Mississippi Historical Trails
The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is the Old Natchez Trace which was a 500-mile footpath that ran across Choctaw and Chickasaw lands connecting Natchez in Mississippi to Nashville in Tennessee. In some places you can walk along portions of that journey the way earlier travellers did hundreds, or even thousands of years before you. Today there are four separate walking trails; Rocky Springs Trail 10 miles, Tupelo Trail 6 miles, Ridgeland Trail 24 miles and Leipers Trail 24 miles, 64 miles in total which are overseen by the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Rocky Springs Trail, Mississippi
About 30 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, near Port Gibson, the Rocky Springs section is 10 miles of trail, where you can literally follow the footsteps of General Andrew Jackson and others who traversed this trail, extending from the Utica-Regantown road trailhead (milepost 59 on the Natchez Trace Parkway) south to Owen Creek turn-off (milepost 52.4), where there are two waterfalls. There is a free campsite at Rocky Springs which is served on a first come first served basis, with recreation nearby, you can splash around in the creek or go fishing before continuing your hike along the trail.
Tupelo Trail, Mississippi
The Tupelo Trail is the shortest of the four trails at just 6 miles. The trail runs from the Beech Springs car park (Milepost 266 on the Parkway) south to West Jackson Street in Tupelo. The trail passes through the Parkway areas of Old Town Creek Overlook and the Chickasaw Village Site, which maintains the site with interpretive panels and concrete curbing outlining the site of the fort and other structures.
Ridgeland Trail, Mississippi
The Ridgeland Trail, just north of Jackson, Mississippi, is 24 miles and passes through a variety of historical areas and places of natural beauty. The northern trailhead is located at the Yockanookany River in Choctaw County at Milepost 131. The southern part of the trail ends at the West Florida Boundary site at Milepost 108. Along the way the trail passes the River Bend scenic area of Pearl River and the beautiful Cypress Swamp where alligators can be found.
Leipers Fork Trail, Tennessee
The Leipers Fork Trail is 24 miles and located 40 miles south of Nashville and about 10 miles south of Franklin, Tennessee. The northern part of the trail starts at the scenic Garrison Creek (Milepost 427). This trail takes you through some of the most scenic areas of the Parkway. The southern part of the trail finishes at Tennessee Highway 50 (Milepost 408).
In the summer, expect hot & humid weather throughout the trail with temperatures typically in the 90’s. In the winter, because the trail extends far to the north and south, conditions can vary greatly. Expect mild winters near Natchez with only occasional freezing and in Tennessee there can be snow and ice, however, spring and autumn are very pleasant seasons.