Hopping in your RV for a winter trip along the Natchez Trace Parkway is something you need to plan in the coming months. This 444-mile drive offers unbelievable scenery and plenty of American history. The “Old Trace” is a path that involved Indians, settlers and presidents. Outdoor recreation is abundant too!
Start out in Nashville, TN and stay awhile to enjoy the sights to see in “Music City.” Before you begin your travels along the parkway, you will want to get caught up in all Nashville has to offer the visitor. There is always a huge calendar of events which showcases the best musical experiences you can imagine.
There is no doubt that your first stop should be the Grand Ole Opry House on Opryland Drive. Pick up a concert schedule and get tickets to see some of the best country music artists around. This spot has launched many careers. Then visit the Hermitage to see exhibits, a film about the history of President Andrew Jackson. This Antebellum plantation is now restored and is a fabulous museum.
More history is waiting for you at the Belle Meade Plantation where you get a true flavor of the historic American south. Then head over to 5th Avenue South to take in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville’s entertainment district. You will find many treasures that will bring back memories of country music as it used to be. Then at the Tennessee State Museum experience a long list of historic displays that highlight periods in Tennessee from prehistoric times to the Civil War and Reconstruction.
In the evening, you will want to spend some time on the General Jackson Showboat. This 300-foot-long paddlewheel riverboat is styled just like those that moved up and down the waterways in the south in the 1800s. Have a delicious dinner, dance on the deck under the stars and relax. You can also enjoy a cruise in the daylight hours.
Now you are ready to take off on the Natchez Trace Parkway and travel south out of Nashville. This is a year round drive that is sure to please any RVer. However, you must make it a point to fill up before leaving Nashville as there is only one gas station on the Parkway. It is located at mile 193. Stop along the way to hike, fish or take part in special events. Rangers can give you schedules so you can plan your itinerary.
When you come to Birdsong Hollow, stop near the arched bridge and take in the view. You can see its innovative design from north of the bridge at the parking area, or taking the exit ramp just south of the bridge which takes you to Highway 96. From here you will be looking up at the entire length. Be sure to have your camera handy.
When you come to Tennessee Valley Divide you will be at milepost 423.9 and can stop for some fresh air, stretch your legs and take in the views. Then you will want to visit the Phosphate Mine for a real treat. You can hike for five minutes to a railroad bed and collapsed mineshaft for a unique experience. As you drive on and move south of the Tennessee State line, there are opportunities for short walks, stops at prehistoric mound sites and other historical points of interest. At Colbert Ferry in Alabama you can park in the parking area and walk a short distance up a small path to see Colbert’s stand where travelers stopped for shelter. Add on another twenty minutes of walking and you will come to a bluff overlook.
You will come to the Bear Creek Mound and Village Site before leaving Alabama and entering Mississippi. This was a ceremonial site in 1100 to 1300 A.D. This is at milepost 308.8 and is free of charge to view. Another great stop is the Twentymile Bottom Overlook. You may see other places to pull over and enjoy the Mississippi weather.
Tupelo, Mississippi is a wonderful place to stop off to do some shopping and to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley. You will also like to visit the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo. You will find the Natchez Trace RV Park is just south of Tupelo and offers wonderful RV camping.
You will finally reach Natchez, Mississippi which is the end of your trip. This is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi. Be sure to allot some time to stay here a while so you can wind down from your drive and enjoy some browsing in the shops and grab some incredibly good food.