Natchez Trace Parkway Shifts Traffic on Town Creek Bridge Repair Project – Lee County, MS

Tupelo, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway officials announce that two-way traffic will be shifted to the southbound lane on the bridge over Town Creek near Tupelo, MS on September 10, 2014.  Work continues on the bridge to perform concrete repair, embankment armoring, and painting of the structural steel.  The contractor for this project is Sweat, LLC of Pensacola, FL. Work should be completed by late December of 2014.

Parkway visitors are encouraged to use caution due to construction traffic around the work area and to anticipate short delays.  

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, September 27, 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

Why the Natchez Trace Parkway Has the Best Picnic Spots

 

Picnic on the Trace

Picnic on the Trace

Ahh… picnics. They’re defined as “a meal that is eaten outdoors especially during a trip away from home; a trip or party that includes a meal eaten outdoors: something that is pleasant or easy.” How could anyone not love them with a description like that? Picnics are a refreshing, old-fashioned activity that gives travelers the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with a delicious sandwich–or something equally as simple and tasty–in hand.

Whether you enjoy a big blanket spread or relaxing at a wooden bench beneath the trees, the Natchez Trace Parkway offers some of the best picnic spots. In fact, the Tennesseean asked their readers and social media followers to name their favorite picnic places, and there’s no question the Natchez Trace made the list. Readers said “Any of the stops along the Natchez Trace are good picnic points,” while some described it as “a progressive picnic with one course at various stops along the route.”

Because this historic 444-mile route provides gorgeous scenic views in a calming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place for a fantastic picnic experience. There are over 90 sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway, with many providing multiple picnic tables in shaded areas.

Here are available picnics spots and milepost numbers along the Parkway:

Tennessee:

  • Garrison Creek – 427.6
  • Old Trace – 426.3
  • Burns Branch – 425.4
  • Water Valley Overlook – 411.8
  • Jackson Falls – 404.7
  • Meriwether Lewis – 385.9
  • Metal Ford and Buffalo River – 382.8
  • Jacks Branch – 377.8
  • Glenrock Branch – 364.5
  • Cypress Creek – 342.5

Alabama:

  • Lauderdale – 328.7
  • Colbert Ferry – 327.3
  • Bear Creek – 313.0

Mississippi:

  • Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway – 293.2
  • Pharr Mounds – 286.7
  • Chickasaw Council House – 251.1
  • Chickasaw Village Site – 261.8
  • Monroe Mission – 245.6
  • Hernando de Soto – 243.3
  • Witch Dance – 233.2
  • Ballard Creek – 201.3
  • Jeff Busby Creek -193.1
  • Bethel Mission – 176.3
  • Holly Hill – 154.3
  • Robinson Road – 135.5
  • River Bend – 122.6
  • West Florida Boundary – 107.9
  • Dean Stand – 73.5
  • Rocky Springs – 54.8
  • Owens Creek Waterfall – 52.4
  • North Fork Coles Creek – 23.0
  • Mud Island Creek – 22.0
  • Coles Creek – 17.5
  • Mount Locust – 15.5
  • Turpin Creek – 12.1

Whether it’s a ham and cheese sandwich brought from home or meatloaf and mac n’ cheese from your favorite Southern restaurant along the Trace, there’s no better time to visit the Natchez Trace Parkway for a picnic. Ready-made meals in a lovely spot with good company? Yes, please!

Don’t forget to pack these things on your next picnic:

  • Napkins, utensils and plates
  • A cooler to store cold food items and beverages
  • Bug spray
  • Blanket or spread to sit on
  • Trash bag for your garbage

Come unwind and create your own fun memories 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 and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Tishomingo State Park

Natchez Trace Parkway to Show Film Secret Soldier

TUPELO, MS:  The Natchez Trace Parkway will present a short film on the fascinating story of Loreta Janeta Valezquez, a Cuban immigrant from New Orleans who dressed as a man and fought in the Civil War on behalf of the Confederacy. This 18-minute film will be shown upon request in the Parkway Visitor Center during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15.

Shrouded in mystery and long the subject of debate, the amazing story of Loreta Velazquez is one of the Civil War’s most gripping forgotten narratives. As one of the estimated 1,000 women who secretly served as soldiers during the Civil War, her existence has been questioned for over a century. But contemporary historians have discovered evidence indicating that she did exist, including documentation of her also spying for the Union.

Secret Soldier explores the amazing discovery of this important figure and is now available free to educators online and to the general public in screenings at National Park Sites around the country.

To request a free online copy of Secret Soldier and to download free additional educational material, go to rebeldocumentary.com and click on the “resources” tab.

This program is free to the public.  The Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, just north of 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.

 

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 Announces Junior Ranger Program

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Whose Track is That?” a special Junior Ranger program held at the Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.  Junior Rangers will look for signs of wildlife, and make a plaster track to take home.

This program is free of charge.  The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, just north of Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call the visitor center at 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

 

 

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.

The Natchez Trace Parkway Debuts New Orientation Film

TUPELO, MS:  The Natchez Trace Parkway debuted a new orientation film on Friday, August 29 at the Parkway Visitor Center in Tupelo, MS.  Funded through the National Scenic Byways Program and produced by Great Divide, Inc., the film showcases the beauty and history of the Natchez  Trace.

“In addition to highlighting the history of the Old Trace, the film includes some outstanding aerial footage and beautiful shots of the Parkway’s diverse natural and scenic beauty.  We were also very fortunate to find a wonderful narrator in Amy Grant, who generously donated her time and distinctive voice to this project,” says Superintendent Mary Risser.

The film incorporates footage taken in cooperation with classic car clubs, bicycling clubs, and local reenactors.  Chief of Interpretation Terry Wildy noted that “The Parkway encompasses over 10,000 years of history, and it was a challenge to choose what stories to highlight while keeping the film concise. We are grateful for the support of our partners, staff, volunteers and Parkway visitors in making this a successful project.”

The 17-minute film will be supplemented by individual short films, or “shorts” that will offer additional footage and interviews on the American Indian perspective,  travelers on the Old Trace, Meriwether Lewis, recreation, and the Parkway’s natural resources.  The film and its associated “shorts” will be placed online in the coming weeks to reach a wider audience.

The film is free and can be viewed upon request at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, located along the Parkway at Milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi.  For additional information, please call the visitor center at: 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov/natr

Win a $100 Gift Card to French Camp Academy’s Bed & Breakfast Inn

Enter our giveaway here –>  http://bit.ly/FrenchCampContest

french camp promo

French Camp Academy’s Bed and Breakfast is one of the few B & Bs located adjacent to the Natchez Trace Parkway. In 1986, French Camp Academy moved two clerestory log cabins built between 1840 and 1870 from Eupora, Mississippi, to French Camp, Mississippi.

Bed & Breakfast Inn

Bed & Breakfast Inn

French Camp, originally known as the Frenchman’s Camp, was founded circa 1810 when Louis LeFleur and his family opened a tavern. His son, Greenwood LeFleur, changed the spelling of his last name to LeFlore. Folks traveling down the Natchez Trace can see how early American life was lived by walking or driving through French Camp Academy’s Historic District. A wooden boardwalk extends through the entire district from the Log Cabin Gift Shop to the Bed and Breakfast Inn. If you need to rest overnight, the Bed and Breakfast Inn provides a quiet respite.

It’s the perfect getaway for those who want to be off the beaten path and enjoy the beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Known for its country comfort and bountiful breakfast, the B & B is just the place to find solace and rest. Make reservations online here.

Council House Cafe

Council House Cafe

We all know a lovely weekend stay wouldn’t be complete without delicious food. The Council House Café, owned and operated by French Camp Academy, offers guests a great place to eat, either inside the rustic dining area or while enjoying the view outside on the deck or on the lawn beneath the oaks. The restaurant offers generous-size sandwiches, homemade soups and crisp salads. Finish with either their famous Mississippi Mud Cake or bread pudding. Yum Yum!

View their menu here.

If this sounds like a place you would enjoy this fall, you are in luck. The Natchez Trace Compact teamed up with French Camp Historic District to give away a $100 gift card to the Bed and Breakfast Inn and the Council House Café! You’re only a click away from entering to win (only takes one step!)

Just click HERE for your chance to win this fantastic prize.

One lucky winner will be chosen on September 12, 2014 and announced on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow The Natchez Trace on Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace

Want to learn more about visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway? Give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com. View photos of French Camp Academy’s Bed & Breakfast Inn and  Council House Café below:

New Mississippi History Book Released – Book Signing Scheduled

ANNOUNCING: A NEW MISSISSIPPI HISTORY BOOK

JOHN MARSHALL STONE, Mississippi’s Honorable and Longest Serving Governor

by Ben Earl Kitchens

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. Little has been written about the scope of the monumental services he provided to Mississippi, all of which were performed in the exemplary and professional manner of a true statesman.

Stone was 25  years of age when he planted his feet on the firm graveled soil of the hills at Eastport, Mississippi, in 1855 where he worked as a clerk in the mercantile establishment of Col. W. R. Price, the largest landowner and merchant of the prosperous village by the river.

He moved to Iuka in the fall of 1857 and shortly thereafter found a job in the new railroad depot. By then, Iuka was thriving, as was Tishomingo County as a whole. Stone served as mayor of Iuka from 1866-1868. Later in the same year, 1866, he was elected county treasurer of Tishomingo County.

During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate Army, achieved the rank of colonel, and participated in the important battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. After the war, he entered politics in Mississippi, was elected to the Mississippi State Senate, and eventually served three terms as governor of Mississippi.

During his tenure as governor, Stone set standards for honesty, integrity, and good government that have rarely been matched by other Mississippi politicians. At times he even encouraged the State Legislature to pass laws that would improve the condition of the former slaves.

Not only is this American History dialogue recommended as an educational tool for high school and college history classes, it conveys a knowledge of Mississippi’s rich heritage in the minds and homes of all readers.

The Author, Dr. Ben Earl Kitchens will autograph books at the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse located at 203 East Quitman Street in Iuka on Friday, August 29th at 6:00 p.m. and again Saturday, August 30th at 10:00 a.m.

100 percent of the profits benefit the operation of the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse Museum.

Night Hike at the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: Join a park ranger on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center (milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi) for a Night Hike. This one-hour program will give families the unique opportunity to walk on a paved nature trail at night.  Visitors will use all of their senses to discover more about some of the animals that make the park come alive after the sun sets.  A flashlight and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged.

This program is free to the public. 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

HIGHLAND RIM SECTION

Highland Rim Section of the National Scenic Trail

Break up the hike with destination points along the trail:

 

427.4 Garrison Creek- Garrison Creek photo

 

Old Natchez Trace Indian Trail Overlook – Natchez Trace Garrison Crrek Trail 038

 

President Thomas Jefferson’s Military Road Natchez Trace Garrison Crrek Trail 012

 

War of 1812 Memorial Site-Natchez Trace Fall 3 082

 

Burns Branch –IMG_6822

Water Valley Overlook –IMG_8265

Duck River – IMG_8932    

 

MAPS

 

The Highland Rim Section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail runs for 28 miles from Garrison Creek at milepost 427.4 to the Duck River at milepost 408.  Parking is available at each end of the trail section and at pull off areas on the parkway along the trail.  Restroom facilities are available at Garrison Creek and at the Gordon House on each end of the trail.

NATT_Garrison Creek 1Garrison Creek Map 2

National Park Service Celebrates 98th Birthday!

NPS TUPELO, MS: The Natchez Trace Parkway will celebrate the 98th birthday of the National Park Service on Monday, August 25th at the Parkway Visitor Center.

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park. There were 37 national parks in the United States when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service on August 25, 1916.

Today, there are 401 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn.

“Birthdays are a time to celebrate and we want everyone to join the party so come have cupcakes at the visitor’s center.” said Natchez Trace Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser. “National parks belong to all Americans and offer something for everyone.  Come visit the Natchez Trace Parkway and wander a trail, take in the scenery, and enjoy a leisurely drive.”

The Natchez Trace Parkway was established in 1938 to preserve the Old Natchez Trace footpath that was used for centuries by Native Americans then by early European and American explorers, traders and emigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The parkway extends 444-miles through 41 county and municipal jurisdictions in the states of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Last year, more than 14.1 million people visited the parkway, adding $138.9 million to the local economics and supporting 1,698 area jobs.

The mission of the National Park Service also extends beyond park boundaries. Community partnerships help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To see what is happening in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi go to:

Why Visitors Love the Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway extends an impressive 444 miles from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. The All-American Road and National Scenic Byway was the 8th most visited National Park Site in 2013, named Best Hiking Destination by Mississippi Magazine, named one of the Best Scenic Roads by Country Magazine.

Along the way visitors can enjoy leisure travel on a beautiful stretch of road, the history, hiking, biking, the attractions, scenic views, places to stay, and delicious restaurants. 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! If you visit our Facebook page, you’ll see all of the great things our visitors say about the Trace.

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge over Birdsong Hollow

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge over Birdsong Hollow

One of the most popular spots of the Trace is the bridge that hovers over the Tennessee River. The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is the nation’s first segmental constructed concrete arch bridge. Spanning over 1600 feet, the double arch structure offers motorists a view from 150 feet above the valley floor and is one of the final links in the Natchez Trace Parkway project. The arches are designed to support the deck without evenly spaced columns, resulting in a picturesque appearance.

The Natchez Trace 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 Natchez Trace Parkway extremely important to the biking audience.

Cycling along the Parkway

Cycling along the Parkway

You can also hike off of the Natchez Trace. Hiking trails and self-guided nature walks can be found along the entire length of the Parkway. Some of the short walks take you through some of the natural wonders found along the Trace. There are several places where you can walk a preserved section of the Old Trace. You can even horseback ride along the Natchez Trace. Four horse trails have been developed adjacent to the Parkway in Mississippi and Tennessee, in connection with the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. The Natchez Trace also provides access to the Witch Dance Horse Trail on the Tombigbee National Forest.

The Battle of Franklin Sesquicentennial

The Battle of Franklin Sesquicentennial

History buff? The Natchez Trace Parkway is your key to Civil War history, and you can be a part of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, which took place 150 years ago on November 30, 1864. Click here to check out the Sesquicentennial Events taking place along the Trace that you can be a part of.

If you love the beauty of the outdoors, be sure to visit the Natchez Trace this fall to see the fall foliage. The fall colors are absolutely gorgeous! You can view photos of fall foliage on our Pinterest board, or visit our blog about fall colors along the Parkway.

Get social with us and follow The Natchez Trace on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace! Want to learn more? Give us a call at 866.TRACE56 (872-2356) or visit scenictrace.com

 

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, September 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

The Natchez Trace Parkway to Host an Interpretive Display of Prehistoric American Indian Tools

Mr. Pat Arinder will display replicas of prehistoric American Indian tools at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, August 30, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The presentation will contain examples of prehistoric American Indian stone tools, including knives, spears, bow and arrows, atlatls, grinding stones, and a bow drill.  Mr. Arinder will share information about the tools with visitors, and the replicas will be available for hands-on interpretation.

Mr. Arinder has studied Early American and American Indian cultures for over 40 years, and has assembled a large collection of stone tools to lead living history programs.  In addition to working with school groups, he has also shared his talents as a volunteer interpretive historian with the National Park Service at the Natchez Trace Parkway for the past 18 years.

This event is free to the public.  The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at Milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi.  For additional information, please call the visitor center at: 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

 

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Annual Oktober Heritage Festival

Hohenwald/Lewis County Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Oktober Heritage Festival and 21st Annual Fall Classics Car and Truck Show to take place in the downtown Hohenwald, Tennessee, area October 10-11, 2014. On Friday, the parking lot at the corner of N. Maple St. and E. Linden Ave. will be alive with entertainment, arts and crafts, food, free Kids’ Corner, and other booths from 9 am until close of entertainment.

Saturday is filled full of events with the Pilot Club’s pancake breakfast beginning at 7am.  The 2nd Annual Billie’s Birthday 5K Fun Run, a run to raise awareness and funds for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, will take place Saturday morning at 8am, October 11.  Register online at  https://runsignup.com/Race/TN/Hohenwald/BilliesBirthday5kFunRun.  Entertainment and vendors will once again be open from 9 am until close of entertainment. Free Kids’ Corner with inflatables and games will be back on Saturday.

The 21st Annual Fall Classics Car and Truck Show will take place on the courthouse lawn, 110 Park Ave. N., diagonally across from festival area on October 11, 2014. Cars may be entered from 8 am until noon; awards will be presented as soon as judging is complete. First, second, and third place trophies will be awarded in over 50 classes plus 7 top honor awards.

Peoples Bank, our Elite Sponsor, has donated $1000 in cash prizes to be given away at the car & truck show. Each top honor award will receive $100. Drawings from all paid entrants will be held for $200 and $100.

Applications for festival vendors are currently being accepted. For more information, contact Hohenwald/Lewis County Chamber of Commerce at 931-796-4084 or email director@hohenwaldlewischamber.com, or log onto www.hohenwaldlewischamber.com.

21st Annual Fall Classics Car & Truck Show

Hohenwald/Lewis County Chamber of Commerce presents the 21st Annual Fall Classics Car and Truck Show which will take place on the courthouse lawn, 110 Park Ave. N., one block north of the downtown Hohenwald, Tennessee, area on October 11, 2014. Cars may be entered from 8 am until noon; awards will be presented as soon as judging is complete. First, second, and third place trophies will be awarded in over 50 classes plus 7 top honor awards.

Peoples Bank, our Elite Sponsor, has donated $1000 in cash prizes to be given away. Each top honor award will receive $100 along with the trophy. Drawings from all paid entrants will be held for $200 and $100.

While in our beautiful city, enjoy the arts and crafts booths, food booths, entertainment, free Kids’ Corner, and other events during our annual Oktober Heritage Festival, which begins on Friday, October 10 and goes through Saturday, October 11.

For more information, call 931-796-4084, email director@hohenwaldlewischamber.com, or log onto www.hohenwaldlewischamber.com.

TRAIL FIT CHALLENGE

 

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE TO GET TRAIL FIT?

 

Add adventure to your workout while surrounded by nature.  The trail is all  the workout equipment you  need.  Take the challenge of 28 miles on the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail to get fit or just relax outdoors.  The national park is not far from Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and Columbia, Tennessee — just far enough from the city to experience the extra benefits of a workout on a National Park trail.

 

Introduction to the Trail Fit Challenge:

 

#TrailFit
 

THE  TRAIL FIT CHALLENGE

1. Reach your target destination on the trail.

2. Reach a farther target destination on the trail.

3.  Reach a farther target destination on the trail faster.

4.  Reach a farther target destination on the trail faster carrying an increasingly heavier weight.

Select the Portion of the Trail that Meets Your Fitness Needs-  The  200 foot climb at the north trail will raise your heart rate, and  a brisk walk on the two-mile hike to the War of 1812  Memorial Site will keep the rate up.  If you are just beginning, you may prefer to park at the War of 1812  Memorial Site and walk north toward the trail head, making a loop back before descending the hill.

Push Your Endurance-  Determine your endurance limit and push the limit.

Extend Your Endurance-  Each time you hike the trail, add a quarter-mile or half-mile.  Plan eventually to hike the entire 28 miles.

Compare Stats-  Encourage and challenge friends to take the challenge with you and compare your results.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

While you will not need specialized equipment, you should plan to bring the following items:

– Hiking boots or shoes with  soles designed for the outdoor terrain.

– Water.  There is a water fountain at the Garrison Creek comfort station but no other fountains along the trail.  Consider the temperature and humidity level to determine the amount of water you will need.

-Insect Repellent.  If you are allergic to insect bites, apply insect repellent before beginning the hike for non-winter hikes.

-First Aid Kit.  Consider taking moleskins for blisters, antibiotic ointment, bandages, scissors, tweezers, pain reliever and whistle to signal for help if you have an emergency.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

1.  Strength-  The largest muscles in your body are from the waist down.  By strengthening those muscles on the hike, you add strength to your entire body.  Each step activates muscles in your lower back and makes them stronger.

2.  Cardiovascular-  As you hike, the heart and lungs work harder to pump blood to supply oxygen to the muscles in the lower body.  The heart is a muscle that also becomes stronger during the workout.  Physical results may include lowered blood pressure.

3.  Endurance- Gradually increasing distance or pace adds to the ability of your body to endure greater physical challenges.

4.  Muscle tone-  Your muscles respond to repetitive hikes by taking on a more physically fit appearance and movement.

PHYSCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

A walk on the trail helps clear the mind and reduce stress with natural stress relievers.  Some physicians are adopting the practice of writing prescriptions for trail hikes to help reduce patients’ stress levels.

IN THE STEPS OF ANCESTORS

The old Natchez Trace trail is one of the oldest trails in North America.  Early humans walked it when traveling from the South American continent to the area that is now Canada.  American Indian warriors and chiefs traveled its path for hunting, trade, and war.  Early Americans such as Meriwether Lewis, Andrew Jackson, James John Audubon, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston,  and maybe even Abraham Lincoln walked sections of the trace.

 

Consult your physician before undertaking any strenuous physical activity to determine your own safe physical limitations.

 

 

The Natchez Trace Parkway to Offer Photography Program

TUPELO, MS:  To celebrate the 98th anniversary of the National Park Service, the Natchez Trace Parkway will offer an interactive photography program at the Chickasaw Village Site (milepost 261.8 near Tupelo, Mississippi) on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at 8:00 a.m. This one-hour program is open to all ages and all ability levels; beginner photographers are welcome. Bring your digital camera and join a ranger to learn the basics of landscape photography and practice these skills. For those without cameras, some one-time-use cameras may be available. Visitors are encouraged to wear sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and bring insect repellent.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law legislation creating the National Park Service. The National Park Service was directed “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

This event is free to the public. For additional information, please call: 662-680-4027, or visit our web site at www.nps.gov/natr.

Visitor Gives 10 Reasons Why the Natchez Trace Parkway Should Be On Your Bucket List

ntp bridge

Natchez Trace Parkway bridge

This historic, 444-mile scenic parkway links Natchez with Nashville and crosses some of the most beautiful terrain in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The Natchez Trace Parkway has been declared a National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road and has been chosen as one of America’s 10 best biking roads. Open year-round for motorists, hikers and bikers, it provides visitors the opportunity for an unhurried trip through time. We love the Natchez Trace, and so do visitors from all over.

One Natchez Trace Parkway fanatic, Lynette Walczak, has plenty of reasons why she enjoys it, particularly 10. She put together her top 10 reasons why you should put this trip on your bucket list. Check out the list below published in Fun Times Guide:

1.  You can learn about the journeys of those who traveled along The Trace as far back as 800 A.D. as well as more recent travelers like Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis & Clark Expedition and President Andrew Jackson.

2.  Enjoy a nostalgic walk and/or drive on parts of the original foot trail — a.k.a. the historic Old Natchez Trace.

3.  Commercial traffic is prohibited on the Natchez Trace, so you’re not dodging large vehicles or fast-moving traffic. There’s definitely no hustle & bustle here!

4.  The maximum speed limit is 50 mph, so you’re able to enjoy a leisurely drive through the beautiful countryside at your own pace.

5.  There is very little traffic on the Natchez Trace Parkway, so you can feel comfortable bicycling, jogging, or even walking on the main road itself. (*note: Tupelo and Ridgeland areas have heavier traffic.)

6.  Since there are no billboards, signs, or traffic lights on the Trace, it’s easy to take a step back in time and just enjoy the ride.

7.  There are lots of unique places to pull-off and park so you can enjoy the sights and sounds in the area — from creekside rest areas to picnic spots, walking trails, and historic landmarks.

8.  With plenty of roadside attractions along the Natchez Trace Parkway, there’s plenty to see and do for all ages.

9.  The Natchez Trace Parkway is dog-friendly with plenty of spots to roam and explore — including numerous creeks, bridges, and trails.

10.  There’s lodging available in the form of cabins, RV & tent camping, and bed & breakfasts. Even hotels are just a short drive away via some of the exits off The Trace.

We have to agree with Lynette that a visit to the Natchez Trace Parkway is a MUST! If you love leisure traveling, scenic destinations, delicious food, hiking, bicycling, picnicking, camping, and outdoor fun, it’s time you plan your trip to the Trace.

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

Learn more about what to do along the Trace, places to eat, shop, and stay by visiting our website at scenictrace.com or call 866. TRACE56 (872-2356). Get social with us and like us on Facebook, and follow us Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace.

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, August 23, 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

 

Cycling Information

IMG_9737

Cyclists call the Natchez Trace Parkway a road of glass (referring to the smooth surface of the road), through the lush southern landscape.  Because the parkway ride is uninterrupted by traffic lights and it has no turns to map, cyclists can focus on relaxation and the pure joy of riding.  Many cyclists also choose to ride the parkway to feel its connection to history.  More than a few serious cyclists include the parkway on their “bucket list” of things to do in their lives.  Cycling clubs along the parkway sponsor organized rides throughout the year.

IMG_7108

CYCLING SAFETY

IMG_9942 Motorists and cyclists share the same space on the parkway.  Unlike modern public highways  built primarily for automobile transportation, the road through the park has no paved shoulders, and each lane is two feet narrower than the current modern standard.  Posted speed limits are lower than on comparable public highways.  Both bicycles and automobiles have the same right to occupy the park road. The numerous curves, changing angles and directions of sunlight on the curves, and shadowing effect of foliage present unique challenges for drivers on the parkway.   Drivers who travel long distances on the road or who travel the road often may not be as alert as other drivers.  If you plan to ride a bicycle on the parkway, you are encouraged to make yourself visible to motorists as much as possible. Consider these safety features to make yourself more visible:

 

  1. High Visibility Safety Green or Yellow Clothing-  High-visibility yellow or green clothing improves visibility, whereas black, dark green or other dark or natural colors can act to camouflage you in the natural landscape.  Notice the difference in the visibility of the two cyclists in the photo at the top of the page.    Even if you  wear bright, non-natural colored clothing, low angles of sunlight  in the mornings and evenings may prevent motorists from seeing you.
  2. Lighting- Flashing 180 degree lighting set at proper angles on both the front and rear of the bike may provide some additional visibility.IMG_6677
  3.  Flags-  Cyclists, particularly those in reclining cycles, often add flags in a high visibility color to make themselves more visible.

There is no certainty that even if you take all precautions possible, a motorist will see you. Though motorists are required to observe the three-foot passing rule, be alert for motorists, particularly in more urban areas such as Ridgeland, Tupelo and Clinton where larger numbers of motorists use the park road to commute.  An off-road multi-use trail is available for cyclists in the park through Ridgeland.

SHARE THE PARKWAY SAFETY PROGRAM

The Association works with NPS and Adventure Cycling Association through our Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund to study and improve safety conditions on the parkway.  The goal is to make a visit to the park a safe and enjoyable experience for motorists, cyclists, hikers, and every other visitor.  Superintendent Mary Risser recently provided an update on the program:

 

PowerPoint Presentation

IMG_7958

CAMPING

Cyclists staying overnight on the parkway are encouraged to plan their trips to use designated campgrounds found on the Natchez Trace Parkway map. Bicycle-only Campground Sites include: Kosciusko, mile post 159. Witch Dance, mile post 234. Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, mile post 266. Colbert’s Ferry, mile post 327. Tennessee Highway 50, mile post 408.

IMG_9523

.

ORGANIZED RIDES

IMG_7567 IMG_7756 Groups and clubs along the Natchez Trace Parkway sponsor organized rides throughout the year.  Several rides support our Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund.   Organized rides include the following:

 

Mid-Mississippi

 

Little Mountain Ride:  Sponsored by the Attala Cycling Club, the ride for 2016 will be on June 18.  It starts in Kosciusko, Mississippi and runs to French Camp and Little Mountain

.IMG_7071

 

Southern Mississippi

 

 Natchez Trace Century Ride–  The ride offers options of 25, 50,  62 or 100 miles.  For more information, visit www.ridgelandms.org.

 

Alabama

 

Colbert 20–  A total of 40 miles from the Lauderdale site on the north side of the Tennessee River, across the John Coffee Memorial Bridge and the Tennessee River, past Colbert Ferry and Buzzard Roost, then up to the Freedom Hills and the Mississippi/Alabama State Line at Bear Creek Mound.  Sponsored by the Association with the support of the Shoals Cycling Club. pix105

 

Tennessee

James Robertson 40 – From the Northern Terminus of the parkway, across the iconic Double Arch bridge to Leiper’s Fork and back.  The ride honors James Robertson, often called the “Father oF Nashville,” but also an early agent to the Chickasaw Nation and subcontractor who completed the Natchez Trace wagon road in 1807.

Robertson 40 Ride

Natchez Trace Parkway Announces Junior Ranger Program

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Mammal Masquerade” a special Junior Ranger program held at the Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, August 16, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.  Junior Rangers will unmask the mysteries of mammals on the Natchez Trace Parkway, and make their own animal mask to take home.

This program is free of charge.  The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, just north of Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call the visitor center at 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.

CNN Names Natchez Trace Parkway a Great American Road Trip

If you’re planning to hit the road this summer instead of worry with pricey airfares, we say that’s an excellent choice to make. The Natchez Trace Parkway leads you 444 miles through three states and 10,000 years of North American history, and has everything you’ve ever wanted in road trip, plus more! In fact, CNN Money just named the Natchez Trace Parkway one of six great American road trips.

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Franklin, TN

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Franklin, TN

The Natchez Trace Parkway follows the Natchez Trace, an old game trail that runs from southern Mississippi all the way to Nashville, through some of the Old South’s most historic communities. Once you hop in your car and begin your relaxing and leisure drive, you have the opportunity to view gorgeous scenery and wildlife (don’t forget your camera!)

If you want to take a step back in time, check out the historic stops along the way. Early 19th century boatmen used to sell their cargo and boats in Natchez or New Orleans and walk north back to their homes along the Trace. Today, you can walk these paths just as thousands have before you. One of the most photographed spots, “The Sunken Trace,” appears sunken due to thousands of travelers walking on the easily eroded loess soil.

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

The Sunken Trace at milepost 41.5

From the Trace, visitors can see antebellum plantations, both intact and in ruins; live oaks dripping with Spanish moss; Indian mounds; tobacco barns; and old cabins. At milepost 15 is Mount Locust, circa 1780, a preserved inn where boatmen would spend the night.

The road passes close by several good-size towns, like Jackson and Tupelo, MS, where there are plenty of places to overnight. Natchez itself is worthy of a stay — the city has just about 16,000 residents, but boasts 13 National Historic Landmarks and more than 1,000 places on the National Historic Register. That befits the oldest city on the Mississippi.

Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez, MS

Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez, MS

On the other end of the drive is Nashville, where country music lovers have dozens of clubs, honky-tonks and other live music venues to choose from. It’s known as “Music City.”

CNN also suggests some of the best roadside attractions you’ll see along the way. Nearly a dozen mansions, all built between 1798 and 1861 and ranging in style from Caribbean to Greek revival, offer tours of buildings and grounds through Natchez Pilgrimage Tours.

There are also the more eccentric roadside attractions such as the Elvis statue in Tupelo, MS, the King’s hometown. Elvis is reaching out with his right hand and touching it has rapidly become a popular tradition for his fans.

Elvis Statue in Tupelo, MS

Elvis Statue in Tupelo, MS

In Florence, AL along the Parkway, make plans to visit the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall. Tom Hendrix has been building a stone wall for over 30 years in memory of his great-great-grandmother’s journey. His great-great-grandmother Te-lah-nay was part of the Yuchi Indian tribe that lived near here along the Tennessee River in the 1800s.

Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall in Florence, AL

Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall in Florence, AL

Not only are there many places to visit along this 444-mile historic route, you can experience some of the most delicious restaurants in the South located just off the Parkway. From fried food to seafood, you’ll find mouthwatering meals that you can’t get enough of, like the Loveless Cafe at the end of the Parkway in Nashville, TN. They serve up the most scrumptious biscuits you’ve ever put in your mouth! After a day of traveling and a fully belly, rest up and take advantage at one of the available bed & breakfast accommodations. Visit our website to search for places to stay and eat along the Trace.

The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, TN

The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, TN

The Natchez Trace Parkway is certainly a treat for all. This All-American Road and National Scenic Byway does not have stop lights, billboards, or large trucks–just beautiful scenery, outdoor recreational opportunities, 10,000 years of American history, and numerous places to eat, stay and shop. It makes for the ultimate summer road trip!

Interested in traveling the Trace? Visit our website at scenictrace.com or call 866. TRACE56 (872-2356). Get social with us and like us on Facebook, and follow us Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace.

10 Reasons The Natchez Trace Pkwy Should Be On Your Bucket List

We are fortunate to live close to the Natchez Trace Parkway in Nashville. It’s a true gem in terms of roadways, scenic destinations, and outdoor fun.

Over the past several years, I have spent many many hours hiking, bicycling, picnicking, motorcycling, jeeping, camping, and walking my dog there.

natchez-trace-parkway-drive

The Trace is one of the National Scenic Byways that passes through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Technically, it’s classified as a one of America’s All-American Roads. There are fewer than 40 All-American Roads in the United States.

To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least 1 of the 6 intrinsic qualities and be regionally significant. These roads are often the “roads less traveled.” To receive an All-American Road designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant and have one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road or highway must also be considered a “destination unto itself.” That is, the road must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip. Source

Here are my top 10 reasons to visit the Natchez Trace Pkwy. If you haven’t already, make sure you put it on your bucket list!

Read more: 10 Reasons The Natchez Trace Pkwy Should Be On Your Bucket List

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, August 2,  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.

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Pioneer Day at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, July 26, 2014

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, July  26, 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.

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway Named Best Hiking Destination

Natchez Trace Parkway: Named Best Hiking Area

Natchez Trace Parkway: Named Best Hiking Area

If you love the outdoors, the Natchez Trace is a must-visit spot this summer. It’s the perfect place to hike, soak up the sun, and experience all of the outdoor recreational activities the Parkway has to offer. But don’t take it from us — take it from all of those who recently voted the Natchez Trace Parkway as Best Hiking Area/Destination in Mississippi!

The Natchez Trace Compact is thrilled that for the second year, the Natchez Trace Parkway was named as a category winner for the best hiking destination in Mississippi. The winners were chosen by a reader survey highlighted in the July/August issue of Mississippi MagazineAs a Best of Mississippi winner, the Parkway is showcased on the GoMississippiMississippi Magazine’s free travel application for smartphones.

GoMississippi App

GoMississippi App

On the Natchez Trace Parkway, a wealth of recreational assets makes for endlessly repeatable fun. Wildlife viewing, scenery stealing, fishing, hiking, biking and water fun are all possible. The Natchez Trace Parkway is an outdoor paradise. It provides recreational fun for all ages and outdoor lovers.

People love hiking trails along the Trace because it’s easygoing, uncluttered, and offers natural, rare beauty. It offers nearly 100 miles of happy trails, including:

  • Over 60 miles of National Scenic Trail for hiking
  • 52 different hiking, horse and nature trails

Trail Options

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Rocky Springs Section (Milepost 59)

About 30 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, near Port Gibson, the Rocky Springs section offers eight miles of trail extending from the Utica-Regantown Rd. trailhead (Milepost 59 on the Natchez Trace Parkway) south to the Rocky Springs Campground (Milepost 54.8) that is open to horseback riding. This 8-mile steep and challenging horse trail contains creeks and ravines. Riders will need to cross the Parkway motor road one time on this trail. The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail continues on for two miles to Owens Creek Waterfall, but this section is open to hikers only. Click here for map.

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Yockanookany Section (Milepost 115)

The Yockanookany Trail, just north of Jackson, Mississippi, is 24 miles and passes through a variety of areas of historical significance and natural beauty. Access can be gained from the Highway 43 trailhead at Milepost 114.9 of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and you can travel north about 16 miles, or south about 7 miles. This is an out and back trail, not a loop. Click here for map.

Witch Dance Horse Trail in the Tombigbee National Forest (Milepost 233)

The Witch Dance Horse Trail, located on the Trace Unit of the Tombigbee National Forest, is an 18-mile, multi-loop trail and is one of the most popular horse trails in Mississippi, winding through varied topography and changing forest settings. Toilet facilities, hitching posts, and parking are provided at the trailhead by the Natchez Trace Parkway; the trailhead is located on the Natchez Trace north of Highway 8 at the Witch Dance Rest Area.

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Blackland Prairie Section (Milepost 260)

A 3.5-mile loop trail is located in southwest Tupelo, Mississippi, within the boundaries of the Parkway. The parking/staging area is accessed from Jackson Street in Tupelo, MS. From the Natchez Trace Parkway, exit onto Highway 6 at Milepost 260. A portion of the Blackland Prairie Section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail (not the Parkway) between milepost 265.5 and Old Town Creek is currently closed to trail users due to construction under Tupelo’s Major Thoroughfare Construction Project. Click here to read more about the closure.

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Highland Rim Section (Milepost 408 to 428)

The horse trail, approximately 25 miles in length, is located one mile south of Tennessee Highway 46 near the Leipers Fork Community, within the boundaries of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The trail parallels the parkway from the Garrison Creek comfort station (Milepost 427.6) parking/staging area to Tennessee Highway 50/Shady Grove (Milepost 408.0) parking/staging area. Click here for map.

Potkopinu Trail, southernmost section of National Scenic Trail

Potkopinu Trail, southernmost section of National Scenic Trail

A special thanks to the National Park Service for providing these maps. We hope you enjoy exploring the Natchez Trace Parkway’s beauty and fresh air this summer! Don’t forget to like The Natchez Trace on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace to stay up with the latest Trace news.

Natchez Trace Parkway Tourism Creates $138.9 Million in Local Economic Benefits

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS:  A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6 million visitors to the Natchez Trace Parkway in 2013 spent $138.9 million in communities near the Park.  This spending supported over 1,698 jobs in the local area.

“The Natchez Trace Parkway extends 444-miles through 41 county and municipal jurisdictions in the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi,” said Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. We are delighted to share the story of this place, the experiences it provides, and to use the Park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.  National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, U.S. Geological Survey economists, and Lynn Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 237,000 jobs nationally, with 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitors spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs). 

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about the economic impact of all national park units in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreational opportunities, go to:

·         www.nps.gov/Tennessee

·         www.nps.gov/Alabama

·         www.nps.gov/Mississippi

 

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway Named Best Hiking Destination

TUPELO, MS – For the second year, the Natchez Trace Parkway was named as a category winner for the best hiking destination in Mississippi.  The winners were chosen by a reader survey highlighted in the July/August issue of Mississippi Magazine.

As a Best of Mississippi winner, the Parkway is showcased on the GoMississippi, Mississippi Magazine’s free travel application for smartphones.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway 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 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

Natchez Trace Parkway Welcomes National Park Foundation Transportation Scholar

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway is pleased to welcome Transportation Scholar Joel Barnett.  Now in its 13th year, this program selects emerging transportation professionals to work side-by-side with the National Park Service staff to find solutions that address the growing and unique transportation issues in America’s national parks, including visitor safety, traffic, pollution, and congestion. Mr. Barnett’s main focus is to compile data to be used to develop a bicycle safety program on the Parkway.

“We are enthusiastic to be working with Mr. Barnett. He has a strong academic background in civil engineering with an emphasis in traffic studies, and we anticipate that the Parkway and our visitors will benefit from his expertise” said Superintendent Mary Risser.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is one of five national parks across the country selected to participate in the 2014 Transportation Scholars program of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The National Park Foundation’s Transportation Scholars program is made possible, in part, through the support of CSX TransportationEno Center for TransportationFederal Highway AdministrationMotorola Solutions Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center.

For additional information, please call the visitor center at 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

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.

About the National Park Foundation. The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support, and enrich America’s more than 400 national parks and their programs.  Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy, and support America’s treasured places.

For more information on the National Park Foundation and how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org

 

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Carol Bradley book signing at The Elephant Sanctuary Welcome Center

On July 26th, the award-winning former newspaper reporter and critically-acclaimed author Carol Bradley will visit The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee Welcome Center to answer your questions and sign copies of her book, “Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top.”

“Last Chain on Billie” chronicles how Billie overcame the psychological damage of her past and, while residing at The Elephant Sanctuary, learned to trust humans again. The book also explores the contemporary challenges facing zoos and circuses, as public scrutiny around conditions for captive elephants steadily increases.

Bradley, who studied animal law as a Harvard University Nieman Fellow, will visit several American cities. The Welcome Center is located at 27 E. Main St., in downtown Hohenwald, Tennessee. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at The Welcome Center.Carol Bradley Book Signing

Shirley’s First 15 Years at The Sanctuary

0036_ShirleySaturday, July 19

The Elephant Sanctuary Welcome Center

“Shirley’s First 15 Years at The Sanctuary”

Family friendly activities from 11 AM until 4:30 PM

Presentation from Staff at 3:30 PM

This is Shirley’s 15th Summer at The Elephant Sanctuary. At 66 years old, she shows no signs of “acting her age.” She spends her days exploring her habitat, socializing with the other elephants, foraging for food, swimming, and napping in the shade. Join us at our Welcome Center to see how this magnificent elephant has spent the past 15 years. We’ll have live streaming video from the elephant habitat and a photo slideshow featuring Shirley’s first 15 years at Sanctuary.

The Elephant Sanctuary Welcome Center is located at 27 E Main St in Downtown Hohenwald, Tennessee. There will be no live animals at these events.

Lovelace and Five Gets to Greet Visitors at AMHOF – July 23 in Tuscumbia

TUSCUMBIA — Cloverdale native Kenneth Lovelace, a member of the Alabama Music Hall
of Fame, and the members of his band the Five Jets, will be on hand at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Wednesday, July 23 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to meet and greet family, friends and fans of their music.
“You never know who you might see while touring the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.” said Dixie Connell Griffin, AMHOF Manager. “It’s so much fun to have our achievers visit with us and entertain us with great stories about their journey in the music business, and Wednesday, July 23, will be no exception.”
The Lovelace family is one of the earliest Shoals area families to have multiple members in the music industry. Kenneth, his cousins Jimmy and Raymond Lovelace, their aunt Christine Gentry and cousins Sam and Judd Phillips all worked in the industry.
The Five Jets, which included Lovelace, cousins Jimmy and Raymond, as well as Bob Cox, Ed Goodwin and Don Moore began playing music as youngsters. The band was a popular draw on the Southeastern Club circuit and beyond between 1955 and 1971. In 2006 the band reunited after releasing a new CD, and they are still playing together today. Kenneth Lovelace is the band director and lead guitarist for famed Rock and Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis.
For more information, contact the Alabama Music Hall of Fame at 256-381-4417.

Natchez Trace Parkway Junior Ranger Program

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Picture This” a special Junior Ranger program held at the Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.  Junior Rangers will be encouraged to release their inner artist as they explore the park and learn some basics of photography.  Participants should bring their own camera, or one may be available to borrow.

This program is free of charge.  The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, just north of Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call the visitor center at 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway to Host Volunteer Recruitment Event

RIDGELAND, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway is excited to host “VolunteerFest!” on July 18 and 19 at the Mississippi Crafts Center in Ridgeland, located at 950 Rice Road. This two-day event will highlight the Parkway volunteer opportunities that are available in the Ridgeland area. Potential volunteers are invited to drop in between 10:00 a.m. and noon, on either Friday or Saturday, to talk to park rangers and learn about volunteer opportunities including Visitor Information Center Hosts, Bike Patrol, and Trail Ambassadors.

“We are seeking members of the local community to assist us in supporting the National Park Service mission and sharing the history and beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway with visitors,” said Terry Wildy, Chief of Interpretation.

The Parkway is very popular with area residents and visitors to the Jackson and Ridgeland area. Thousands of people visit and utilize the Parkway Information Cabin, the Multi-Use Trail and the Yockanookany section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail every year. With over six million recreational visitors to the Parkway each year, the Natchez Trace Parkway supports over 1,550 local jobs, with visitors spending over $125 million in communities along the Parkway.

For more information about the event, please contact the Natchez Trace Parkway at 662-680-4027. For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit www.nps.gov/natr. 

www.nps.gov/natr

Love Campfires? Visit the Campfire Program along the Natchez Trace Parkway!

marshmallow

If you love sitting around the campfire, visiting with friends and family, roasting marshmallows and making oh-so-delicious s’mores, then you’re in luck!

You can join a park ranger for stories, songs, and fun around a campfire on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. This one hour program will meet at the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail Trailhead near milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. This program is not only fun, but it’s free! What better way to spend a night outdoors than along the beautiful Natchez Trace by a campfire?

A flashlight, insect repellent and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged. The trailhead is located across the Parkway from the Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo, MS. For more information about this and other Parkway programs, visit the National Park Service website here or call 1-800-305-7417.

Don’t forget to follow The Natchez Trace on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace!

Campfire Program at the Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS: Join a park ranger for stories, songs, and fun around a campfire on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. This one hour program will meet at the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail Trailhead near milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Visitors are welcome to bring their own marshmallows for roasting at the end of the program.

This program is free to the public. A flashlight, insect repellent and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged. The trailhead is located across the Parkway from the Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo, MS. 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

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 Begins Repairs to Parkway Bridge Town Creek

Natchez Trace Parkway Begins Repairs to Parkway Bridge Town Creek, Lee County, Mississippi

Tupelo, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway officials announce that repairs on the bridge over Town Creek near Tupelo, MS will begin on June 24.  Concrete repair and painting of the structural steel will be the major portions of the work to be completed as a part of this project.  Work should be completed in the fall of 2014.The contractor for this project is Sweat, LLC of Pensacola, FL.

Beginning June 24, 2014, visitors traveling on the Parkway will encounter one-lane traffic for about ¼ of a mile near milepost 264.4.  North and southbound traffic will utilize the same lane with traffic flow being controlled by an automated signaling system.

Parkway visitors are encouraged to use caution due to construction traffic around the work area and to anticipate short delays. 

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.

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Florence, AL Celebrate July 4th in McFarland Park

The 33rd Annual Spirit of Freedom Celebration, an annual Shoals tradition featuring live music, food, drinks and fireworks, is set for Friday, July 4 in McFarland Park in Florence.

“On behalf of the City of Florence, I am happy that the Shoals Radio Group produces this annual regional family favorite, our Spirit of Freedom Celebration,” said Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock.  “This patriotic event celebrates our nation’s birth.  I invite everyone to join us for a day of relaxation and fun.”

“The 2014 Spirit of Freedom Celebration will offer a great line-up of entertainment and a beautiful setting on the banks of the Tennessee River,” said Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Executive Director Debbie Wilson.  “Watching the fireworks on the banks of the river is a time honored tradition in the Shoals.”

Local and regional acts will perform on the event stage, starting at 1 pm. Alabama native Dale Watson is this year’s headliner, performing immediately after the fireworks display.

Watson is best known as “Austin’s King of Country Music.”  He was born in Birmingham, AL, but has made his home in Austin, TX.  He is the quintessential country baritone that calls his musical style “Ameripolitan”.   According to promoters, Watson’s sound is “smooth honky-tonk, the twang of Buck Owens, overlaid with Merle Haggard’s velvety delivery, and Elvis’ range and power. “ He has over 20 albums, with his latest being “El Rancho Azul,” which debuted on Billboard’s Current Country Albums Chart.  Old and new country fans will appreciate the classic roots country sound.

New to the event this year is the Budweiser Beer Garden presented by Tennessee Street Billiards and Grill.  Although entry into the entire event is free, food and drinks will be available for purchase.  Outside food and drink are prohibited. Coolers will be checked upon entry into the park.

Souvenir vendors will be found all around the park.  Another new addition to this year’s event is rides on “Big Jake”, a mechanical bull.

Sponsors include The City of Florence, Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, The Shoals Radio Group, TNT Fireworks, Lewey’s Sports & Apparel, NuWay Vape, Octapharma Plasma, Natchez Trace Harley Davidson, Regina K’s Restaurant and Catering, Grand Rental Station, Bankston Motor Home, Budweiser, Tennessee Street Billiards and Grill and E.A. Nelson Company.

For more information, contact Florence/Lauderdale Tourism at 256-740-4141 or visit www.VisitFlorenceAL.com

 

4th of July Festivities along the Trace!

Celebrate the 4th of July with the Natchez Trace Compact!

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country’s independence and spend time with loved ones. While you are traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway this 4th of July to enjoy a barbecue, shoot fireworks, take a boat ride or attend a parade, don’t forget to take in all the beauty along the Parkway.

Summer on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Summer on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Communities along the Natchez Trace Parkway are holding fun 4th of July celebrations this year. All along the 444 mile scenic byway you will find great patriotic events to peak just about anyone’s interests. So start of in Natchez and head north, checking out all of the great celebrations of our nation’s independence along the way. Bring your family and friends and enjoy what the Parkway and its communities have offer! Check out just a few 4th of July events happening this year:

Mississippi:

img-Balloon-Glow-Ridgeland

Ridgeland’s Celebrate America Balloon Glow

Alabama:

sheff

The Annual 4th of July Walking Parade in Sheffield, AL

Tennessee:

4th of July festivities in Nashville, TN

4th of July festivities in Nashville, TN

We wish you a happy and safe 4th of July!  Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace!

Hit-Making Drummers to Perform at AMHOF on June 21 in Muscle Shoals

Tuscumbia, AL  – On June 21, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. the Alabama Music Hall of Fame will present “HOME: Honoring Occupations in Music Event.” This event will showcase Alabama’s world famous drummers.

The Alpha Mu Lambda Fraternity from the University of North Alabama will partner with the Hall of Fame by kicking off the HOME Event with an African Drum Circle. “These guys are so talented, and very involved with community projects. You will be amazed with the emotions you feel when they play their drums,” said Dixie Connell Griffin, museum manager.

“George Lair, chairman of the Hall of Fame volunteers, has put together a fantastic program honoring the accomplishments of these drummers from Alabama.” Griffin said. Sherri Clark from Kicks 96 will be on hand to emcee the event. The program will feature drummers: Roger Clark, Milton Sledge, Owen Hale, Mickey Buckins, and Be Bop Evans, who have drummed for decades in the Muscle Shoals Music Industry. They will discuss their careers, have an impromptu jam, and answer questions from the audience. These drummers have played with the biggest names in pop, rock and country music.

The cost for the event is $10.00. Everyone will be given a souvenir program and can enjoy a tour of the museum to see the new display honoring Alabama drummers.

For more information, please call 256-381-4417 or email dconnell@alamhof.org.

Drummer event

 

May Visitation Numbers for Natchez Trace Parkway is Released

HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced a slight decrease in May recreational visits in 2014 over 2013 figures,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “This year, 489,190 people used the Parkway in May compared to 535,303 who were counted in 2013.”

  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
Year to date 2,382,651 2,262,710

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, 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

Natchez Trace Parkway Announces Junior Ranger Program

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Sensory Overload” a special Junior Ranger program held at the Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, June 21, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.  Junior Rangers will use all of their senses to learn more about wildlife along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

This program is free of charge.  The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at milepost 266, just north of Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call the visitor center at 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

 

Office of the Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway

(662) 680-4005NATR_Superintendent@nps.gov

New Bed & Breakfast along the Natchez Trace Parkway: Kickstand Cottage

Summertime is officially here, and there isn’t a better time to get out and enjoy the Natchez Trace Parkway! If you’re setting your sights on the numerous opportunities for recreation along one of the country’s greatest scenic byways, you’ll be sure to have fun no matter how you choose to spend your day. However, when the sun sinks down below the oaks and pines, even the most intrepid of travelers will probably start to wonder where they can find some well-deserved rest.
Summer on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Summer on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Luckily, not too much has changed on the Trace during the last few hundred years. Just like the traders and woodsmen of days past, the modern traveler can find a cozy bed and great food at a wealth of local bed and breakfasts scattered along the trail.
Kickstand Cottage in Baldwyn, MS

Kickstand Cottage in Baldwyn, MS

The newest of those retreats is the Kickstand Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Baldwyn, MS. Located near Tupelo, the small B&B is a family-friendly operation which welcomes all guests, but offers special amenities which may prove extra useful to those traveling by bicycle or motorcycle. Particularly for those peddling down the Natchez Trace, Kickstand Cottage offers a shuttle service to and from the Trace, along with safe and secure overnight storage of bicycles and gear. You can find more information about offers and amenities HERE.
An evening around the campfire is a perfect way to wind down a day on the Trace.

An evening around the campfire is a perfect way to wind down a day on the Trace.

If you’re looking for quiet place to recharge along the Trace, Kickstand Cottage will fit the bill. The B&B is only fifteen minutes from Tupelo, MS and four miles from the Natchez Trace itself. Still, it is just enough off the beaten path to insure that you’ll enjoy a quiet evening around the fire pit and the farm-fresh breakfast awaiting you in the morning. So next time you go adventuring along the Trace, be sure to check out the byway’s newest B&B, the Kickstand Cottage in Baldwyn, MS.
To join the conversation about the things to do and places to visit along the Parkway this summer, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace!

FLORENCE/LAUDERDALE TOURISM PLANS GRAND OPENING – JUNE 2

The long-awaited grand opening of the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office & Visitor Center is scheduled for Monday, June 2 at 10 a.m. The Shoals Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony.  State and local dignitaries including Lee Sentell, Director of the Alabama Tourism Department, will also attend.

“The grand opening represents the completion of a long term goal by our board of directors, staff and elected officials,” said Debbie Wilson, Director of Florence/Lauderdale Tourism. “It also represents a new era in promoting Florence, Lauderdale County and our region as a tourism destination. We hope the Center will be a source of pride for our community and a source of inspiration for visitors in creating memorable experiences.”

Located in McFarland Park, the $2 million Center has impressive displays and exhibits designed by Method-1, a division of ExpoDisplays of Birmingham.. These exhibits feature the area’s tourism assets, including the music heritage, Wilson Dam, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rosenbaum Home and other architecture, Native American artifacts, as well as tributes to famous faces like W.C. Handy, Helen Keller, Billy Reid and Natalie Chanin. Another highlight is a large aquarium with local fish and information on the abundant fishing that can be found on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.

Tourism officials broke ground on the Center in early 2013. Architect Robert Whitten was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture for the 7,500-square-foot building. Both Whitten and the local contractor Parallax Building Systems utilized local vendors like Block USA, Monarch Tile and Centiva for all aspects of the design. Award-winning wood artist and furniture maker Robin Wade provided benches, lectern and tables made of local wood.

The offices for the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism staff are now located in the Center. Two Visitor Experience Specialists have been hired to assist travelers. The staff will train a corps of volunteers for the Center this summer.

The grand opening event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 256-740-4141.

Prairie Walk at the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: Delve into the beauty of Mississippi’s native Blackland Prairie with a park ranger on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Chickasaw Village Site.  This one hour program will take participants on a half-mile walk through a prairie remnant in search of all that is wonderful in a prairie: wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and much more.

“Prairies are kaleidoscopes of color,” said Park Ranger Kristen Maxfield, who will lead the hike. “Bring your own binoculars to get a chance to see brilliant blue indigo buntings and golden common yellowthroats, or a camera to capture the royal purple of prairie clover.”

Participants may borrow one of a limited number of binoculars. There is no shade on the prairie. Visitors are encouraged to bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and insect repellent. Comfortable, close-toed shoes are also recommended.

This program is free. The Chickasaw Village Site is located at milepost 261.8 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, 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.

Beat the Heat on the Bear Creek along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Summertime along the Natchez Trace Parkway is certainly a magical time. Lush green foliage and limitless blue skies are signatures of the historic 444-mile pathway. Summertime also brings another, less welcoming, feature to the Natchez Trace: heat. There’s no denying it, if you aren’t under a shade-tree with a glass of tea in your hand, you might feel like you’re going to melt away. But no worries–there are fun ways to stay cool this summer on the Parkway. If you find yourself on the Natchez Trace in need of a refreshing activity, we suggest you check out the Bear Creek near Tishomingo in Northeastern Mississippi. 

bear1
Bear Creek

Bear Creek runs right through beautiful Tishomingo State Park, just a stonesthrow off of the Natchez Trace. Tishomingo State Park offers canoe trips down the Bear Creek featuring scenic views of the Appalachian foothills, relaxing waterfalls and bubbling rapids. If you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife, too! As you float between high rocky bluffs and white sandbars, you’ll be reminded of the immense beauty that Mississippi and the Natchez Trace have to offer. The Bear Creek canoe trip is more watching than working. The calm waters push you gently downstream for approximately two hours, finishing up at the historic swinging bridge in Tishomingo State Park.

Tishomingo State Park
Bear Creek

The two-hour float costs $30 per canoe. Tishomingo State Park provides everything you’ll need to get downriver (canoe, paddles and lifejackets), but they advise you to bring your own lunchbox sized cooler for the float. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the river, but make sure to pack some cold drinks and sandwiches because you’ll want to stop for a snack on one of the many scenic sandbars along the river. We recommend calling ahead and making advanced reservations. Once your trip has been booked, park officials say you need to report to the Park Office 30-minutes prior to departure time, just so they can do a head count for safety. You’ll be leaving your car at the park’s Swinging Bridge Area and are transported upstream to begin the float trip

bear3
Tishomingo Swinging Bridge

If you are interested in more information regarding Tishomingo State Park and the Bear Creek canoe trip click HERE. To view a pricing schedule for other park activities, click HERE.

Contact Tishomingo County Tourism:

  • 1001 Battleground Drive, Iuka, MS 38852
  • 1-800-FUN-HERE (1-800-386-4373)
  • info@tishomingo.org

If you need a break from the sweltering summertime heat, the Bear Creek Canoe trip might be just what the doctor ordered. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great ideas about experiencing the amazing Natchez Trace!

FOR VISITOR INFORMATION:  866-TRACE 56

(866-872-2356)

www.scenictrace.com

Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center: 662-680-4017

Battle of Iuka

September 19, 1862

As part of a larger Confederate offensive move into Kentucky, Confederate General Braxton Bragg ordered Major General Sterling Price, former governor of Missouri and victor of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, to march into Iuka to prevent Union Major General William S. Rosecrans from moving into Tennessee to reinforce a Union garrison at Nashville, thus potentially threatening Bragg’s forces.

Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, feared that Price was moving to reinforce Bragg’s forces in Kentucky. Grant devised a plan to catch Price’s forces in a pincher movement in Iuka. Grant ordered Major General E. O. C. Ord to advance on Iuka from the west. Rosecran’s forces were to advance on Iuka from the southwest and make a coordinated attack on Price. Ord arrived on time but Rosecrans was delayed. Grant ordered Ord to await the sound of fighting between Rosecrans and Price before engaging the Confederates. Rosecrans arrived about mid-afternoon atop a ridge near Iuka and immediately engaged the Confederates.

Price posted two divisions north of Iuka to oppose Ord and was surprised by Rosecrans’ sudden appearance in his rear. The Confederates launched an attack and captured a six-gun Union battery while Rosecrans attacked from atop the ridge. Price reported that he had “never seen such fighting.” The battle raged even after darkness fell.

The Battle of Iuka was one of the bloodiest battles up to that time, with Union casualities of 782 out of a force of 4,500 and Confederate casualities of 1,516 out of a force of 3,200. Confederate Brigadier General Henry Little was also killed in action at the Battle of Iuka. Remarkably, neither Ord nor Grant heard the sounds of the battle due to what is known as “acoustic shadow.” Price’s army was able to escape during the night to join Major General Earl Van Dorn at Ripley. Union forces occupied Iuka and mounted an unsuccessful pursuit of Price.

Union forces carried the day but failed to capture or destroy Price’s forces. Price and Van Dorn in October 1862 launched an assault on Corinth which also resulted in a Union victory.

FLW PRO ANGLER TO HOST FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT SHOALS – JUNE 7

FLW Pro Angler Rich Dalbey will host a food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Northern Alabama when he is here to fish in the FLW Tournament on Pickwick Lake in June.
Dalbey invites the local community and participants in the tournament to bring cans of food to the FLW Expo which will be held on Saturday, June 7 from noon to 4 pm at the Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road, Florence, AL 35630. Everyone who brings five cans of food will be entered to win a $100 Walmart gift card.
Dalbey, a FLW professional angler, has won over $140,000.00 in FLW sponsored fishing events and has qualified for the Forrest L. Wood Cup Championship Tournament three times, finishing third in 2012, as a co-angler. Additionally, Dalbey has one win and 13 top 10 finishes to his credit in FLW sponsored tournaments around the United States. Dalbey currently sits in tenth place for Angler of the Year.
He and his wife, Frances, reside in Greenville, Texas. When he is not on the road, he enjoys volunteering at his local food bank. He is seeking to bring a greater awareness of the need in some of the communities where the FLW tournaments are held,
For further information contact Frances Dalbey at 817-798-0990 or visit their website at www.hooked-on-helping.org