Sequestration Effects on the Parkway
On March 1, 2013, the Parkway was required to reduce its annual budget by five percent, in accordance with the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Click the link to learn about visitor center, restroom, and services impacts. More »
Portion of National Scenic Trail Near Tupelo Closed to Hikers
Part of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail (NOT the Parkway) near Tupelo, MS, has been closed until 2015 due to construction under Tupelo's Major Thoroughfare Construction Project. Parkway travelers may expect delays, but no detours are expected. More »
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I haven't heard much or anything about the Natchez Trace Parkway, how long has it been around?
Construction of the 444-mile Parkway was just completed in May, 2005. But construction began in 1937 and the Parkway became a unit of the National Park Service in 1938.
2. How old is the Natchez Trace?
It's difficult to pinpoint, but research suggest that large animals (bison, giant sloths, etc.) may have beat out the path more than 10,000 years ago, before human occupation. There is also evidence that mound builders traveled along this corridor 2,000 years ago. But it is more certain that the heaviest use of the Old Trace occurred from 1785 to 1825, when "boatmen" returned north from markets in Natchez and New Orleans.
3. What is the speed limit on the Parkway?
Almost all of the Parkway has a posted speed limit of 50 m.p.h., but there are small sections that are posted lower.
4. Is the Parkway RV friendly?
Yes it is. Almost all of the pull-offs offer either pull through or circular drive access. If an area does not then it is posted that there is no circular drive. Also there are numerous campgrounds along the Parkway. The Parkway campgrounds are free and primitive, while most non-Parkway campgrounds charge a fee, but offer electricity, dump stations, etc.
Did You Know?
The terrain along the Natchez Trace Parkway changes from 70 to 1,100 feet in elevation and passes through 5 degrees of latitude.