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Old 11-12-05, 05:57 PM   #1
twilkins9076
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Anybody ridden the Natchez Trace?

I'm planning a ride of the Natchez Trace (north to south) next spring. Has anybody done that? If so, would you mind sharing your itinerary with me? I'm trying to plan it for a 7 day (6 night) ride.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-12-05, 07:54 PM   #2
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I've done it, but it was so long ago I can't help you. Fall or Spring are definitely the time! I plan on doing the same in the next year or two. Happy riding!
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Old 11-13-05, 09:39 AM   #3
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That's probably going to be one of my tours next year. I've got Glen Wanners "Bicycling the Natchez Trace", it's an excellent guide to the sights, lodging, etc. Out of print, but found it at Amazon. If you see a green C-dale with Red Panniers, give me a wave.

Steve W.
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Old 11-13-05, 10:07 AM   #4
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I live nearby and have ridden on it many times. Have never done a complete N-S tour of it though. Looking to do a "loop" tour on part of ti near Franklin TN over Thanksgiving. Check out "Bicycling the Natchez Trace" by Glen Wanner.

Cheers!
Duke
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Old 11-13-05, 05:07 PM   #5
twilkins9076
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I've got the book! Just looking for somebody who could give me some first hand advice. I've got a couple of possible itineraries mapped out, but since both of them involve camping, it looks like showers are gonna be few and far between that week. At this point, it looks like my son and I, so I guess we'll just have to learn to live with the "ripeness factor".
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Old 11-14-05, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilkins9076
I'm planning a ride of the Natchez Trace (north to south) next spring. Has anybody done that? If so, would you mind sharing your itinerary with me? I'm trying to plan it for a 7 day (6 night) ride.

Thanks in advance!
This is a tour that is in my plans for next spring, as well, going north to south. I will most likely be solo, and intend to ride back to the Houston, TX area after finishing the Trace. I am also interested in any experiences anyone can share.

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-05, 06:54 PM   #7
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Just an idea, what's the possiblity of a group of us BF types getting together for this ride?

Steve W
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Old 11-21-05, 10:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mentor58
Just an idea, what's the possiblity of a group of us BF types getting together for this ride?

Steve W
That would be fun . . . if the timing will work for everyone.

Cherry Bomb
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Old 11-21-05, 04:56 PM   #9
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Plan early and i think it could happen.

I want to do it. Logistics of getting from end to start after the ride would be my problem.
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Old 11-22-05, 03:22 AM   #10
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I have done two short tours on it. Here is a link to my site with pics of the two tours: http://www.highego.com/sports/cyclin...081504Tour.htm

They weren't real long ones because I just don't have the time to travel on extended tours, but the views are awesome!
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Old 11-22-05, 08:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by timhines
Plan early and i think it could happen.

I want to do it. Logistics of getting from end to start after the ride would be my problem.
That could be a problem. I am planning to ride home from the end, adding another 8 or 9 days to my tour so can't help with any logistics of getting back to the start.

Cherry Bomb
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Old 11-22-05, 09:23 AM   #12
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do a search on crazyguyonabike.com

I read a tour diary of a fella that did the length w/a trailer
sounded fun and low key (not much traffic and off the beaten path)
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Old 11-22-05, 09:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cherry Bomb
That could be a problem. I am planning to ride home from the end, adding another 8 or 9 days to my tour so can't help with any logistics of getting back to the start.

Cherry Bomb
I'm planning on leaving my truck at the Nashville terminus, and doing a one way car or van rental to get back.

I think we're planning to start from Nashville on May 20th, but that could move up by one or two weeks.
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Old 11-22-05, 10:44 AM   #14
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One thing that really bothers me is that in the book there are never any cars on the Trace roads. And the pictures that pletcqm showed only show one car.

So, exactly how often do cars drive down these roads? Plainly they are beautiful roads but there are no shoulders and my experience on the east coast was that dirvers had their foot stuck through the floorboards. I've never been down to the Mississippi area so I don't know what to expect there.
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Old 11-22-05, 12:17 PM   #15
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One thing that really bothers me is that in the book there are never any cars on the Trace roads. And the pictures that pletcqm showed only show one car.

So, exactly how often do cars drive down these roads? Plainly they are beautiful roads but there are no shoulders and my experience on the east coast was that dirvers had their foot stuck through the floorboards. I've never been down to the Mississippi area so I don't know what to expect there.
From what I understand, the Trace is closed to commercial traffic and has a speed limit of 45 mph. I'm not sure how heavily patrolled it is for speeding, but from what I have heard the traffic is very sparse. This is probably because of the speed limit and lack of "standard" services along the Trace. Most people will stick to the interstates because they are faster and offer more options.

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Old 11-22-05, 12:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilkins9076
I'm planning on leaving my truck at the Nashville terminus, and doing a one way car or van rental to get back.

I think we're planning to start from Nashville on May 20th, but that could move up by one or two weeks.
This is about the timing that I was thinking about, if not a little earlier in May. I want to do the majority of the ride before it is too far into May. I live in the heat of the south and can handle that, but I would like to have most of the tour done before schools let out for the summer.

I haven't yet figured out getting to Nashville, but will start working on that soon.

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Old 11-22-05, 11:49 PM   #17
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So, exactly how often do cars drive down these roads?
1 car maybe every 10 minutes during the week. The weekends are totally different. You'll see a lot more cars. The nice thing about the trace is that semi trucks are not allowed and the park rangers are very courteous. I have never had problems with any car on the road. The only downside of the trace are RVs. That can be scary because some of them are the size of semi trucks.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:31 AM   #18
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I am planning on doing the Trace next spring. Thought I would just do the northern end to the Craft Center and avoid the Jackson bypass. However I'm open to doing the whole thing with a group in either direction. Have worked out a loose campground itinerary and another one using B&B's plus hotels. I think late March or anytime in April would be the best weather. How about anyone interested posting so we can talk about it.

Al
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Old 11-23-05, 10:19 AM   #19
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I am planning on doing the Trace next spring. Thought I would just do the northern end to the Craft Center and avoid the Jackson bypass. However I'm open to doing the whole thing with a group in either direction. Have worked out a loose campground itinerary and another one using B&B's plus hotels. I think late March or anytime in April would be the best weather. How about anyone interested posting so we can talk about it.

Al
Al,
I was looking more towards May, but April could work for me. I will be doing the whole trace and plan to camp most of the time. Not opposed to one day in a B&B/hotel. From the end in Natchez, MS I will be heading west and riding back to my home in Texas.

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Old 11-25-05, 10:45 PM   #20
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I spent a lot of time on it this past summer. From the northern terminus in Franklin down to Colbert Ferry just south of the Tn./Ala. line.
Traffic is not a problem at all. And most motorists seem to obey the speed limits.
There's sections of the road that see such limited use that there's grass growing in the cracks in the road all the way across it.
The bike only campsites can be difficult to locate. The one at Shady Grove is off the Trace, under the bridge and unmarked except for a hiking trail sign. Nice site though once you find it.
There's very few flat runs. You're either going up or down hills all the time.
Places to get water about every 20 miles on average. Be prepared to live on what you're carrying. You'll have to go off the Trace at least several miles to buy anything.
Some cool things to see, but most attractions are merely plaques saying what used to be there.
Trees and road. That's about all there is.

Kevin
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Old 11-26-05, 07:49 AM   #21
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If folks want, I can put up a quick site, so that we can use that for planning and resources. Just let me know.

Steve W.
For whom MAY also works out very well
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Old 11-26-05, 09:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentor58
Just an idea, what's the possiblity of a group of us BF types getting together for this ride?

Steve W
I would be interested in this ride. I am in NE Ohio if any of you "buckeyes" want to go.
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Old 12-30-05, 01:20 PM   #23
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I'm finding that transportation from Natchez back to Nashville isn't going to be as straightforward as I expected. From what I can find, Enterprise is the only car rental agency in Natchez, and they don't do one way rentals. The other options I've found are Greyhound (slow!) and renting a U-Haul (expensive!) I've sent e-mails to the B & B reservation service and the Natchez chamber of commerce, but haven't heard back from either of them yet. If I do, and find out anything different, I'll post it here.

TW
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Old 12-31-05, 05:13 AM   #24
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I, too might be interested in this. I live in central Arkansas
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Old 01-01-06, 07:44 AM   #25
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This would complicate logistics - but I've heard of a group riding South to North while another rides North to South. The groups either mail auto keys prior to the trip - or exchange half-way through. At ride's end each group drives the other groups vehicles half-way back.
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