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.