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Cycling The Natchez Trace

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A couple of years ago a group of friends rode the Trace from Nashville to Natchez with support.  I also live in Ridgeland, MS and ride sections of the Trace on a regular basis.  I think the best months for a Trace trip are April into May and October.  You are likely to catch some rain in April and May, but things are blooming along the whole Trace.  October is much drier (unless a hurricane come through) and heat of the summer is off.  I would avoid a trip in July, August and September unless you really like the heat and humidity.  Riding in the middle of day in those months can be difficult.

While the TN section has few hills, there are no mountains or really big hills anywhere on Trace and large sections of it are really pretty flat.  There are several bike specific campgrounds on the Trace.  There are also B&Bs and easy access to motels in Tupelo, Jackson area, Florence and some other locations.  You do have to watch out for commuter traffic around Tupelo and Jackson, which can be very heavy between 7 and 9 and 4 and 6.  But the vast majority of the Trace gets very little automobile traffic.   In the Jackson area between I-55 and I-20 generally gets alot of traffic, but from I-55 south for about 8 miles is closed until at least the fall of 2012 to repair a section of roadbed.  That has really cut down the local commuter traffic.  While that section is closed to vehicles, it is still open for bikes, which is really great for the local biking community. 

To catch a plane from Natchez, you would need to get to either Jackson or Baton Rouge.  You could probably catch a bus to either location. 

Hope you have a blast.  Its a fun and peaceful ride.

Myself along with four buddies just got done with the Trace. We did a North bound starting in Natchez on April 11, 2012 and completing at the Loveless Cafe at 10:30am April 15, 2012. We had a 6th guy that drove a truck with our food and gear. Although I enjoyed the trip we rode 106 miles each day for the first 4 days and a very light day on the fifth day, I will do it again unsupported doing 40 to 50 miles a day next year. What a wonderful place to ride. Dont put it off if your thinking about just do it.

We own a bed and breakfast along the Natchez Trace and leave a car for our cylist to use when they are done with the trace.  They are able to get dinner and provisions along with driving up to the bed and breakfast.  We are Natchez Hills Bed and Breakfast

I am between Baton Rouge and Natchez.  I host a lot of cyclists through  If you are flying into BTR, I can pick you up at the airport or you can ride the fairly easy 29 miles to our place to get started. You can ship your bike via FedEx or UPS to a BTR bike shop, one in particular is Dave's Bike Shop, he will receive your bike, assemble it and meet you at the airport.  Lots of riders do just that.  From our place is a good day ride to the Southern Terminus of the Trace.  In the past few years, the Trace has gotten to be pretty popular with touring cyclists. 
BTW, the Natchez Trace is on my "to-do" list.
Jackson, LA (Jackson, LOUISIANA not Jackson, MS)


--- Quote from: Augie Dog on October 06, 2011, 10:40:57 am ---Has any one here done the Trace from end to end? I am thinking of doing this ride in the near future and trying to decide if I want to do it fully self contained or have a sag follow. What time of year would be a good time also. Also advise on camping facilities and what to expect as far as elevation changes. I will most likely start at the Nashville end and go south. If I do fully supported I need to figure out how to get back to N'ville or return back to my home in North Carolina.
Augie dog

--- End quote ---

Support is not far off the trail all along the way. But none on the trail itself. Spring is better than fall. The wind will be harder from the south as the summer comes on. Summer time is VERY hot and makes camping brutal. The north end has a lot more hills than the south, but none of them are very hard. The Natchez trace was a path of least resistance back to Nashville after floating barges down to Natchez from the North.


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