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The Natchez Trace Parkway is a Federal ParkRoad a lot like the Blue Ridge Parkway as far as the type of road and some of the scenery. No high mountain views though like the B.R.P. The Trace begins in Natchez, Mississippi and ends about 450 miles later just south of Nashville, Tennessee in Franklin. I thought that the best riding parts are from the Mississippi/Alabama State line north to Nashville. The southern part is beautiful, but relatively flat. This road has a lot of history. Apparently early pioneers would float their goods down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Natchez Mississippi where they would sell their stuff. They even sold the lumber from the boats they made to get their wares there. They then would hike back to Nashville, Tennessee. This trail or trace was used for many, many years. The remnants of it are still visible. You can walk parts of it still today. Along the way, there are ancient Indian Burial Mounds and a whole ton on of history. There are lots of pull offs, bathrooms and a very well maintained road.

We began our trip in mid April at the Comfort Inns Suites, located on the river across the Mississippi River from Natchez in Vidalia, Louisiana. it a very nice and relatively new motel. Videlia is about 150 miles from New Orleans. We left from there for the 2 day trip to Nashville. The speed limit on the Parkway is 50 mph on most parts and slower on some others. It’s enforced too. There are lots of park rangers on it. It rained the entire first day of our trip, however it was a light rain and the scenery was beautiful. We saw deer, lot's of turkeys and buzzards. No bears though, darn! Plan your route for gas stops. To get gas, you have to leave the Parkway. While some gas stops may be really close to the Parkway, other may be some distance away. We stopped for the night in Starkville, Mississippi, home of MSU. That was a good halfway point. Lot of motels, restaurants, stores etc.... in case you need something. The next day was clear and sunny, but not very warm. We had packed lunches the first day and thought we could finish it and just do a late lunch at the end. We took a break at the Tennessee side of the Tennessee River Bridge. There's a really nice pull off with bathrooms there and more great scenery. It took us longer to do the ride than we’d figured so it was about 3 pm when we exited the Trace. I would suggest you pack lunches each day you plan on being on it. At the end of the Parkway, we found the Loveless Café (Diner to the stars). We ate there. I think every country singer etc in world has eaten there. There are gift shops etc ... there. The food was ok but not great. The prices were pretty reasonable though. This was one “way kool” ride and is well worth doing. You might be able to do it in 1 day but you'd be missing everything. Plan on 2 for sure. Thanks Eck.

 

Steve

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Very well said Steve. For those of you like me, who are in no way into History it is still an EXTREMEMLY relaxing ride full of beautiful scenery. Don't let the history keep you from giving it a ride.

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Thanks Steve and Jay for the comments.

Here are some pics I took. Maybe the others can post thiers when they get time.

The round disk looking thing is an old bath tub..notice the soap dish on the right side

The last pic is the create from France that the piano was shipped in.

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Very well said Steve. For those of you like me, who are in no way into History it is still an EXTREMEMLY relaxing ride full of beautiful scenery. Don't let the history keep you from giving it a ride.

 

 

RoadKill was soooooooo relaxed that the curb jumped up and hit him during one of his naps.....:Hitit:

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

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RoadKill was soooooooo relaxed that the curb jumped up and hit him during one of his naps.....:Hitit:

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

 

Yeah. That napping while turning into a pulloff can be a little awakening to say the least :confused24::biker::thumbsup: Oh well. No Harm, No Foul. It was pretty hard to Nap though with someone GOBBLING over the CB all the time:rasberry:

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  • 4 years later...

1 of the BEST thing about the trace if u ride toward Nashville , at the end about 1/4 mile off the trace is a cafe called LOVELESS has the best food u will find anywhere...

 

I agree the trace is the prettiest from about Tupelo, Ms NORTH... the southern half is good riding but not the scenery as the north 1/2.....

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Thanks for the report on the Natchez Trace. Last year my wife and I did a 2 weeker out east to ride the great roads in and around Tennessee, North Ga, and NC, including the Blue Ridge Parkway. After stopping in Tupelo to see Elvis' birthplace, we rode the Natchez Trace the 60 miles or so up north to Cherokee Alabama. I have to say, we weren't greatly impressed. Actually, we got a little bored because it felt like we were just riding through a chute of pine trees for 60 miles without much scenery. However, after reading your report, I now realize we need to give it another chance and ride farther north where there abviously must be beautiful scenery to experience. Or maybe south of Tupelo where there might be some cool history to read about.

 

Yes, we are guilty of prematurely judging a road.

 

Thanks again.

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At the end of the Parkway, we found the Loveless Café (Diner to the stars). We ate there. I think every country singer etc in world has eaten there. There are gift shops etc ... there. The food was ok but not great.

 

at the end about 1/4 mile off the trace is a cafe called LOVELESS has the best food u will find anywhere

 

Oh Kay!? So which is it? Loveless Cafe: "ok, but not great" or "the best food u will find anywhere..." ?

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Thanks for the good report on the Trace. That is on my bucket list now that I have ridden the BRP. Been doing a little recent research and your report was very timely. I noticed on another post that it might be a good detour to get off and go to Dismal Canyon near Russelville, Al. while riding the Trace. Thanks again.

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thanks for the report on the trace. i have been wanting to ride it. may do it on the way to the wny rally. i realy have no set route to get there. but i must swing by my stepmom's at delmont, pa on the way to n.y. she would be mad at me if i didn't stop in and see her.

reguards

don c.

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thanks for the report on the trace. i have been wanting to ride it. may do it on the way to the wny rally. i realy have no set route to get there. but i must swing by my stepmom's at delmont, pa on the way to n.y. she would be mad at me if i didn't stop in and see her.

reguards

don c.

 

Don, a good ride from your place is from Livingston to Alexandria to Natchez, up the trace to our house for a 1st day ride.....:cool10:

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My wife and I rode to Natzhez and got up the next morning to ride the trace. I got so bored I had trouble staying awake. We got off on an interstate, don't remember the highway number, that goes into Memphis and went to Graceland. Still had a good time.

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We've done the full Natchez Trace Parkway once and half of it another time. Beautiful ride, but it is a cruise-and-stop kind of ride. It is NOT a high speed curve fest! Make lots of side stops, short walks, photo ops, visit some of the off the parkway towns and sights.

As for the Loveless Cafe. Most people give it really high marks. We found it only average, small portions and just a bit pricey for the portions. Not a bad place, just not in our estimation worthy of the TV plugs and high praise it has garnered.

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My wife and I rode to Natzhez and got up the next morning to ride the trace. I got so bored I had trouble staying awake. We got off on an interstate, don't remember the highway number, that goes into Memphis and went to Graceland. Still had a good time.

 

 

If you got bored on the Trace then you would really hate the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both of these are the type of rides that my wife and I really look forward to. We have riden both of these several times end to end since 1971. Little to no traffic and a road with a view.:biker: We have actually gotten bored on the Dragon.

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Hmmm. We rode 400 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway 2 days after we rode some of the Natchez Trace, and in our opinion the BRP blows the Trace away. High elevations, amazing scenery, cooler temps, numerous tunnels, etc. Now that is a road that I would find it hard to be bored on.

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  • 2 years later...

riding north toward Nashville or south from Nashville look for the exit to Hohenwald, Tn.... go to 18 N Maple St, Hohenwald, TN 38462 Junkyard Dog Steakhouse,,,, they have more than steaks, BUT 1 of the best steaks you will find ...Great BURGERS !!... also after you leave look up hwy 99 South in Hohenwald one of the best roads in middle Tn...http://junkyarddogsteakhouse.com/

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Have to agree with the folks who say the Trace is quit boring and the BRP blows it away by comparison. I will say they are 2 totally different roads, with 2 totally different reasons for being there. Since it is roughly 260 miles from home to the Trace, and 270 from home to Asheville and the parkway, I'll take the longer, more scenic ride.

Before any one passes judgement and passes up th Trace you should see it for yourself, it may be the exact road you have looked for.

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