Biking the Natchez Trace
If you want beautiful scenery and serenity while biking, the Natchez Trace is perfect.The sections from Natchez to French Camp are flat and easy, and the scenery takes your mind off how your legs are feeling. I haven't biked the northern sections, but I know they are more hilly the farther north you travel.
The road doesn't have a shoulder, but motorists on the Trace are not in a hurry (the speed limit is 50 mph), so they are usually polite and considerate.
Keep your bike about 2 feet from the edge of the road so cars will have to move out of the lane to go around you (otherwise they will try to pass while staying in the same lane as you).
But don't get too close to the middle of the road, either. Some people in the South still think that roads are for vehicles only and may react if they think you are acting as if you own the road.
The road is in good shape; however, it is made of a substance that isn't all that smooth in portions. (It's really smooth from Jackson heading north for about 40 miles.)
Equipment: You'll need to bring your own food and drinks, because there's only one store on the entire route, and it is at mile marker 195. There are plenty of places for picnics along the way and there are bathrooms every so often.
If you're backpacking, you can only camp at the three authorized campgrounds (Rocky Springs, Jeff Busby, and Meriwether Lewis).
Motels and restaurants can be found in towns near the Trace, but there aren't that many towns right by the Trace.
The best time to ride is in March/April/May and September/October/November. Summer in Mississippi is pretty hot, although the winters can be mild.Related to:
- National/State Park
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