Bicycling

 

Safety

The Parkway welcomes millions of visitors each year. As a designated bicycling route, thousands of bicyclists travel the trace. Bicyclists and motorists have a responsibility to share the road.

Safety Guidelines for Cyclists

  • Know your physical limits. Summers along the Parkway are hot and humid.
  • Follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers.
  • Ride single-file and on the right (with traffic) at all times. Use hand signals to let motorists know what you will be doing next.
  • Avoid the Tupelo, MS, and Jackson, MS, areas during weekday rush hours due to the high volume of vehicle traffic.
  • Plan to be off of the Parkway between sundown and sunup. Use lights and reflectors in low-light conditions.
  • Wear brightly-colored, high-visibility clothing and a properly fitting helmet. Carry identification and emergency medical information.
  • Treat pedestrians with the same courtesy you would expect from motorists.
  • Report all incidents involving cyclists or pedestrians to the Natchez Trace Parkway at 800-305-7417. In emergency situations, call 911.
 

Rules and Regulations on the Parkway

National Park Service
Mississippi
Alabama
Tennessee

 

Through Bicyclists

For some bicycling the Natchez Trace Parkway is a once in a life time opportunity, while others enjoy the Parkway frequently. Below you will find informaiton helpful in planning your ride.

Gas, Food and Supplies
Accommodations
Campgrounds

 

Local Bicyclist

  • Avoid riding the Parkway at dawn and dusk when visibility is low.
  • Use of high visibility clothing, flashing lights, flags and/or other safety equipment is highly recommended.
  • Traffic in Jackson, Tupelp, and Nashville increases during morning and evening commutes.
  • Use extra caution when traveling on the Parkway during these times.
  • Bicyclists may chose to use the multiuse trail in Ridgeland, MS to avoid bicycling the Parkway during peak commuter hours.
  • Report all incidents involving cyclists or pedestrians to the Natchez Trace Parkway at 888-305-7417. In an emergency situation, call 911
 

FAQs

Q. What is the distance between campgrounds?
A. Natchez Trace Parkway has 3 main campgrounds for RV's, tents, and bikes;Rocky Springs Campground at milepost 54, Jeff Busby Campground at milepost 193, and Meriwether Lewis Campground at milepost 385. Additionally, bike only camp sites are located at milepost 159, milepost 234, milepost 266, milepost 327, and milepost 408.

Q. Where can I find drinking water on the Natchez Trace
Parkway?

A. Drinking water is available along the Parkway. Some facilities are open during business hours, while other locations may only be open seasonally.

Q. Where can I find a bike repair shop, groceries, accommodations and other supplies?
A. The are many places along the Parkway to purchase items, however it is best to bring as supplies to do maintenance and repair to your bike along the trail.

Q. What is the best time of year to bike on the Natchez Trace Parkway?
A. Due to an abundance of wildflowers, stunning tree foliage and mild temperatures, the spring and fall are the most popular times of the year to bike the trace.

Q. What do you recommend, beginning in the south and traveling north, or beginning in the north and traveling south?
A. Either route is highly recommended, but keep in mind as you travel north the terrain becomes hillier.

Q. What can I do to ensure that motorists see me?
A. Here's a few high visibility solutions to traveling on the Parkway;wear brightly-colored, high visibility clothing, plan to be off of the Parkway between sundown and sunup, and use lights and reflectors especially in low-light conditions.

Q. Do I have to wear a helmet on the Natchez Trace Parkway?
A. Helmets are not required, but strongly suggested.

Q. Where are the restrooms on the Natchez Trace Parkway?
A. Here's a list of the restrooms along the Parkway: Mt Locust at milepost 15, Coles Creek at milepost 17, Rocky Springs Campground at milepost 54, River Bend at milepost 122, Holly Hill at milepost 154, Kosciusko Welcome Center at milepost 159, Jeff Busby Campground at milepost 193, Witch Dance at milepost 234, Tupelo Visitor Center at milepost 266, Pharr Mounds at milepost 286, Colbert Ferry at milepost 327, Glenrock Branch at milepost 364, Jacks Branch at milepost 377, Meriwether Lewis Campground at milepost 385, and Garrison Creek at milepost 427.

Q. What is the weather like along the Natchez Trace Parkway?
A. Weather along the Natchez Trace Parkway ranges from mild winters to hot summers with high humidity between June and August. Thunderstorms are common from June through November. Severe weather resulting in washouts and downed trees can cause temporary road closures. Questions about road condition should be directed to the Parkway's visitor center by calling 1-800-305-7417.

 

Special Use Permit

Special use permits may be required. A special use permit may be requested by submitting a request form or by calling the Ranger's Activity Assistant (662) 680-4034

 

Request Information

Not finding what you are looking for, or would you like a map of the Parkway? Contact Us.

 

Vehicle Traffic

  • Bicycles are consideder vehicles, and bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Please treat cyclists with the same courtesy as you would another vehicle.
  • Give a cyclist at least 3 feet of space when you pass, and ensure that the oncoming traffic lane is clear of other vehicles before you pull out of your lane. It is legal to cross the center line after ensuring that the oncoming traffic lane is clear.
  • Avoid blowing your horn at a cyclist. This could startle the cyclist, causing a loss of balance and possibly an accident.
  • Harassing a cyclist in any way is illegal and could cause a major accident. The Parkway is designed for leisurely travel, so slow down and enjoy the view until you can safely pass.
  • Distracted or impaired driving can kill. Pull over in a safe spot to use a cell phone or send a text message.
  • Vehicles traveling with their headlights on are easier for bicyclists to see.
 

Multiuse Trail

The multiuse trail is a great alternate route for bicyclists traveling through the Ridgeland area during times of increased communter traffic. The trail was built in partnership with the City of Ridgeland.

 

Incident Reporting

Report all incidents involving cyclists or pedestrians to the Natchez Trace Parkway at 800-305-7417.

 

Emergencies

In an emergency situation, call 911. Cell phone service may not be available in all locations along the Parkway.

 

Did You Know?