Streams, Lakes and Rivers

The Tennessee River

The Tennessee River

Streams provided landmarks to travelers on the old Natchez Trace.  Today those same streams serve to help visitors relax and become immersed in the natural environment.

The Tennessee River, as seen at the left, provides some spectacular views.  In the late 1700′s and early 1800′s, Chickasaw Chief George Colbert operated a ferry near this point to help travelers cross the river.  In the 1930′s the Tennessee Valley Authority widened the river by creating the Wilson Dam for hydroelectric power.  Today the river is popular for boating and fishing.  A boat ramp is available at  Colbert Ferry park on the south side of the river.


Cypress Swamp

Ross Barnett Reservoir is so large that at times the opposite shore is not visible across the horizon..  The nearby Cypress Swamp, which is filled with Tupelo cypress trees, is one of the few swamps remaining along the parkway.  Swamps were once common along the Natchez Road, particularly during rainy seasons.  Though causeways built by the U.S. army drained many of the swamps, a soldier returning home on the Natchez Road in 1813 said that his company walked up to half a mile at a time in waist-high water during the spring.  Today, visitors will find a bridge and a paved trail along the edge of the swamp.Cypress Swamp Lake Nature.

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