Traveling the Natchez Trace: Narrative 5

Mississippi (Part 2)

Cypress Swamp   is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 122.0. Hiking Trail, Nature Area – 10-30 minutes

Water tupelo and bald cypress trees can live in deep water for long periods. After taking root in summer when the swamp is nearly dry, the seedlings can stay alive in water deep enough to kill other plants. This trail leads to an abandoned river channel. As the channel fills with silt and vegetation, black willow, sycamore, red maple and other trees will gradually replace the bald cypress and tupelo. Don’t hurry, the change will take several hundred years.


River Bend    is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 122.6. Picnic Area, Restroom – 10-20 minutes

In 1698, the French Explorer, Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville, sailed into the mouth of this river and found pearls. He named it ‘River of Pearls’. The Natchez Trace, 100 years later, avoided the marshy lowlands by following the ridge between the Pearl River and the Big Black River for 150 miles. The last 75 miles of the river course have served since 1812 as a boundary between Mississippi and Louisiana.


French Camp Historic Village    is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 180.7 – Old Trace, Restroom – 10-60 minutes

French Camp Historic Village sits alongside the Natchez Trace. Come discover how early American life used to be in this quaint log cabin village. The Huffman Cabin Gift Shop and the French Camp Log House Museum are open to the public Monday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Council House Cafe is open Monday – Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Other historic buildings include the Colonel James Drane House, The LeFlore Carriage House, Black Smith Shop, Welcome Center and Bread Bakery.


Jeff Busby Park      is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 193.1  Hiking Trail, Scenic Overlook, Picnic Area, Restroom – 15-45 minutes

On February 15, 1934, while serving as U.S. Congressman from Mississippi, Thomas Jefferson Busby (1884-1964) introduced a bill authorizing a survey of the Old Natchez Trace. Four years later, the historic road was designated a unit of the National Park System. This area is named in Jeff Busby’s honor to commemorate his part in the Parkway’s establishment.

Little Mountain – on a clear day from here atop Little Mountain you can see about 20 miles. The ridges and valleys are part of a geological land form called the Wilcox series that extends northeast into Alabama. Some 50 million years ago the Wilcox existed as layers of sand and mud. Pressure of overlying sediments and early upheavals have resulted in those layers being tilted and converted into sandstone and shale. More resistant to erosion than the shale, the sandstone portions are the present day ridges.

A one half mile long loop nature trail descends into a shady hollow. You can easily complete the loop in 30 minutes. However, the more time you allow the more you will see and hear. Walk gently and give the forest residents a chance to welcome you into their home. A one half mile long side trail from the loop leads to the campground.

Leaving Jeff Busby park, we continued on to the Old Trace, Pigeon Roost,  and Line Creek.

Video on the road traveling to the next stop at the “Old Trace” at mile marker 198 (approximate).  From this point our travels continued on to Pigeon Roost at mile marker 203 and Line Creek  at mile marker 214.  After the “Line Creek” stop, we called it a day and spent the night in Montpelier.    The next day, we back tracked a few miles to pick up the Trace at the. Old Trace marker at approximately mile marker 222.

Follow  this link to travel the Trace to the Line Creek

Natchez Trace: Narrative 6

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