excellent hiking area! All sorts of critters are abundant on the property, and they won’t mind you strolling by. Hike and say hi to these little fellows:

Timberland Park has been left relatively untouched for the benefit of its inhabitants.

Timberland Park has been left relatively untouched for the benefit of its inhabitants.

Upon entering the park, a circular drive includes a paved area for cars and RVs to pull off the road and enjoy the trail, picnic tables and an environmentally green building with a self-sustaining well system, rainwater recapture and a solar-based electrical power system.

You can find the park at mile marker 437.2 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from November until March, and entrance is free. Once warm weather comes back around, the park will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from April through October.

We certainly hope you’ll check out Timberland Park as soon as you can!

To plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. Get social with us and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

Pioneer Day at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center

TUPELO, MS – The Tombigbee Pioneer Group will demonstrate pioneer-era crafts and skills at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, 2014. The presentations will show the challenges faced, and creative solutions developed, by those Americans who lived in the area from the 1700s to 1840.

The public is invited to watch pioneer lifestyle activities that often include basket-making, spinning, weaving, knitting, and other traditional craft demonstrations. Leather-working and mountain dulcimer demonstrations are usually offered throughout the day. Children are invited to participate by dressing up in pioneer clothes and trying these activities firsthand.

This program is free to the public. The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Announces Shirley Scott as the Volunteer of the Year

TUPELO, MS:  The Natchez Trace Parkway awarded the annual “Steve Ritter Volunteer of the Year Award” to Tupelo-area volunteer Shirley Scott on Friday, October 17, 2014.  Ms. Scott was one of over 60 individual Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) personnel honored at the Natchez Trace Parkway’s annual volunteer appreciation banquet. The Volunteer of the Year award is named after the late Steve Ritter, a dedicated member of the Tombigbee Pioneer Association.

Ms. Shirley Scott received the award in appreciation for over twelve years and almost three thousand hours of dedicated volunteer service to the Natchez Trace Parkway.  “Shirley always arrives at the park with a cheerful attitude and has been so generous with her time in assisting us.  From organizing the bookstore inventory to putting together visitor information packets; Shirley will complete any task assigned to her with a smile,” said Chief of Interpretation Terry Wildy.

In 2014 over 200 volunteers have donated over eleven thousand hours to assisting staff at the Natchez  Trace Parkway.  Volunteers donated their time working as campground hosts, musicians, trail crews, visitor center staff and living history representatives. Superintendent Mary Risser states “The National Park Service is very grateful to the thousands of volunteers nationwide who contribute so much to our national parks. Our local volunteers at the Parkway are critical to supporting our paid staff in our effort to provide visitor services and improve trails.”

For more information on becoming a VIP or to learn about VIP opportunities please visit www.nps.gov/volunteer.  For more information on the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit www.nps.gov/natr.

Why You’ll Love RVing the Natchez Trace Parkway

A recreational vehicle in fall along the Natchez Trace Parkway. (NPS Photo)

A recreational vehicle in fall along the Natchez Trace Parkway. (NPS Photo)

The Natchez Trace Parkway is popular for RVers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and travelers alike. No commercial traffic is allowed on the Trace, and its smooth roadway and 50 MPH speed limit makes it a leisurely travel experience. The 444 mile scenic route takes you through woodlands, meadows, and hills, past waterfalls, historic sites, and across rivers and streams. Indians, explorers, frontiersmen, soldiers, boatmen, bandits, adventurers, and pilgrims have walked its length. Traveling it with a recreational vehicle (RV) is an exciting and memorable experience.

RVs are a popular way to see the Parkway for many reasons. Frequent pullouts provided at historic and scenic points of interest will accommodate even the largest RV. Plus, there are free campgrounds along the Trace on a first come basis. Commercial campgrounds can be found just off the Parkway all along its route.

Most stops along the Natchez Trace Parkway are accessible to RVs, with the exception of those marked “no circular drive”. The following sites are not accessible to RVs:

  • Grindstone Ford/Mangum Mound at milepost 45.7 (height restriction of 11 feet 6 inches)
  • Twenty-mile Bottom Overlook at milepost 278.4
  • Old Trace Drive at milepost 375.8
  • Devil’s Backbone State Recreation Area at milepost 394
  • Old Trace Drive at milepost 401.4

The length restriction for RVs is 55 feet, including a tow vehicle, and the height restriction is 14 feet. The Parkway can accommodate an RV weighing up to 40,000 pounds. Click here to learn more.

So why should you try exploring the Natchez Trace in an RV?

trace fall foliage

Cyclists on the Natchez Trace

The Nature: If you’re interested in the great outdoors, a RV is a great way to vacation. You can tour famous landmarks, visit state and national parks off the Trace, and simply enjoy fresh air and natural settings. Take a hike. Ride your bike. Get some exercise or simply do nothing, except your surroundings, of course.

Now is the perfect time to visit the Natchez Trace Parkway because you can view the beautiful fall foliage! The maple, hickory, oak and other hardwood trees are changing colors, painting a stunning fall color backdrop for visitors.

Click here to learn more about when and where to see fall foliage.

The Campgrounds: There are more than a dozen campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, three in the park, and many others just outside the park. The three Parkway campgrounds are free, primitive, and available on a first come, first serve basis. Keep in mind: they do not offer electricity, showers, or dump stations.

These campgrounds are spread out along the Parkway: Rocky Springs (Milepost 54), Jeff Busby (Milepost 193.1) and Meriwether Lewis (Milepost 385). Many of the other campgrounds along the Parkway corridor offer electricity, showers, and dump stations. Many also have hiking trails and biking paths, perfect for fun family activities.

Check the complete updated list of all the campgrounds along the Parkway for the locations and services offered by private and public campgrounds.

Jeff Busby Site

Jeff Busby Site

The Comforts of Home: With a RV vacation, you can have the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the great outdoors with more comforts than tent camping. Whether you own a RV or try a rental, most RVs are well equipped. You’ll likely have a kitchen with microwave, fridge and stove, television, beds, living and dining areas, and a bathroom with shower. Many RVs have slide out rooms that increase the living area. You can sit outside under your awning, get out of the rain if the weather changes, and turn on the A.C. if it gets too warm.

RV on the Parkway - Fall Foliage

RV on the Parkway – Fall Foliage

The Family: Family members of all ages tend to connect with each other when they are away from their normal routine enjoying a simpler lifestyle. While the RV is comfortable, it’s a small living area for large families. If you are renting, bear this in mind in choosing the size of your rental RV. During the day, spend time outdoors or in different activities (there are many recreational activities along the Trace).

The Kids: A RV vacation can be a fantastic way to travel with children. They can go out to play or take part in campground activities. There are likely to be other kids to meet and new places to explore. Children of all ages will enjoy an old-fashioned campfire complete with stories, songs and stargazing. And most kids think it’s pretty cool to be in a “home on wheels.” RVing tends to bring the family closer together with more communication and the sharing of good times.

Family Picnic on the Natchez Trace

Family Picnic on the Natchez Trace

The Affordability: The question of whether it’s cheaper to take a RV vacation doesn’t have a “one size fits all” answer. It depends on the type of vacation you want to take, as well as the way in which you plan to RV. You can compare the costs of renting a suitable RV to the costs of hotels, airfare or other means of travel. Many visitors like to cook and roast s’mores and hotdogs over campfires–not only is this affordable, but it adds to the RVing experience!

The Driving Experience:  Driving yourself gives you control over where you go and the pace of your travel. You don’t have the hassle of airline counters and keeping up with schedules. You can stop and take a break when you choose. You don’t need a special license to drive an RV. Sure, it takes some getting used to — but the number of RVs on the road should tell you that it’s doable. If you feel the need to, practice before you load up your passengers.

The Flexibility: In an RV, you have the flexibility to change locations. It’s easy to find a good balance between seeing different areas, the amount of time spent driving and ensuring you have enough time to relax. An RV can give you a lot of freedom and spontaneity and you can create your own adventure as you go along your way. You can explore the Natchez Trace at your own pace!

Visit the National Park Service website to learn more about RVing the Natchez Trace Parkway.

To plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. Get social with us and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our 2014 Visitors Guide HERE

Tupelo – Mississippi Longtime Governor John Marshall Stone to Make Re-Election Speech

John Marshall Stone

John Marshall Stone

Dr. Ben Earl Kitchens, MD, as Governor John Marshall Stone, will be in Tupelo from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area (MHNHA) Exhibit Center located at 398 E. Main Street. As Governor Stone, he will announce his 1889 plea for re-election to his third term as governor.

John Marshall Stone served the State of Mississippi during one of its most critical and tumultuous times following the Reconstruction era and utilized his leadership skills and business acumen to help pull Mississippi out of the depths of social and financial mire. Stone was inaugurated as governor on three separate occasions, and served as governor longer than any other man in Mississippi history. After he left office in 1896, Governor Stone was named president of the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College at Starkville which had been established during his first administration in 1878. He served until his death on March 26, 1900. Stone County, Mississippi is named in honor of Governor Stone.

Kitchens, a local historian, chronicles Stone from his early life to his death in his new Mississippi history book, Governor John Marshall Stone – Mississippi’s Honorable and Longest Serving Governor. “Governor Stone is not a man of many words, what he says are full of meaning, directly to the point and emphasized, simplicity and sincerity.” The Iuka Reporter, October 24, 1889.

Following his announcement for re-election, Kitchens will sign his book which depicts Stone’s life as a businessman, Civil War Colonel, Mayor, Senator, and the longest serving Governor of Mississippi. The public is invited to attend.

Why More People are Visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway

69-Tenn_DoubleBridge

Fantastic news! The Natchez Trace Parkway saw a significant jump in the number of visitors last month compared to September 2013. In September of this year, 728,172 visitors used the Natchez Trace, compared to 534,955 in September 2013.

Year-to-date, the Trace has entertained 4,675,984 visitors compared to 4,482,480 in 2013. These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top ten most visited National Park Service sites.

There’s a reason why people keep coming back for more. The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level. Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding, there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tennessee is one of the four Parkway trails available for horseback riding. Photo courtesy: NPS

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tennessee is one of the four Parkway trails available for horseback riding. Photo courtesy: NPS

In addition to recreational activities, the Parkway offers beautiful views along the way. In fact, right now is one of the best times to visit because people can view the stunning fall foliage. This scenic route is known for its fall colors, extending an impressive 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. See the latest fall color reports here.

Freedom Hills Overlook

Freedom Hills Overlook

Traveling can work up an appetite. Visitors should also enjoy a bite to eat at one of the delicious restaurants along the way. Southern food, BBQ, seafood…. you name it. If your Natchez Trace trip calls for an overnight stay or two, there are plenty of wonderful places to rest up. Whether you’re looking for a quaint B&B or a newer hotel, there are a wide variety of options.

The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, TN

Breakfast at the Loveless Cafe

For a visit to a byway rich in history, drive the Natchez Trace Parkway, established to commemorate the historical significance of the Old Natchez Trace. Originally a series of trails that stretched 500 miles through the Chickasaw and Choctaw lands from Mississippi to Tennessee, throughout the years it has gained a rich history that continues to fascinate visitors who travel in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before.

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

Are you a cyclist? Good news — the Parkway is a cyclist-friendly route. Commercial traffic is not allowed, so this environment allows cyclists to be worry-free of semi-trucks, deliver trucks or dump trucks. There aren’t any stop signs or stoplights–simply pure beauty and the sounds of chirping birds and wind blowing through the trees. Access to the ramp is via on/off ramps, which means there is no need to worry about cross traffic, as well. All of these perks make the Parkway extremely important to the biking audience.

Biking the Natchez Trace Parkway

Biking the Natchez Trace Parkway

There’s a reason why so many people love the Natchez Trace Parkway–it’s one of Mississippi, Alabama’s and Tennessee’s best-kept secrets!

To learn more about the Natchez Trace Parkway and plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. You should also check out helpful information about the Natchez Trace Parkway on National Park Service website here.

Get social and follow the Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Download our Visitors Guide below:

slider for visitors guide

1st Annual Christmas Tour Hohenwald Historic District

 

Lewis County Historical Society in Hohenwald, Tennessee, is organizing the 1st Annual Christmas Tour of Hohenwald’s Historic District, on Saturday, December 6.  Tickets are $10; $7 ages 12 and under; free for children 3 and under and may be purchased the day of the event at The Emporium, located at 25 E. Main St., in downtown Hohenwald, or in advance at Lewis County Museum of Natural History, Strand Art Gallery or Chamber of Commerce office.

Ticket admission is good for program and tours to Historic District Churches, Lewis County Museum of Natural History, and Strand Theatre’s Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 6.  Church programs and tours will begin at 1pm at First Baptist Church; 2pm at First United Methodist Church; 3pm at Hohenwald Church of Christ; 4pm at Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  All churches are located within walking distance of downtown Hohenwald.  You will need to pick up a tour program with a map at The Emporium before beginning your tour.  On Saturday, December 6, vendors will be set up inside The Emporium 9am-5pm; Lewis County Museum of Natural History will be open 9am-4pm; The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee Welcome Center will be open 10am-4pm; Strand Theatre Winter Wonderland hours will be 10am-8pm.

Register for prizes at Brown’s Variety; Gifts & Moore; Hair, Etc.; Hohenwald Flower Shop; Janet’s Memories; Main Street Fabric & Flowers; Puckett & Maynord; Rosemary’s Flowers; and The Elephant Sanctuary during their normal business hours day of the tour.  A $100 grand prize drawing will be given away after Pilot Club Tree Lighting at Wilhelm Tel Platz at 5:30pm.

The 1st Annual Christmas Tour of Hohenwald’s Historic District is sponsored by Rio Colorado, located at 36 E. Main St., and River Rat Grill, located at 35 N. Maple St., in Hohenwald.  For more information, contact Barbara Hinson at 931-306-9206 or Annette Peery at 931-212-2219.

 

September Visitation Numbers for Natchez Trace Parkway is Released

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced a significant increase in September recreational visits in 2014 over 2013 figures,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “This year, 728,172 people used the Parkway in September compared to 534,955 who were counted in 2013.”

Month 2014 2013
January 466,706 443,307
February 422,365 422,579
March 491,577 349,273
April 512,813 512,248
May 489,190 535,303
June 518,693 563,565
July 550,032 587,695
August 496,436 533,555
September 728,172 534,955
Year to date 4,675,984 4,482,480

These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top ten most visited National Park Service sites.  The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level.  Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding, there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit www.nps.gov/natr.

 

Youth Rehab Tennessee Trails

Southwest Conservation Corps Youth Rehab Tennessee Trails

MAURY COUNTY, TN – A crew of 16 Southwest Conservation Corp (SCC) crews came from across the country to work on the National Scenic Trail at the Natchez Trace Parkway this fall. Most crew members reside in Tucson, AZ, and other parts of the country.

For seven weeks in October and November, the crew will correct erosion problems, remove downed trees, rehab tread surface, and assist Resource Management and Fire Operations with landscape projects.  Their efforts will improve conditions for about 30 miles of trails, which will make the trails safer and more enjoyable for visitors.

“The work completed by the SCC crew this fall will greatly improve the trails conditions for years to come,” says Superintendent Mary Risser. “I am impressed by their enthusiasm and contributions.”

SCC offers a diverse set of programs that engage young people, ages 18-25, in meaningful and challenging service to our public lands and waters. Programs vary in length, location, focus and population served. SCC offers several program experiences through AmeriCorps in Colorado, New Mexico, and other parts of the country through partnerships with agencies such as the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn of its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

 

www.nps.gov/natr

 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

Pioneer Day at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center

TUPELO, MS – The Tombigbee Pioneer Group will demonstrate pioneer-era crafts and skills at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, 2014. The presentations will show the challenges faced, and creative solutions developed, by those Americans who lived in the area from the 1700s to 1840. 

The public is invited to watch pioneer lifestyle activities that often include basket-making, spinning, weaving, knitting, and other traditional craft demonstrations. Leather-working and mountain dulcimer demonstrations are usually offered throughout the day. Children are invited to participate by dressing up in pioneer clothes and trying these activities firsthand.

This program is free to the public. The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

 

VisitSouth Names Natchez Trace Parkway a Grand Fall Scenic Road Trip

October means pumpkin pie, spooky Halloween costumes and of course… beautiful fall foliage views along the Natchez Trace Parkway. From Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, the Natchez Trace Parkway offers motorists, cyclists and all manner of travelers 444 miles of peaceful byway and quaint historic communities. This autumn season, the Trace will be the star of the show!

Baker Bluff Overlook

Baker Bluff Overlook

The Natchez Trace is one of the top trails where you can take in the beauty of this natural fall treat — and VisitSouth agrees! They recently recommended the Trace as one of 20 Grand Scenic Road Trips.

The exact moment when hardwood tree leaves change can be tricky to pinpoint. Rain, temperature, humidity and all sorts of environmental factors affect the color changes, but you can generally count on a great display of striking yellows and vibrant reds appearing during mid and late October.

Click here to see popular places for fall colors along the Parkway.

So why do the leaves change color? The trees take their cues from the ever-shortening days as the sun spends less and less of the day warming the forests, and prepares for shorter appearances throughout the winter. As the days’ sunlight grows more brief, the leaves begin to scale back their production of chlorophyll, that friendly chemical that give summer branches their pleasant green showing. Therefore, we’re left to enjoy one extravagant blast of color before the leaves give up, falling one at a time to the ground as nutrients for next years’ spring.

There are plenty of places to enjoy this pleasant plant performance along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Here are few places you should check out this fall:

Water Valley Overlook

Water Valley Overlook

For those traveling through Mississippi and Alabama, Freedom Hills Overlook (milepost 317.0) provides a spectacular overlook of a hardwood forest, while Rock Spring Nature Trail is an easy way to get out and see the colors more closely.

If you come upon milepost 193.1, don’t miss the view from Little Mountain Overlook at the Jeff Busby Campground. Finally, if your feet are you favorite form of Trace transport, take a day hike along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail* from the Old Town Overlook Trailhead (milepost 263.9) to the Beech Springs Trailhead (milepost 266.0).

*A portion of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail near Tupelo, MS is closed. Click here for details.

Jeff Busby Site

Jeff Busby Site

If you’re cruising the scenic Natchez Trace a bit further north in Tennessee, try Old Trace Drive (milepost 375.8), which provides a gorgeous fall foliage backdrop. Metal Ford (milepost 382.8) and Swan View Overlook (milepost 392.5) offer quick stops to view the autumn colors for travelers.

Photo taken at Swan View Overlook

Swan View Overlook

Leisurely walks at the Meriwether Lewis Site (milepost 385.9) or Fall Hollow (milepost 391.9) are great places for those who not only love fall foliage, but who also have an appetite for hiking. Garrison Creek Trailhead (milepost 427.6) or Old Trace (milepost 426.3) are perfect for outdoor hiking.

So if you’ve started to notice the changing fall colors, make sure you don’t miss out while the gettin’ is good! Get out on the Natchez Trace and enjoy this special spectacle while it lasts.

Are you a visual person? Check out fall foliage photos along the Natchez Trace Parkway on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

To learn more about the Natchez Trace Parkway and plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. You should also check out helpful information about the Natchez Trace Parkway on National Park Service website here.

Download our Visitors Guide below:

slider for visitors guide

Natchez Trace Parkway Controlled Burning Scheduled

Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway is planning to conduct two prescribed fires (controlled burns) in Lee County, MS between October 8 and October 10. The prescribed fires are located at:

Prescribed Fire Name

Milepost

Chickasaw Village

262

Lakeside WUI Pile Burning

260

The National Scenic Trail at the Chickasaw Village site will remain open during the burns.

Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway.  Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.

During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution.  Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible.  Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line.  If visibility falls below 500 feet, the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared.  Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit

http://www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

 About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

 

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

 

Florence/Lauderdale Tourism & Visitor Center Hosting Two Public Events

TOURISM OFFICE WILL HOST TWO PUBLIC EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Dulcimers Oct. 16 and Haunted History Oct. 18

The new Florence/Lauderdale Tourism & Visitor Center in McFarland Park will host two events in October which are free and open to the public.

The Tennessee Valley Strummers will play dulcimer music in the Visitor Center’s Gallery from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 16. The dulcimer, a word which means “sweet sound,” is a four-stringed instrument developed in the 1700s in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The featured players use a tablature system of playing, based on fret numbers, which enables them to play with others – even if they have never met before.  Visitors are encouraged to come out and enjoy the music and tour the new center.

The second event, “Haunted History,” is set for Saturday, October 18 at 11 a.m.  Local author and ghost tour guide Debra Glass will tell historically-based tales from her hometown of Florence and the Shoals area. Glass is the author of more than 35 books, including the “Skeletons in the Closet” ghost story collections. Since childhood she has been fascinated by “things that go bump in the night.”  Her books will be available in the Visitor Center Gift Shop, as well as information on her walking tours. Since its beginnings in 2002, the Haunted History of the Shoals Ghost Walk Tour has become a perennial favorite during the Halloween season.

For more information, contact the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism office at 256-740-4141.

Scenic Overlooks on the Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of American history. You wouldn’t get the full experience of the Parkway if you didn’t stop at one of the many scenic overlooks. When traveling the Natchez Trace you will encounter breathtaking attractions and overlooks.

Mississippi:

Twentymile Bottom Overlook near Tupelo, MS, is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 278.4. Twentymile Bottom, now cultivated, was typical of the many low areas along streams through which the Natchez Trace passed. From the overlook you can see the bottom land of Twentymile Creek. This land is typical of the terrain encountered by early travelers of the Natchez Trace.

In 1812, Reverend John Johnson stopped at old Factors Stand near this bottom and wrote this account of bottomland travel, “I have this day swam my horse five times, bridged one creek, forded several others besides the swamp we had to wade through. At night we had a shower of rain. Took up my usual lodging on the ground in company with several Indians.”

Twentymile Bottom Overlook

Twentymile Bottom Overlook

Reservoir Overlook  – This 50 square mile reservoir is formed by an earth filled dam.

At the beautiful Reservoir Overlook, bicyclists, walkers and joggers can access the Multi-Use Trail from Reservoir Overlook’s parking area. This is the northern section of the trail.Walk or bike with family and friends for miles and miles. This route helps bicyclists avoid heavy car traffic through the Jackson/Ridgeland/Madison area. The greenery along the Multi-Use trail allows visitors to truly enjoy the outdoors.

Reservoir Overlook

Reservoir Overlook

Old Town Overlook – At Old Town Overlook, located at milepost 263.9, hikers can continue north for 2 miles to reach the Parkway Visitor Center, or continue south for 2 miles to reach the Chickasaw Village Site. This section of Scenic Trail is open to hikers only, and requires walking on the Parkway for road and creek crossings. The Old Town Overlook parking area provides parking and access to the Tupelo section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail.

Black Belt Overlook:  Ages ago this area was under an arm of the ocean. Shells and other marine organisms were deposited to form limestone. Exposure of the limestone to all types of weathering gradually changed it into a heavy fertile soil of various colors. The dominant black soil has given the area the name black belt, or black prairie. The black belt extends south beyond Columbus, MS then heads eastward across nearly all of Alabama. Formerly one of America’s great cotton areas, it is now considered excellent pasture for livestock.

Black Belt Overlook

Black Belt Overlook

Alabama:

Freedom Hills Overlook: On the way up the trail there are two benches where you can stop and rest before continuing on up the hill. Another bench is placed conveniently at the top of the trail.

Freedom Hills Overlook

Freedom Hills Overlook

Tennessee:

Baker Bluff Overlook: The Family Farm Working in Harmony With the Environment. The plaque is a depiction of what you see from the bluff of farm land, river and fields. A trail leads from Bakers Bluff to Jackson Falls.

Baker Bluff Overlook

Baker Bluff Overlook

Birdsong Hollow and HWY 96 Double-Arched Bridge:

Completed in 1994, the double-arched bridge carries Trace travelers 1,648 feet across the valley and Tennessee Highway 96.

The bridge can be viewed from two locations. Just north of the bridge there is a parking area with a view of the bridge and the valley below. Just south of the bridge is an exit ramp that takes you down to Tennessee Highway 96. At the bottom of the hill there is a parking area with a view looking up at the entire length of the bridge.

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge over Birdsong Hollow

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge over Birdsong Hollow

Swan View Overlook: This overlook is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 392.5. From here you can see the water tower in Hohenwald, Tennessee, the highest town between New Orleans and Chicago.

Photo taken at Swan View Overlook

Photo taken at Swan View Overlook

Water Valley Overlook: Water Valley Overlook is located at milepost 411.8. Take the time to pull off the Trace and drive up the short road to the top of the ridge. From the top you will be rewarded with a 180 degree view of Water Valley.

Water Valley Overlook

Water Valley Overlook

So come unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenic overlooks this fall on the Natchez Trace Parkway. To learn more and plan your trip, give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. Follow the Natchez Trace on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway is planning to conduct a prescribed fire (controlled burn) in Tishomingo County, MS between September 24 and September 26. The prescribed fire is located at: 

Prescribed Fire Name

Milepost

Tishomingo

304 

Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway.  Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.

During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution.  Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible.  Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line.  If visibility falls below 500 feet, the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared.  Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit

http://www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

 

 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

“Share the Parkway” Campaign Kicks Off

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: The National Park Service and its partners, the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and Adventure Cycling Association, announce the beginning of a campaign to “Share the Parkway.” The campaign will kick-off with three focus group meetings next week during which participants will discuss specific questions about enhancing user safety on the Parkway.

“You have a national park is your own backyard!” reminds Superintendent Mary Risser. “Congress established the Natchez Trace Parkway as a part of the National Park Service system in 1938. The Parkway commemorates the historic travel corridor known as the Natchez Trace, which is one of the oldest transportation routes in North America. The Parkway’s narrow lanes are integral to the designed landscape and a leisurely driving experience – for which the Parkway was created.”

In 2013, there were 6 million people who used and visited the Parkway, which makes it the 8th most visited National Park Service site in the nation. When the commuters in the Tupelo and Ridgeland area are included in the equation, more than 14.7 million people used the Parkway – all of whom are visitors to this unique National Park Service unit.

The “Share the Parkway” campaign will strive to create an atmosphere of responsibility and ownership of the Natchez Trace Parkway as a unit of the National Park Service and as a recreational treasure that should be shared safety by all Parkway users. Three focus group meetings will be held to gain an understanding of the perspectives about safety and shared use of the Parkway from various road users and the general public.

In the Ridgeland/Jackson area, the focus group meeting will be:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Indian Cycle Bike Shop

677 S. Pear Orchard Road

Ridgeland, MS

3 pm until 7 pm

In the Tupelo area, the focus group meeting will be:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bancorp South Conference Center

387 East Main Street

Tupelo, MS

3 pm until 7 pm

In the Nashville area, the focus group meeting will be:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Warner Park Nature Center

7311 Highway 100

Nashville, TN

10 am until 2 pm

At the focus group meetings, participants will discuss specific questions, such as “What are some ways that cyclists and motorists can safely share the Parkway? What is the significance of the Natchez Trace Parkway for you? How can we increase cooperation, understanding, and respect between cyclists and motorists? What are the best ways to reach out and educate local and visiting motorists and cyclists about sharing the road safely? What are participant’s impressions of the sharrows? Signs?

Information from the focus groups will be used to help develop a comprehensive project to enhance safety on the Parkway for all of our visitors.

If you would like to participate, but cannot attend one of the focus group meetings, send written comments to:

Superintendent

Natchez Trace Parkway

2860 Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS 38804

 

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service.  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

“Share the Parkway” Campaign Kicks Off

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: The National Park Service and its partners, the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and Adventure Cycling Association, announce the beginning of a campaign to “Share the Parkway.” The campaign will kick-off with three focus group meetings next week during which participants will discuss specific questions about enhancing user safety on the Parkway.

“You have a national park is your own backyard!” reminds Superintendent Mary Risser. “Congress established the Natchez Trace Parkway as a part of the National Park Service system in 1938. The Parkway commemorates the historic travel corridor known as the Natchez Trace, which is one of the oldest transportation routes in North America. The Parkway’s narrow lanes are integral to the designed landscape and a leisurely driving experience – for which the Parkway was created.”

In 2013, there were 6 million people who used and visited the Parkway, which makes it the 8th most visited National Park Service site in the nation. When the commuters in the Tupelo and Ridgeland area are included in the equation, more than 14.7 million people used the Parkway – all of whom are visitors to this unique National Park Service unit.

The “Share the Parkway” campaign will strive to create an atmosphere of responsibility and ownership of the Natchez Trace Parkway as a unit of the National Park Service and as a recreational treasure that should be shared safety by all Parkway users. Three focus group meetings will be held to gain an understanding of the perspectives about safety and shared use of the Parkway from various road users and the general public.

In the Ridgeland/Jackson area, the focus group meeting will be:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Indian Cycle Bike Shop

677 S. Pear Orchard Road

Ridgeland, MS

3 pm until 7 pm

In the Tupelo area, the focus group meeting will be:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bancorp South Conference Center

387 East Main Street

Tupelo, MS

3 pm until 7 pm

In the Nashville area, the focus group meeting will be:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Warner Park Nature Center

7311 Highway 100

Nashville, TN

10 am until 2 pm

At the focus group meetings, participants will discuss specific questions, such as “What are some ways that cyclists and motorists can safely share the Parkway? What is the significance of the Natchez Trace Parkway for you? How can we increase cooperation, understanding, and respect between cyclists and motorists? What are the best ways to reach out and educate local and visiting motorists and cyclists about sharing the road safely? What are participant’s impressions of the sharrows? Signs?

Information from the focus groups will be used to help develop a comprehensive project to enhance safety on the Parkway for all of our visitors.

If you would like to participate, but cannot attend one of the focus group meetings, send written comments to:

Superintendent

Natchez Trace Parkway

2860 Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS 38804

 

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service.  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn of its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

 

 www.nps.gov/natr

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Natchez Trace Parkway Recognizes Long-Time Seasonal Employees

RIDGELAND, MS: The Natchez Trace Parkway recognized the contributions of long-time seasonal employees to the operation of the Parkway. Seasonal employees join the National Park Service’s workforce during the busiest time of the year to augment the efforts of permanent employees. Depending upon the Parkway’s budget, they can work up to 1,039 hours each year.

“Our seasonal employees are often said to be the backbone of the National Park Service workforce,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “They come on board during the busiest time of the year and heavily contribute to getting essential tasks done. Here, on the Parkway, most seasonal employees work for maintenance and are responsible for mowing, weed-eating, and keeping the Parkway in the amazing condition that our visitors get to enjoy on a daily basis.”

Throughout the National Park Service, seasonal employees also present campfire talks, lead hikes, conduct backcountry and river patrols, fight wildland fire, provide for search and rescue operations, monitor threatened and endangered species, etc. Most work during the summer months. A few seasonal employees are able to pick up work in parks whose primary busy season is in the winter.

“The Natchez Trace Parkway is very fortunate to have a cadre of seasonal employees who have been returning for many years,” continued Risser. “Some, such as Charlie Robinson who works out of the Port Gibson office, have worked on the Parkway for nine seasons – some in the North District have worked on the Parkway even longer. It’s a privilege to present our seasonals with plaques to recognize their service.”

Following is a list of employees who have received awards:

Name Number of

Seasons

Thomas Miller 5 seasons
Christopher Ellington 6 seasons
Johnny Fowler 6 seasons
James Goss 6 seasons
Amy Williams 6 seasons
Emily Davie 8 seasons
Willard Chism 8 seasons
Frank Cooks 9 seasons
Ronald Gray 9 seasons
Tommy Parkerson 9 seasons
Charlie Robinson 9 seasons
Charles Bean 10 seasons
Cornelius Tenner 10 seasons
Connie Calton 11 seasons
Michael Perkin 11 seasons
Harold Wyatt 12 seasons
Jimmy Johnston 13 seasons
Cleophus Southward 15 seasons
Pictured left to right: James Goss; Thomas Miller; Christopher Ellington; Cornelius Tenner; and Charlie Robinson

Pictured left to right: James Goss; Thomas Miller; Christopher Ellington; Cornelius Tenner; and Charlie Robinson

###

About the National Park Service.  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Natchez Trace Parkway Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Tupelo, MS: To commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Natchez Trace Parkway will host a living history encampment representing the expedition of Hernando de Soto on Saturday, September 27, 2014.

The encampment will be set up outside the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Through stories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, visitors can learn about Hernando de Soto’s interactions with the Chickasaw Indians along the historic Natchez Trace during the winter of 1540-41.

The living history encampment will also be available for local schools on Thursday and Friday, September 25th & 26th. Space is limited, and interested classes should contact the Parkway Visitor Center to make reservations.

National Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to honor the contributions of Hispanic Americans and to celebrate the cultural traditions of our Hispanic American community.

This program is free to the public. The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For more information about this and other Parkway programs, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr, or call 1-800-305-7417.

 

www.nps.gov/natr