Fall is upon us and when I think of fall vacations, I always think of Tennessee. I suppose it’s the lure of the abundance of trees across this mountainous state. If you want to really see the beauty of Tennessee then you might want to take a road trip along the Natchez Trace.
The Trace is a beautiful drive that follows the 10,000 year old Native American trail. There are historic sites along the way, as well as some of the state’s most gorgeous natural sites. You will first want to hop on Route 64 and stop at Shiloh National Battlefield. The battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest in the Civil War. The cemetery there is breathtaking and the visitor’s center is interesting.
There are TONS of awesome places to stop along the Trace, as well as food, restrooms, and picnic spots.
- Mile marker 438 – Double Arch Bridge spans across Birdsong Hollow received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995 for its innovative design. The bridge can be viewed from two locations.
- Mile marker 427 – War of 1812 Memorial
- Mile marker 407.7 – One of the few remaining buildings associated with the old Natchez Trace is the house of ferry operator John Gordon. A 10 minute walk beginning at the Gordon House leads to a section of the original Natchez Trace and the Duck River Ferry site.
- Mile marker 404.7 – A steep trail (concrete sidewalk) 900 feet long takes you to a clear pool at the base of the gorgeous Jackson Falls. A gentle 1/4 mile trail leads to a lookout 300 feet above the Duck River.
- Mile marker 391.9 – Fall Hollow is just off the Parkway (you can park your car and walk 10 feet and see and hear some of the action). A path and a set of wooden bridges take you across the small creeks before they begin their tumbling descent. The easy part of the path ends at an observation deck where you can look down at the largest waterfall.
- Mile marker 385.9 – The Meriwether Lewis National Monument includes the monument and also a replica of Grider’s Stand, which was the inn that Lewis died in either by murder or suicide.
- Mile marker 282.8 – A 5 minute stroll beyond Metal Ford leads you beside the Buffalo River to the McLish stand exhibit and then back to this point by way of the historic mill trace.
- Mile marker 375.8 – This 2.5 mile road (one-way north) follows the original Natchez Road route. Several overlooks provide views of the countryside.
- Mile marker 364.5 – From the parking area it is a short walk down a trail to this natural limestone creek and bluff. There is also a nice shaded picnic area.
October and November are by far the best months to travel the Natchez Trace. Have you been? Let’s us know which site was your favorite!