The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of American history. You wouldn’t get the full experience of the Parkway if you didn’t stop at one of the many scenic overlooks. When traveling the Natchez Trace you will encounter breathtaking attractions and overlooks.
Twentymile Bottom Overlook near Tupelo, MS, is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 278.4. Twentymile Bottom, now cultivated, was typical of the many low areas along streams through which the Natchez Trace passed. From the overlook you can see the bottom land of Twentymile Creek. This land is typical of the terrain encountered by early travelers of the Natchez Trace.
In 1812, Reverend John Johnson stopped at old Factors Stand near this bottom and wrote this account of bottomland travel, “I have this day swam my horse five times, bridged one creek, forded several others besides the swamp we had to wade through. At night we had a shower of rain. Took up my usual lodging on the ground in company with several Indians.”
Reservoir Overlook – This 50 square mile reservoir is formed by an earth filled dam.
At the beautiful Reservoir Overlook, bicyclists, walkers and joggers can access the Multi-Use Trail from Reservoir Overlook’s parking area. This is the northern section of the trail.Walk or bike with family and friends for miles and miles. This route helps bicyclists avoid heavy car traffic through the Jackson/Ridgeland/Madison area. The greenery along the Multi-Use trail allows visitors to truly enjoy the outdoors.
Old Town Overlook – At Old Town Overlook, located at milepost 263.9, hikers can continue north for 2 miles to reach the Parkway Visitor Center, or continue south for 2 miles to reach the Chickasaw Village Site. This section of Scenic Trail is open to hikers only, and requires walking on the Parkway for road and creek crossings. The Old Town Overlook parking area provides parking and access to the Tupelo section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail.
Black Belt Overlook: Ages ago this area was under an arm of the ocean. Shells and other marine organisms were deposited to form limestone. Exposure of the limestone to all types of weathering gradually changed it into a heavy fertile soil of various colors. The dominant black soil has given the area the name black belt, or black prairie. The black belt extends south beyond Columbus, MS then heads eastward across nearly all of Alabama. Formerly one of America’s great cotton areas, it is now considered excellent pasture for livestock.
Freedom Hills Overlook: On the way up the trail there are two benches where you can stop and rest before continuing on up the hill. Another bench is placed conveniently at the top of the trail.
Baker Bluff Overlook: The Family Farm Working in Harmony With the Environment. The plaque is a depiction of what you see from the bluff of farm land, river and fields. A trail leads from Bakers Bluff to Jackson Falls.
Birdsong Hollow and HWY 96 Double-Arched Bridge:
Completed in 1994, the double-arched bridge carries Trace travelers 1,648 feet across the valley and Tennessee Highway 96.
The bridge can be viewed from two locations. Just north of the bridge there is a parking area with a view of the bridge and the valley below. Just south of the bridge is an exit ramp that takes you down to Tennessee Highway 96. At the bottom of the hill there is a parking area with a view looking up at the entire length of the bridge.
Swan View Overlook: This overlook is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 392.5. From here you can see the water tower in Hohenwald, Tennessee, the highest town between New Orleans and Chicago.
Water Valley Overlook: Water Valley Overlook is located at milepost 411.8. Take the time to pull off the Trace and drive up the short road to the top of the ridge. From the top you will be rewarded with a 180 degree view of Water Valley.
So come unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenic overlooks 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 Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram @TheNatchezTrace