Starts in Nashville, runs to Natchez, MS 442 miles to the south. Limited access roads with zero commercial establishments on it (at least the northern part, I'm not sure about the south). You'll have to get off the parkway for gas, stores, etc. Sometimes they are closeby and others they are not.
The road itself is wide asphalt 2-lane with grass verges. Relaxing, easy ride. The northernmost 15 miles are curvy and a lot of fun but it flattens out after that. The speed limit for the first 15 miles is 40 mph and then it goes up to 50. It is regularly patrolled and the fine for speeding is a federal fine ($250). There are many semi-historic and/or scenic pull-offs. It's a lot of fun but tends to get boring after a couple of hours.
I've only been on it from Nashville to Tupelo, MS so things may change past there.
Like SCraig says, it gets boring...the scenery is mostly just trees...and the cops are bad, altho I rode it from Nville to Tupelo a couple years ago and didn't see any; but it's generally regarded as a road you don't speed on. It's been that way since as long as I can remember, back in the 60s. I am from Mississippi and I avoid it. Just way too slow, unless you are about ready for the nursing home.
Ridden entire length of the Trace.....see sig photo....
.....and what they said, it is very slow and heavily patrolled by police.
If you are in NO hurry at all, it is very, very safe and low stress due to perfect asphalt and little traffic and no cross traffic.
From Natchez to Jackson it is pretty scenic and the road has some nice twists. There are a few Civil War sites to see on that stretch and a major battlefield just off route in Vicksburg.
A nice lake to camp and picnic on just north of Jackson.
From Jackson to Tupelo........kill me now. Nothing to see, road gets flat and boring.
From Tupelo to Tenessee line.....nothing.
From Tennesse line to Nashville, some nice stuff to see. About halfway to Nashville from the southern state line is the site where Merriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition committed suicide.
At mile marker 3 or 4 just south of Nashville is a beautiful concrete arch highway bridge that is internationally recognized as a great piece of engineering, it is the cherry on top of the pie that is the Natchez Trace.
Finally, at the start of the Trace in southern Nashville is the "Loveless Cafe". Best freakin bacon, egg, pancake, sausage breakfast anywhere on planet earth.
You can make a game of it to eat there, then ride to Natchez and eat at the "Pig-out In" for BBQ and ice cream, or at "Fat Mama's Tamales" for great tamales, chili and margaritas.
It's a great slow cruising road, but the best parts are the Natchez-Jackson and Nashville-Mississippi State Line stretches.
I have ridden from Nashville to Tupelo as well. The northern is pure bliss, if you are not in a hurry. Stay within 10 of the speed limit, and slow just a bit when you see the occasional four wheeler. The rangers drive the typical Ford sedans, and they have some Jeep Cherokees as well. The cars are white, the SUV's are green. If they pull you over, they are nice, but they will not buy your dinner.
I rode the whole thing three years ago, I thought it was very relaxing, I went off on several side trips. The best were Shiloh and Vicksburg battle fields. Had the best potato soup at a place called french camp.
Wound up behind a white newer model Strom in little old Erwin, NC this afternoon on the way home from work. Gotta love 70+ degree weather in December and it's good to see like-minded Strommers out there taking advantage of it.
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