Exploring The Natchez Trace Parkway

April 25, 2014 – Friday

We wake up to sunny skies. It rained hard last night.

We didn’t realize just how close the Trace was to the visitor center, just a few minutes up the road. Before getting on it, we gas up and I see hot peanuts for sale at the gas station, so I get a small bag for Bill and a coffee for me while he fills up the gas tank. We aren’t sure how many gas stations will be along the Trace so we keep it topped off when possible.

The Natchez Trace Parkway for those that don’t know is 444 miles going through three states and 10,000 years of history. It is a designated National Scenic Byway and an All-American Road. It starts south in Natchez, LA at mile post 1, but we didn’t get on it till Clinton, MS at milepost 90.

Our first stop is mile post 100 at the Mississippi Craft Center, a state of the art facility in the trees along the Trace. The center displays the artwork of more than 150 artisans. There are crafts like baskets, pottery, quilts, wood carvings, jewelry, paintings, folk art and sculptures. The center was designed for the display, sale, demonstration, and teaching of fine crafts.

They allow us to bring the dog stroller in and comment that they are better behaved than most kids. We look around and take photos.

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Mississippi Craft Center

Next we pass the Ross R Barnett Reservoir which runs along the Trace for about eight miles.

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Next stop is the Cypress Swamp at mile marker 122. We leave the dogs in the RV and walk down the stairs to the bridge over the swamp.

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Bill goes back to the RV and I walk the short 20 minute loop trail around the swamp.

Back on the Trace, we head for the Kosciusko Visitor Center, mile post 160. Did you know that Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko? She lived here till she was three years old. The visitor center didn’t have anything but one painting of her. They said we would have to exit the Trace and drive a few miles away to see the church she attended and a street sign named after her. We decided to skip it and took a few pictures in the very small visitor center.

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It’s hard to believe Oprah came from here. The visitor center was disappointing, only having a map of the Trace and dead stuffed animals.

We stopped at Jeff Busby park, mile post 193, for lunch in the RV surrounded by trees. It was too early to stop for the night, so we continued up the Trace. We checked out Davis Lake, mile post 243, but they were full. I called Trace State Park at mile post 260 and they were full too. By this time I’m getting tired and I go to my trusty Overnight RV Parking website and look for a place to stay. Good old Walmart is just off the Trace in Tupelo mile post 260, so we head there. We went in to get permission, more food and Bill got a haircut. Walmart to the rescue again!

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Overnight RV Parking

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