Thing to Do

Hiking the Blackland Prairie Section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

A group of hikers and their dog walk through a prairie with tall grass on either side of the trail.
Hikers enjoy the Blackland Prairie Section of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

NPS Photo/ March Muench

In and around Tupelo, Mississippi, this six mile section is a popular hiking and equestrian corridor for visitors. Bicycles are prohibited on this trail. You can pick up a Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail brochure by visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near the northern terminus trail head at Milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Check Parkway Visitor Center hours here

Safety Information:
At the following road crossing; creek crossing at milepost 264.5 and US 178 (McCullough Blvd.) crossing at Milepost 262.5, you must walk up to the Parkway and follow the road’s shoulder. Also be extremely careful at the railroad track crossing north of Chickasaw Village. See Alerts & Conditions and What's Open What's Closed for additional information.

Areas on the Trail
Northern Terminus Trailhead (Milepost 266): This trailhead is located just across the Parkway from the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center. Hikers can travel six miles along the outskirts of Tupelo (12 miles roundtrip). You can make the walk as long or as short as you would like on this out and back trail. This section of Scenic Trail is open to hikers only and requires walking on the Parkway for road and creek crossings.

Old Town Overlook (Milepost 263.9): Hikers can continue north for 2 miles to reach the Parkway Visitor Center or continue south for 2 miles to reach the Chickasaw Village Site. This section of Scenic Trail is open to hikers only and requires walking on the Parkway for road and creek crossings.

Chickasaw Village (Milepost 261.8): The Chickasaw Village Site provides hikers access to the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, as well as a one-half mile interpretive trail. The half mile trail identifies plants and their uses by American Indians, especially the Chickasaw. Visitors can continue north to the Old Town Overlook and Visitor Center or can make a loop by using the horse trail and hiking trail. This section of Scenic Trail requires walking on the Parkway for road and creek crossings. The trail on the south side of the prairie is closed due to storm damage.

Closed until 2023. Jackson Street Trailhead, Southern Terminus (parking lot is not accessible to the Parkway for vehicles access): This trail is closed due to severe storm damage. This trailhead is open to both hikers and horseback riders. This is the only staging area for horseback riders on the Tupelo section of Scenic Trail. A 3.5-mile loop trail is available for horseback riders. 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.
 
Details
You can hike as much or as little of this six mile trail as you would like. If you do the whole thing out and back you would travel a total of 12 miles.
This trail parallels the Natchez Trace Parkway motor road.
Pets are allowed and must be on a six foot leash and restrained at all times. Pet owners must pick up and dispose of their pet's waste properly.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
The northern terminus is located on the access road across the Parkway motor road from the Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi.
This area is the best to hike in the spring to see spring wildflowers around the Chickasaw Village area and the fall time (late October) for the fall foliage.
Chickasaw Village is closed from dusk till dawn.
Accessibility Information
This trail has an average width of 3 feet. The composite of the trail varies from grass, gravel, wooden boardwalks and pavement. The trail is 6 miles in total length.

Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Last updated: November 4, 2021