Here are attractions I saw in the Mileposts 99-0 range of the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway.November 2014 – I was nearing the end of the trail now after spending about a month on the Trace from the time I started heading south from Nashville. The road never lost its appeal to me and as I was nearing Natchez, the mossy covered trees seemed most welcoming. A wonderful and memorable RV tour, that’s for sure!
Milepost 88 – Cowles Mead Cemetery – Mead came from the east and ended up acting governor in 1806. The only thing that remains of the grand estate he built and that burned during the Civil War after his death, is this family cemetery. I don’t know why I always find these old graveyards fascinating, but I do.
Milepost 54.8 – Rocky Springs – I only spent one night here, but I would have gladly stayed a little longer since it was just so peaceful and beautiful. Besides the campground, there are the remains of the town of Rocky Springs and the remaining Rocky Springs Methodist Church. And besides that, it’s free! My separate page on that here.
Milepost 45.7 – Grindstone Ford – I found all the low clearance bridges are clearly marked and I had no problem with that anywhere on the Trace. Good thing, because this one at 11’6″ would have made a convertible out of my 12’8″ motorhome!
I went over to Grindstone Ford instead, where they had lots of parking and beautiful fall colors galore.
“Preserved here is a portion of the deeply eroded or ‘sunken’ Old Trace. Hardships of journeying on the Old Trace included heat, mosquitoes, poor food, hard beds (if any), disease, swollen rivers, and sucking swamps. Take five minutes to walk this sunken trail and let your imagination carry you back to the early 1800s when people walking 500 miles had to put up with these discomforts and where a broken leg or arm could spell death for the lone traveler.”
As a lone traveler myself, I took that to heart. And I also wondered how different the land looked and how smaller the trees were back then. But isn’t it amazing how much the land was worn down by all that traffic, no matter the risks? And what made them decide to take which fork in the road when they came to it?
Milepost 15.5 – Mount Locust Inn – Constructed in 1780, this home is one of the oldest structures in Mississippi. It functioned as both a working plantation and as an Inn, where travelers on the Natchez Trace could rest for the night. Mount Locust is the only surviving Inn of the more than 50 that existed during the period of greatest use of the Old Natchez Trace. It has been restored to its 1810 appearance when travel on the Trace reached its peak.
As a reminder that it really was a working plantation in the southern tradition, there’s a short path in the back of the house that will lead you to the Slave Cemetery. The people buried here are marked with such short simple stones that it’s easy to overlook them. The only one pictured here is at lower right.
Another path will take you to the family cemetery where the founder and his family are buried. Completely different scene here, huh? Again, no doubt you’re in the south, but I was a bit surprised that the Confederate flag was still on so many of the graves here.
There’s lots of spacious parking for RVs there, so don’t be afraid to turn down the road to get there.
Natchez to Jackson NPS maps with details on attractions for this section (mileposts 1-113).
At the end of my Trace tour, I stayed across the river from Natchez in Vidalia, LA at River View RV Park. I was pretty pooped out at that point, and it was getting time to head to Austin for the holidays, but I spent an enjoyable week there getting to see some sights that I never would have known about except for the great manager there telling me about them.
See what I saw in Natchez