Field Trips

Field Trips are available in Natchez, Ridgeland, and Tupelo, Mississippi contingent upon staff availability. The Natchez Trace Parkway's headquarters are located in Tupelo, Mississippi, and thus a larger staff and greater ability to serve the education community is available. Please inquire at the location you wish to visit for available dates and programs.

Mount Locust Information Center and Historic House
near Natchez, MS - (601) 445-4211


Parkway Information Cabin, Ridgeland, MS - (601) 856-7321

Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, Tupelo, MS

A field trip to the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tupelo provides an opportunity for your students to be immersed in Parkway resources and offers experiences that cannot be replicated in the classroom.

All field trips are free of charge and are scheduled based on ranger availability. Please have alternate days ready when scheduling your trip. Field trip are available Wednesday-Friday. Bus parking and restrooms are available at most locations.

To schedule a field trip, complete the Group Visit Request Form. Public schools can receive a transportation grant to cover school bus rental, bus driver and substitute teachers.

The Natchez Trace Parkway offers curriculum-based field trips for Pre-K through grade 6. Students will get a unique experience by learning from a park ranger with hands-on activities in a national park environment. On-site programs take place at the Parkway Visitor Center, milepost 266, Tupelo, MS, and are scheduled from 9:00 am-11:30 am. Groups less than 60 participants are scheduled from 10:00 am-11:15 am. Afternoon programs may be available upon request but are limited.

Field trips are pre-structured and are automatically adjusted to accommodate the group size. Additional options are available upon request. The maximum number of students is 210.

  • Groups larger than 60 will have two ranger led rotation; teachers will lead four activity rotations during the field trip.
  • Groups of less than 60 will have one ranger led rotation; teachers will lead two activity rotations.
  • Most field trips include a short hike.

Once a field trip is scheduled, park staff will email a Pre-Visit Packet including logistics, safety pre-lesson, field trip lesson plans and an example of the student activity booklet. Park staff will provide lesson plans and student activity booklet with post-field trip formative assessments the day of the field trip.

Brief descriptions of the rotation activities can be found below.

For more information, contact the Tupelo education team by e-mail at natr_education@nps.gov or by phone at (800) 305-7417.

Pre-Kindergarten

Read with a Ranger Program

Choose from over 10 stories, and then participate in a fun hands-on activity. Students can learn about habitats, conservation, bats, amphibians, comparing/contrasting, communities, and more!

Kindergarten – First Grade

Animals! Color, Shape, and Size (Ranger-led)

Students will try to match pictures of animals with real animal skins. They will need to be able to describe specific traits the animals exhibit to determine which skin belongs to which animal.

Symbols and How the Natchez Trace Came to Be (Ranger-led)

Explore the world of symbols by looking at the National Park Service arrowhead and Natchez Trace Parkway Postrider logos and discovering what each part represents.

Nittak Hollo Nakfish! It’s Saturday!

Read a story and learn a new language! Written with Chickasaw vocabulary words, this book will expose students to a culture that has flourished for centuries. .

“Traces Through Time” Parkway Film

Learn about the history of the Parkway including all the people and cultures that that contribute to the park’s unique story. Discover what you can see and do along the Parkway today and how the park keeps a balance of protection, preservation, and recreation.

I Spy Scavenger Hunt

Students will use their senses in search of living organisms and non-living objects. Each student will have an activity sheet to mark his or her findings on a .5-mile walk in the woods.

American Indian Pottery

Students will discover different cultures, and explore various celebrations and customs of various historic American Indian figures who called Mississippi home. After a brief discussion, students will get to make their own creation with clay.

Second – Third Grade

Where Do I Live? (Ranger-led)

Discover how to determine what kind of habitat an animal may live in based on the adaptations it has. Students will learn how animals have changed over time to become experts at living in their habitat.

So Many Hats (Ranger-led)

Learn about the different kinds of park rangers that work at the Natchez Trace Parkway and how the rangers interact and serve their communities.

Map the Parkway

Use the Parkway map to identify essential map elements, identify what resources are available and how these resources effect how people interact with the Parkway. Students will use social studies tools to describe the connection between the environment and their communities.

“Traces through Time” Parkway Film

Learn about the history of the Parkway including all the people and cultures that that contribute to the park’s unique story. Discover what you can see and do along the Parkway today and how the park keeps a balance of protection, preservation, and recreation.

Silent Walk on Beech Spring Loop Trail

While on a .5-mile walk, students will silently observe a woodland environment then, share with their partner what they found. Students will keep track of their observations on worksheet.

Clothespin Adaptation Game

Explore adaptations of animals and plants with this fun game! Students will guess which animal or plant has been pinned to his or her back while a partner provides clues.

Fourth – Fifth Grade

Skins and Skulls (Ranger-led)

The Skins and skulls program is a great way to get students talking about food webs. During this program, students will discuss the important role of producers, primary and secondary consumers, and decomposers to a healthy ecosystem.

This Land is Your Land (Ranger-led)

Learn the importance of preservation of natural and cultural resources. Discuss how learning about events from the past can help protect the future.

A Web of Life

Students will discover just how connected animals, including humans, really are. This game gives a fantastic visual for the food chain and the interdependence for different species

Spotted Salamander Life Cycle

Students will demonstrate the life cycle of the spotted salamander. Then, they will experience the difficulties salamanders face while crossing the Parkway in route to their breeding grounds. Students will explore various ways that humans can have positive and negative impacts on this process.

Living History Timeline

Students will get to touch, feel, and wear replicas of items used and/or worn by historic figures that interacted with the Natchez Trace. Based on the replicas and prompts, students will place the historic figures in a timeline. Figures include federal soldiers, enslaved persons, Tennessee Militia, Choctaw Warrior, Conquistadores, and Chickasaw Stand Owners.

Old Trace Trail

While on this .5-mile walk along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, students will contemplate the importance of political and economic borders and trade routes to the development of the Old Southwestern United States.

6th Grade

Enviroscape (Ranger-led)

Rangers will demonstrate the water cycle through a watershed model. This interactive demonstration illustrates how human activities can affect ecosystems.

National Park Service (Ranger-led)

Rangers will challenge students to explore what being a civil servant means and how that relates to civic responsibilities and citizen’s participation in the political process.

Human Energy Pyramid

Students will organize themselves into a human energy pyramid to understand how energy is transferred through the ecosystem.

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

While on this .5-mile walk along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, students will assess the physical features and make predictions on how this region was and is impacted culturally and economically by the presence of the Natchez Trace.

Classification Kingdom

In small groups, students will discover the answer to how classifying an organism helps us understand the importance of an organism’s role in the environment. Students will examine organism for shared structural and behavioral characteristics.
Oh, Deer!
Students will demonstrate the fluctuation in deer populations based on available resources (food water and shelter.) Students will make predictions on what will change based on various scenarios.

Last updated: February 27, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2680 Natchez Trace Parkway
Tupelo, MS 38804

Phone:

(800) 305-7417

Contact Us