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Topic: Natchez Trace Parkway - Advice?  (Read 2324 times)

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zer0netgain
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« on: September 22, 2016, 12:20:08 pm »

Thinking about hitting this next month.  Advice?
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 01:17:29 pm »

I've only ridden the parts that go through Alabama and Tennessee, so I can only comment on those parts.  But I have read others reports and opinions on it. So here goes...

1st, understand that this is a national park and while commercial traffic is kept off it, it was not designed as a driver's or rider's road.  It was designed to be an easy and somewhat scenic cruising road, and that's what it is for the most part.  The exception to this is the most northern 30 miles, from about Tn46 north to the end.  At the very north edge of the Trace is the Loveless Cafe.  Do your itself a favor and stop there.  Make sure to get some biscuits and the world famous pulled pork BBQ or fried chicken.  The speed limit along the Trace is mostly 40-55.  It is a federal road and is patrolled mainly by rangers, but you will see some local/county people out there too.  Traffic is usually light, especially during the work week. Very easy to run 10 over and never have any problems. It is an excellent road to use IF you are willing to stop along the way and explore the "sites".  There are lots of very interesting pulloffs and historical sites along the road.  One of the most interesting (and most popular) is the Merriweather Lewis historic site, but there are many others as well.  There is a phamplet put out by the park service that has a map of the Trace and all the historical sites along it, it's worth looking at and taking along.  As far as time to do the Trace, you could ride it in 1 long day, but I don't know why anyone would purposefully do that.  2-3 days will give you time to enjoy it much more.  Also keep in mind that there are no facilities as far as gas, food, lodging on the Trace, and in some cases the exits off it are far from any town.  So plan accordingly and especially watch your fuel.  Probably a good idea to carry along some water too.  There are going to be places you want to stop and check out that won't have anything like that avalible.  It's going to be in the 90's this weekend in Nashville, and all of the Trace is further south than it, so don't be surprised by the heat.  One other thing, this road is VERY popular with bicycle riders and is used regularly for training by groups/teams. Many of them act like they own the road, and in many places it is perfectly legal for them run side by side and not move over to let you pass.  Don't get pissed off at them, just give it a minute and you will be able to pass them by using the opposite lane.  Don't worry about double yellow lines, just wait for an opening and pass them quickly and easily, they are used to it.
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 03:36:34 pm »

I rode it from Nashville to the TN border. Cool, interesting and after a while boring. Slow speed limit and no view, just woods. But if you go to Nashville hit the Loveless for breakfast!


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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 01:08:31 pm »

Kyzrex summed it up well.  Except that recently bicyclists are actively discouraged from using the Trace, especially around Tupelo and Jackson, except for a couple of specific organized events.  I live about 1 hour from the Trace.  The TN part and the last hour close to Natchez are not bad roads, if slow.  In between - meh, it's pretty, but there aren't many curves.  There is a lot of commuter traffic on it near Tupelo and Jackson.  Think of it as touring and not sport touring.  Best bike I've ever ridden for the Trace would be a Vulcan 900.  That would be the perfect bike for the Trace.

There are some interesting stops along the way - a Meriweather Lewis site (death site?), a few battlefields nearby, the old Sunken Trace, Indian Burial Mounds.  The Ranger station in Tupelo has pretty complete information.  There are no services on the Trace.  Sometimes they're close (like Tupelo) other places you'll have to drive a few minutes to get to some little podunk gas station in the middle of nowhere.  Your gas mileage will be good.  If you've ridden the BRP, the services are mostly closer on the Trace.  Loveless is good.  Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, and it's downtown and Elvis's birth home are interesting.  Kosciusko has an interesting local museum.  French Camp is a good detour, especially in the spring and summer.

Once you get past Jackson, consider taking Port Gibson Road instead of the Trace - it's probably the best twisty road in Mississippi (and that's not saying much).
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 09:20:54 pm »

Looks interesting. Will add it to my list.
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 03:52:32 pm »

We're leaving Friday to do this ride.
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 07:42:30 am »

Holy thread resurrection, Batman!  Lol
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 09:26:15 am »


We're leaving Friday to do this ride.



Have a great ride and be safe. Pictures?
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 10:11:17 am »


Holy thread resurrection, Batman!  Lol


Did you ever get to do this?

Yeah, I didn't even remember this thread. I searched for "Natchez Trace" and it popped up.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 03:08:14 pm »

Did this last year on the way to Texas.  Nothing photo-worthy that I saw (since often cameras don't capture stuff unless you get just the right scene set up).  This was the trip where I did almost $10K of damage to my new RS.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/HLu01o
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 03:48:43 pm »

I either missed the post or don't remember it but how did you manage to run over that divider curb?
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 04:10:11 pm »

Tried to exit at the last moment for...well, my teeth were floating.  Around here, such a curb would be more obvious.  That day, overcast, I just didn't realize what it was until I was headed for it.  Tried to miss it and glanced off it while exiting.
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 06:23:05 pm »

You have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy a long ride on the NTP. If you are in a hurry to get from point A to point B, you will not enjoy it much.If you can take your time and enjoy the history along the way, it's a beautiful ride. You should allow at least two days to ride the entire distance. It's a wonderful, curvy road close to Nashville, but there are usually a lot of bicyclists. I don't mind them if they will stay to the right, but they often want to ride side by side, and they ride in large groups. Sometimes they have chase vehicles following along at 15 mph and it become a very unsafe and frustrating situation.

Stop at the Metal Ford in Tennessee. It's a beautiful place about 1/2 a mile off the main road.

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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 08:50:01 am »

https://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,128756.0.html#.XixG7m5FzIU
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