Alabama Guide Outdoor Activities

Exploring the Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway takes you through some scenic spots of Tennessee, Franklin, and Natchez. When you travel this parkway using a car, motorcycle, bike, or RV, you’ll be reminded of its history. Since 1938, this parkway has been under the National Park Service. However, the stories that you get to hear date back over 10,000 years.

The parkway has served as an important path for the Native Americans, slave traders, soldiers, and European settlers. It was first used for following game while hunting and later as a commercial route. With an increase in the number of travelers over the years, many inns came up along the path. They served as places to unwind and enjoy a meal.

This way was quite dangerous owing to the presence of highwaymen and bandits and the comforts were few. You can travel at a speed of 50 miles per hour for most of the route. This will allow you to savor the marvelous views. The modern parkway extends to about 33 miles in Alabama.

During your journey, you’ll be reminded of all the souls who’ve journeyed through the route before you. You can stop at six points to enjoy the beautiful offerings of nature.

1. Bear Creek

This spot allows you to take a break after coming in just four miles from the Mississippi line. It offers some grills and picnic tables. You might find the access to water a bit steep. If you think it’s fine, you can bring your fishing gear and get your catch in the creek.

2. Freedom Hills Overlook

On the steep, quarter-mile trail leading to the overlook, you can test your stamina. Upon traveling further, it will take you to the highest point in Alabama on the parkway. You’ll be able to enjoy better views if you’re traveling in late autumn. This is because leaves from the trees fall during this time of the year.

3. Buzzard Roost Spring

It was once used as a source of water for an inn located along the original trace. Today, this spring at Buzzard Roost attracts travelers taking a short walk from the parkway. They’re often drawn to the site upon hearing the soothing sounds of the spring.

4. Colbert Ferry

This is the spot on the Tennessee River, where Chickasaw George Colbert used to operate a ferry. It was in operation from 1800 to 1819. The inn located nearby was a popular stop for those seeking some rest and a good meal. Today, the visitors to Colberty Ferry can launch a boat, try fishing, or simply enjoy the views.

They can settle down at one of the picnic tables and have their lunch. Restrooms are also available in this area. To witness the spot where the inn once stood, you can take a 50-yard walk from the parking area.

5. Lauderdale

The previous stop of Colbert Ferry is located on Tennessee River’s southern shore. Once you cross the river, you can take in some breathtaking views from the northern shore. You’ll also find a small picnic area at this spot.

6. Rock Spring

The natural spring has deep pools with an abundance of small fish. A trail and stepping stones nearby take you across the Colbert Creek into a wooded area. If you visit this spot during spring and fall seasons, you’ll get to watch hundreds of hummingbirds in action. These red-throated birds abound during these seasons to seek the nectar of wildflowers.

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