The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive that stretches through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee – linking Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS. The current roadway mainly follows the path of the Old Natchez Trace, which was a combination of a wilderness road, horse trail and foot path. One of most frequently used sections of the trail was known as Natchez or Chickasaw Trail.
It was regularly used throughout the late 1700s and early 1800s as a commercial road between the East and the Southwest and Mississippi River, but it had been animal and Native American trail for thousands of years. The original wilderness road ran through Old Town, MS, which was an area settled due to the abundance of bison and water. This section is known as the Old Natchez Trace.
Due the difficulty of navigating the Natchez Trace, in 1800, the U.S. Congress created legislation to create a major road that would allow for easier travel between Nashville and Natchez. “The Government Road” was completed in 1802, and this road linked Nashville with the original Trace.
Historical Marker Inscription
Two portions of a nearly 200 year old wilderness road, the Old Natchez Trace, are preserved here. Nearly 500 miles long, it grew from Indian trails to a national road and communications link between the Old Southwest and the United States to the northeast.
A short 5-minute loop walk to your left lets you see both sections and lets you stroll down a steeply eroded, sunken part of the Old Natchez Trace.
Natchez Trace Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157, United States
32° 25′ 28.758″ N, 90° 5′ 20.440″ W