Day 7: Tishomongo State Park, MS to Natchez State Park, MS

Intro Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 The Return
3308km home


Depart from Tishomongo State Park, MS


Waking up at daybreak, I had a very pleasant suprise. Despite all the thunder and lightning, there was no trace of rain. The Levin wouldn't be stuck in red mud! Plus there was a nice sunrise over the campground's lake.

A little further down the trace, there are the gravesites of 13 unknown Confederate soldiers.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway
  • MS 145 North
  • MS 370 West

Arrive at Brice's Crossroads Battlefield, MS


A half-hour detour off the parkway leads to Brice's Crossroads Battlefield. Here, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest (yes, the guy Forrest Gump was named after) defeated Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis' Union forces against significant odds. Unfortunately, the visitor centre didn't open at 9h, so I checked out the nearby battlefield less informed than I would have liked to have been. It's simply a monument and some historic markers. Guess I'd have to be a bigger Civil War buff to fully appreciate the detour for this one. Run Forrest!

  • County Road 833 South
  • US 45 South
  • MS 145 South
  • Resume Natchez Trace Parkway
  • Eastbound Main Street in Tupelo
  • Left on Elvis Presley Drive

Arrive Elvis Presley's Birthplace, Tupelo, MS


I'm not the biggest Elvis Presley fan, but my Mum sure was, and I can certainly appreciate his music and legacy. So the detour through Tupelo was worth seeing the little white house where he was born. And, I got to enjoy a late breakfast at his local drive-in diner (whose staff were quite surprised by the right-hand-drive car).

  • Westbound Main Street through Tupelo
  • Resume Natchez Trace Parkway

The next really impressive stop along the trace is the cypress swamp. Here you can walk a short loop across and around the swamp. If you look really hard (or if someone else points them out) you might just see little alligators.

And if the historical significance of the Trace has not yet had much effect, this stop where you can walk the Sunken Trace probably will. When you think that over time, animals and then humans wore down this path to this extent, it truly is impressive. Even if it is no more than a 100m walk through the woods, this is definitely one of my top Trace highlights.

  • MS 18 into Port Gibson, MS
  • Leave Port Gibson on MS 552 (good luck finding this!)
  • Left into Windsor Ruins driveway

A really interesting sight of the beaten path are the Windsor Ruins. But the detour is on fun back roads and the ruins are isolated and impressive. The Windsor is an antebellum mansion which burned to the ground in 1890. The fire was caused by a cigarette: don't smoke kids unless it's in a building worthy to become historic ruins!

  • Continue on MS 552
  • Rejoin Natchez Trace Parkway

Approaching Natchez, a short drive off the Trace leads to Emerald Mound. Remember the mound from Day 6? Well use the Levin to help you establish the scale of this mound. It's huge! It looks like a raised football field. You could land a Cessna on it. It's incredible that native American tribes were able to build something of this scale.


Finish Natchez Trace Parkway, arriving in Natchez, MS


The last portion of the Trace must have been completed recently, because it wasn't on my GPS. Conveniently the Trace ends not too far from downtown Natchez. I arrived later than I had hoped, but not too late to catch the sunset over the Mississippi. Natchez sits on a bluff over the river.

Downtown Natchez is quite scenic and really gives off a southern feel. I'm disappointed that I didn't arrive with just a bit more daylight to explore more and take in a meal at the King's Tavern which was built before 1789. Instead I backtracked to Natchez State Park looking for a restaurant on US 61. Apparently US 61 is restaurant-deficient.

  • City streets
  • US 425 South
  • US 61 North
  • State Park Road into Park

Arrive Natchez State Park, MS


Cold Chef Boyardee for dinner again. Yum! A good night's sleep was nonetheless very welcome.

Driving Summary: 626km over about 14 hours

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