WHAT WE SAW: The Natchez Trace is an all weather highway of ancient origin. It was an interwoven length of footpaths used by Native American tribes and was made by the cultures before them. The Natchez Trace was only one of many paths into and across the area bounded by the Appalachian Mountains, Ohio River, Mississippi River, and the north halves of Alabama and Mississippi. This area by consensus of the tribes was a hunting preserve with Woodland Buffalo and many other animals. Tribes were not allowed to establish a permanent residence there, or it was war. When Euro-Americans began settling in the area, they assigned reservations in the area to various tribes. The Natchez Trace enters this area from the southwest. The Santa Fe Trace enters it from the southeast. The Warrior’s Path enters it from the northeast.
Euro-Americans made The Trace a wagon road. Its use declined as goods and people shifted to steamboats, then railroads. In 1938 the National Parks paved a two-lane road generally along the Trace and built bridges to separate cross-traffic. The speed limit is 50MPH (40mph in some places). It can be driven in 10 hours, but you miss the Parkway if you do. Slow down look at the trees, watch for deer, take every turnout, try every trail, savor the peace here, enjoy being here. There are still segments of the wagon road visible at several turnouts along the road. Sadly, there are no positively identifiable remains of the ancient footpath.
Grand Ole RV Resort
WHERE WE STAYED: We spent the night before entering the NTP at the Grand Ole RV Resort 10 miles north of downtown Nashville. At 708 North Main Street (US-31W, US-41, TN-11) and Old Springfield Pike, in Goodlettesville. (Use I-65 Exit 98, drive west.) Nice campground with dump, graveled level sites, small store, WiFi, live music Fri. & Sat., good food, and the Cunninghams are great people. fb/GrandOleRVResort.
TO GET TO THE NORTH END of NTP (36.034588, -86.975808) take TN-100 south 14 miles. DO NOT take the road Old Natches Trace. Continue past that until you pass the Loveless Café (good food) in Pasquo, go under the bridge, and take the right onramp to NTP.
OR take I-40 from Nashville or points west, to exit 192 McCory Lane, drive south 4.5 miles to TN-100 at the Loveless Café, turn right, go under the bridge, and take the right onramp to NTP.
OTHER ACCESS POINTS to NTP in Tennessee are: TN-46, TN-7, US-412, TN-20, US-64, TN-13, in order from north to south. Gas, food, lodging and services may or may not be available close to the Parkway
Also see AL, NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY and MS, NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY for the rest of the Journey.
It can happen, with His help.
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