Parkway Celebrates 75 Years!

On May 18, 1938, the Natchez Trace Parkway was created to commemorate a historic travel route that had existed for about 10,000 years–and is still going strong. Come celebrate!

75th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Natchez Trace Parkway will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on Saturday, May 18, 2013. The free, family-oriented event, to be held from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo, MS, will include live music, children’s activities, classic cars, and much more.

The day will kick off with opening remarks from Senator Thad Cochran, the Natchez Trace Parkway superintendent, and other officials. Individuals representing the historical people of the Old Trace will be on hand to welcome visitors, including people portraying a “Kaintuck,” Civil War soldiers, and Meriwether Lewis.

Children will have the opportunity to earn a special Natchez Trace Parkway 75th Anniversary patch by participating in different activities, including a discovery walk, a mock archeological dig, and more.

Other activities include the music of the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association, classic cars from the years 1938-2013, and a booth where people with special memories of the parkway may record those stories. Food will be available to the public at 1938 prices, thanks to the support of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.

More information will be available as plans progress.

Geocaching “Travel Bugs” to be Released

The Natchez Trace Parkway will be releasing one travel bug each month to help celebrate its 75th anniversary. Each bug will have a travel goal and mission that is related to the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Geocachers pick up travel bugs, also known as “hitchhikers,” from an established cache and then carry the bug to another established cache to help it accomplish its mission. The only physical cache on the Parkway is at the travel bug launch site, at the Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo, Mississippi. Please remember that leaving personal property materials in caches on National Park Service property is not permitted. Anyone can follow the movements of the bug by registering for free on

The first travel bug, with tracking number TB58XYV, was released on January 1st. Its mission is to stop in towns along the Old Natchez Trace corridor, visiting Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee, as many times as possible in the year 2013.

The second bug, with tracking number TB58XYZ, was released February 1st, and has a theme related to Black History Month.

Parkway Art Contest

High school aged artisits are invited to submit their artwork depicting the theme “On the Natchez Trace” to their art instructors for possible submission into the Natchez Trace Parkway’s 75th Anniversary art contest.

Staff at the Natchez Trace Parkway will select winners and pieces for display at the Parkway Visitor Center in Tupelo, MS for the Natchez Trace Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration on May 18th, 2013. Cash prizes will be awarded.

The contest officially opens at 8:00 a.m. on February 18, 2013. Teachers must submit student work.

For rules and further details, click here.

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