Natchez Trace Trail

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The Natchez Trace Trail follows the footsteps of some of earliest inhabitants of North America. Discover history in motion with 70 miles of trail and 444 miles of paved parkwaypart of the broader Natchez Trace area.

Distance: 70 miles of trail and 444 miles of paved parkway

States: Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama

Year Established: 1983

Best Times of Year to Visit: Year-round

Photo courtesy of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.

Notable Spots Along Trail:

  • The southernmost section of the trail, the Potkopinu section, features 3 miles along a stretch of historic sunken road, which was likely an old trail that ran from the Choctaw Nation to Natchez. It also  passes the home site of Apuckshunubbe, a Choctaw leader of the western district of the Choctaw Nation, in Yockanookany.
  • Visitors can walk along a ridge with scenic overlooks through former Chickasaw land in Apuckchunubbe, Highland Rim.

Fun Facts, According to the Natchez Trace Parkway Association:

  • Some early nomadic peoples followed a number of paths between Central America and the northern North American continent, including one that became known as the Natchez Trace.
  • Sections of the trail trace one of the oldest trails and oldest roads in North America. It started as a footpath in prehistoric times, later became a horse trail, then a federal wagon road and eventually a parkway.

Trail Uses: Hiking use in all parts and equestrian use in some sections.

Photo courtesy of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.

Administering Agency: National Park Service

Nonprofit Partner: Natchez Trace Parkway Association

Permitting Information: No special permits are needed.

REI Stewardship: The co-op has invested $5,000 in the Natchez Trace Trail since 2016.

Read More:

Learn more about all of our national scenic trails.

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