Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: PNWRider92 on February 25, 2020, 02:33:24 pm

 
Title: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on February 25, 2020, 02:33:24 pm
Has anyone on here ridden the Natchez Trace Parkway recently?

We’ll be leaving Nashville on 4/23 and heading towards Natchez with a continuation onto New Orleans.

The map gives us two options on getting to New Orleans. 61 through Mississippi into Louisiana or jumping over to Louisiana from Natchez via 425 and riding 15.

Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: John Nettles on February 25, 2020, 04:47:53 pm
I strongly prefer less traffic so I personally would do 425/15 .  I also rode into NOL from Baton Rouge on the west side of the river about 5 years ago and it was really nice and quiet.  I think the ACA route uses a different way south of Baton Rouge but I know little about it other than that 61 has some traffic.

Please post your Nashville to the NT route and give a review of it after you ride it.  I am interested in your route, just reversed.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on February 25, 2020, 10:17:56 pm
Will be happy to post and give a review on my route after I complete the ride!

I did purchase the ACAs Great Rivers South section 3 map today. It goes from Tupelo to New Orleans and follows the NTP from Tupelo to Natchez.

I was definitely leaning towards 425/15. How was the river crossing from Natchez to Louisiana? Can’t tell from Google if the bridge has shoulders or not.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: John Nettles on February 26, 2020, 12:03:25 am
I have not crossed at Natchez.  A touring buddy has but it was a couple of years ago and the normal westbound bridge was under repairs so both directions of traffic was routed onto the eastbound bridge.  While it did have 3/4 shoulders, he did not enjoy it that much due to the confined traffic with barriers and such.

Sorry I couldn't help more.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on February 26, 2020, 08:55:02 am
No problem! I misunderstood your reply :)

I emailed the folks at the visitors center in Natchez to inquire.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on April 05, 2020, 07:29:10 am
Understandably I’ve had to postpone my tour until this fall. Looking at August or September now. Yeah, I’m aware it’ll be gosh awful humid out.

I’ve decided to add a week to 10 days onto the end of the trip though since I have to postpone. Considering connecting to the southern tier and going to Tallahassee or the opposite direction to Austin. The prevailing winds are making me lean towards Tallahassee.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: John Nettles on April 05, 2020, 11:13:58 am
I have ridden both routes but both were E>W.  If you go to Tallahassee, be sure to ride between Pensacola and Navarre Beach via FL-399.  I rode along the coast using county/local roads when possible.  It was nice and the traffic was fine.  In Navarre Beach, if you want to use ACA's Southern Tier route, you can head north on FL-87 and rejoin the ST east of Milton.  I rode this (in reverse) a few years ago and it was fine; much better than US-90 which I really can't recommend due to the very heavy traffic.

If you ride to Austin, I rode the bike path out of New Orleans to Luling where I joined US-90 to Raceland (somewhat heavy traffic but full-shoulder).  Did a short detour to Thibodaux  before heading to New Iberia frequently using lower traffic roads parallel to US-90.  Then I rode along the coast of Louisiana.  Very little services so stock up.  The stretch along the ocean between High Island and Galveston was a bit heavy traffic but fine.  Between Galveston and Freeport was fine with free camping on the beach in places.  We rode back roads on mostly lower traffic roads to Austin. 

Both routes have pros and cons.  I have cue sheets for the Austin route and GPS info for both.  If you want, send me a private message.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: HobbesOnTour on April 05, 2020, 11:51:22 pm
A few thoughts....

The bridge over the Mississippi at Natchez did not have a shoulder when I crossed in December. Traffic was light but very fast and the wind made the crossing tricky. There were roadworks for the second half giving me the option to avoid the traffic.

I cycled on to Austin using the Southern Tier as a base for navigation. I also used https://cycle.travel/ which I find to be a very handy route planner.

I have a tcx file for my day from Nashville ( Madison) to the NTP if anyone wants it.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on April 10, 2020, 04:00:06 pm
Thanks for the suggestions!

I think I’m committed to going to Tallahassee instead of Austin. It’s a bit closer, 411 miles vs 546 miles.

Thinking a 5 day ride will be good to get from New Orleans to Tallahassee.

I purchased Section 6 and 7 for the Southern Tier and plan to follow those maps as closely as I can.

I’ll message you for the GPS though still John.

Edited: Decided to add another few days onto the ride and take the Southern Tier to St. Augustine and turn north to end the trip in Charleston, SC via the Atlantic Coast Route.. Using all my years vacation at once
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on April 27, 2020, 06:00:42 pm
I have ridden both routes but both were E>W.  If you go to Tallahassee, be sure to ride between Pensacola and Navarre Beach via FL-399.  I rode along the coast using county/local roads when possible.  It was nice and the traffic was fine.  In Navarre Beach, if you want to use ACA's Southern Tier route, you can head north on FL-87 and rejoin the ST east of Milton.  I rode this (in reverse) a few years ago and it was fine; much better than US-90 which I really can't recommend due to the very heavy traffic.

If you ride to Austin, I rode the bike path out of New Orleans to Luling where I joined US-90 to Raceland (somewhat heavy traffic but full-shoulder).  Did a short detour to Thibodaux  before heading to New Iberia frequently using lower traffic roads parallel to US-90.  Then I rode along the coast of Louisiana.  Very little services so stock up.  The stretch along the ocean between High Island and Galveston was a bit heavy traffic but fine.  Between Galveston and Freeport was fine with free camping on the beach in places.  We rode back roads on mostly lower traffic roads to Austin. 

Both routes have pros and cons.  I have cue sheets for the Austin route and GPS info for both.  If you want, send me a private message.

Tailwinds, John

Hey John,

Saw your email, thanks! Will respond later...

Can you suggest a connecting route from New Orleans to the Souther Tier eastbound? The day I leave New Orleans I intend to make the Mobile area so no further west than Poplarville if possible.

If not I'll post a new thread requesting the information.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: John Nettles on April 27, 2020, 06:43:55 pm
I sent you a PM.  For the others, basically follow US-90 after I-510 & US-90 to Grand Bay, AL, where you reconnect with the ST. Take city roads & bike paths north to the Lake from NOL then back down to the above junction to continue.  Do NOT take US-90 across the Navigation Canal.  There are some backroads available from west of Waveland, MS, to near Grand Bay, AL, for most of the way if you prefer quieter roads.  The bridges over the water are excellent with a full shoulder.

Tailwinds, John


Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on April 27, 2020, 09:30:02 pm
I sent you a PM.  For the others, basically follow US-90 after I-510 & US-90 to Grand Bay, AL, where you reconnect with the ST. Take city roads & bike paths north to the Lake from NOL then back down to the above junction to continue.  Do NOT take US-90 across the Navigation Canal.  There are some backroads available from west of Waveland, MS, to near Grand Bay, AL, for most of the way if you prefer quieter roads.  The bridges over the water are excellent with a full shoulder.

Tailwinds, John

I don't have any new PMs but thank you for the information! I printed your reply and added it to all of my info. I have until June 5th to rebook my flights so probably wont reschedule everything until mid to late May. Once the ACR maps come I'll have a better idea of timing from St. Augustine to Charleston.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: John Nettles on April 27, 2020, 09:38:57 pm
I sent to the personal email you provided me. Check your spam filter perhaps.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: jsieber on April 28, 2020, 01:43:00 pm
I sent to the personal email you provided me. Check your spam filter perhaps.
Replies to the notification emails come back to the forum admin email address.  The forum software is designed to not disclose personal email addresses but they can be exchanged via private message. I really appreciate all the information and knowledge you share here on the forums!
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on July 05, 2020, 12:17:10 pm
It's July and finally about to sit down and reschedule my trip.

I'm thinking about doing the New Orleans to Charleston piece this fall and the NTP in the spring.

My only concern is I'll be riding the Atlantic Coast in peak hurricane season. My plan was to leave New Orleans around September 9th and get into Charleston a few weeks later.

My airline voucher expires on 9/26 so need to have something booked before then.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: Pat Lamb on July 05, 2020, 03:51:49 pm
Double-check the fine print on your airline travel voucher.  I tried to rebook a canceled trip a while back, and found out (too late) the travel had to either start or be completed by the date on the voucher.  Like you're thinking now, I had thought I only had to book it by the expiration date.

Expensive lesson learned.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on July 05, 2020, 04:10:34 pm
Double-check the fine print on your airline travel voucher.  I tried to rebook a canceled trip a while back, and found out (too late) the travel had to either start or be completed by the date on the voucher.  Like you're thinking now, I had thought I only had to book it by the expiration date.

Expensive lesson learned.

My voucher is with Frontier and they only require the trip be booked before the expiration date. The voucher actually expired June 24th so I had to book a fake trip and then cancel it to get another 90 days for the voucher. 

The problem I'm running into is that you can't book multi city trips on Frontier and they issued me a voucher for $206.20 and I can only use it on one of the legs. If my tickets are less than that I lose out on the difference. Right now a ticket from Denver to New Orleans is $80 and Charolette to Denver is $43. Frontier doesn't fly out of Charleston after the fall so I have to catch a bus from Charleston to Charolette.

That combined with Frontier cancelling 75% of their flights per day is leading me to think I should use another airline and use my Frontier voucher for a roundtrip flight sometime in 2021.

I wish Frontier had offered a refund to the original payment method but no luck.
Title: Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
Post by: PNWRider92 on July 06, 2020, 08:12:17 pm
I did schedule my trip!

Departing Denver 9/7 and Charleston 10/5.

Exactly 4 weeks. More than enough time but with hurricane season I figured it would give me about 9 days here and there if I need to take days off for weather etc.