Horseback riding has become an increasingly popular activity on the Natchez Trace Parkway. While there are no concessions available on the Parkway, visitors are able to bring horses to ride on the established horse trails. Four horse trails have been developed adjacent to the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi and Tennessee, in connection with the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. The Natchez Trace Parkway also provides access to the Witch Dance Horse Trail on the Tombigbee National Forest. Horseback riding is prohibited on all other areas of the parkway, including on the roadway itself.
Rules and Regulations
Trailers carrying over one ton must be properly equipped with brakes designed so as to be applied by the driver of a towing motor vehicle from its cab and so connected that in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle the brakes will be applied automatically.
All trailers must be connected to the towing vehicle by means of a safety chain or equivalent device and may not exceed a total length of 55 feet (including vehicle and trailer).
The loading and unloading of horses and pack animals is permitted only at designated horse trailheads, referred to as staging areas on Parkway maps.
All horses transported to or ridden on any park trail shall be accompanied by either the original or a copy of an official negative test for equine infectious anemia (EIA) (aka "Coggins test") administered within the previous 12 months.
Only one rider per horse is permitted.
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Highland Rim Section (Milepost 408 to 428)
A 3.5-mile loop trail is located in southwest Tupelo, Mississippi, within the boundaries of the Parkway. The parking/staging area is accessed from Jackson Street in Tupelo, MS. From the Natchez Trace Parkway, exit onto Highway 6 at Milepost 260. Travel west on MS Highway 6 for approximately ½ mile to Air Park Road. Turn right and travel north to the end of the road at Jackson Street. Turn right on Jackson Street. A paved parking/staging area is on the left.
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Yockanookany Section (Milepost 115)
Witch Dance Horse Trail in the Tombigbee National Forest (Milepost 233)
The Witch Dance Horse Trail, located in the Tombigbee National Forest, is an 15-mile, multi-loop trail and is one of the most popular horse trails in Mississippi, winding through varied topography and changing forest settings. Toilet facilities, hitching posts, and parking are provided at the trailhead by the Natchez Trace Parkway; the trailhead is located on the Natchez Trace north of Highway 8 at the Witch Dance Rest Area.
Last updated: January 14, 2021