• A curve along the Natchez Trace Parkway with fall colors

    Natchez Trace

    Parkway AL,MS,TN

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  • Short Construction Delays Possible Near Tupelo, MS (milepost 264.4)

    Repairs on a bridge will require one-lane closures of the Parkway for about 1/4 mile near Tupelo. Work is expected to be completed in fall of 2014. Please use caution due to construction traffic around the work area. 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 »

Tornado Impacts 2011

A section of the Natchez Trace Parkway before the storms with large trees, and the same section  after the storms, with only a few trees remaining.

A section of the Parkway photographed in spring of 2010, and the same section photographed after the storms of spring 2011. 

NPS/© Marc Muench & NPS Image

On April 27, 2011, three sections of the Parkway were heavily impacted by a series of tornadoes. In these areas, most of the trees were either downed or damaged. Two of these sections were less than a mile in length. However, the eight-mile stretch between mileposts 204 and 212 experienced the most dramatic impacts. While the National Park Service removed the downed trees from the maintained roadside area, there is still plenty of evidence within the wooded areas of the storm's effects on the Parkway.

It is natural to wonder why the National Park Service doesn't remove all of the downed and damaged trees. These dead and downed trees provide food and habitat for many of the animals that call the Parkway home. By allowing nature to take its course, visitors can see firsthand the ecosystem's resiliency in response to dynamic forces.

As you visit the Parkway in the years to come, you will notice subtle changes that demonstrate the natural processes that are constantly going on around us. As time passes, the downed trees will decompose, providing nutrients to the soil for the next generation of growth. In time, nature will reclaim this area.

Did You Know?

Meriwether Lewis Monument, Natchez Trace Parkway, Tennessee

Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory when he died on the Natchez Trace in 1809, at Grinder's Stand in Tennessee. A monument was erected in his honor in 1848 and can be seen along the Natchez Trace Parkway today.