The Natchez Trace Compact is thrilled about this news — despite the Government shutdown last year, you still love the Parkway!
The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced an increase in recreational visits in 2013 despite the shutdown in October. More than 6.01 million people used and visited the Natchez Trace Parkway in 2013, which is up from the 5.56 million people on the Parkway in 2012. This made the Natchez Trace Parkway the eighth most visited National Park Service site. When the non-recreational user numbers, such as commuters in the Tupelo and Ridgeland areas, are added to the equations, more than 14.7 million people used the Parkway in 2013.
“Since we started keeping statistics for recreational users on the Parkway in 1953, more than 425.6 million visitors have used the Parkway,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “That doesn’t include those individuals who use the Parkway as part of their daily commute. The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level. Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing or horseback riding, there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.
The Parkway’s 87 miles of trails contain 52 short nature trails and four segments of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, which is available for longer hikes. The Parkway Visitor Center, located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi, hosts monthly programs, including Dulcimer Days and Junior Ranger activities. To find out more about upcoming programs, you can visit the NPS site here.
Besides recreational users, the Parkway is also used as an educational resource by students and teachers. In 2013, almost 4,000 children visited the Parkway on school field trips.
It’s clear the Natchez Trace Parkway is the ultimate place to find recreational activities you will love. Want to join the conversation and learn more? Get social with us! Like The Natchez Trace on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up with the latest news on things to do this spring and summer along the Natchez Trace.