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Overview

Named for the famed “Natchez to Nashville” highway, Natchez Trace State Park was built as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program. Land for the park was bought from residents who could no longer make a living farming the severely eroded acres. A western spur of the legendary 18th-century wilderness road is now part of the park. And what a park it is. Make a list of what visitors want in a park and the 48,000-acre Natchez Trace seems to have it. Scenic woodlands, interesting hiking trails, four lakes, swimming beach, 250 miles of horse-riding trails, pistol firing range, camping areas, ball field, playgrounds, ...

Named for the famed “Natchez to Nashville” highway, Natchez Trace State Park was built as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program. Land for the park was bought from residents who could no longer make a living farming the severely eroded acres. A western spur of the legendary 18th-century wilderness road is now part of the park. And what a park it is. Make a list of what visitors want in a park and the 48,000-acre Natchez Trace seems to have it. Scenic woodlands, interesting hiking trails, four lakes, swimming beach, 250 miles of horse-riding trails, pistol firing range, camping areas, ball field, playgrounds, museum, archery range, park store, picnic pavilion, equestrian center, restaurant, conference facility, cabins, villas and a 47-room lodge. Whew! So much to see and do at the park conveniently located between Nashville and Memphis. With four lakes – 58-acre Cub Lake, 690-acre Pin Oak Lake, 90-acre Maple Creek Lake and 167-acre Brown’s Creek Lake – visitors have tons of fun water activities. Rowboats and pedal boats are available for rent. Pin Oak Lake is the only one that allows water skiing. Cub Lake is the only one that doesn’t allow personally owned boats and motors. Catches include bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth, rock and hybrid bass. Meandering through the forest and fields and along the lake and creeks are 13.5 miles of hiking trails, ranging from a half mile to four and a half miles long. A 40-mile backpacking trail allows overnight camping with a permit. Horse riders love riding the renowned Natchez Trace. Many bring their own mounts but stables also rent horses for guided trail rides. Children as young as eight are welcome on the guided trail rides. For overnighters, the Bucksnort Wrangler Camp offers 65 campsites with full hookups, two bathhouses and a dump station. Overnight boarding for horses also is available in stalls. A newly renovated museum at park headquarters features exhibits on local and park history as well as a nature center with a wildlife viewing area, interactive computer and aquarium. The park also offers a wide variety of natural, historic, recreational and cultural programs.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring for the first flowers and blooming trees, or autumn for the cooler temperatures and fall foliage.