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Old 06-26-06, 06:11 AM   #1
pwm303
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Natchez Trace Trip

Am planning a week-long trip on the Trace this October and would like to go with minimal gear: rear rack only w/small panniers, bivy sack and tarp, and buy food along the way. Can anyone give info about probable temps, bug situation at night(likely stealth camping), and food availability and distance off the trace.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:36 AM   #2
crypticlineage
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pwm303, your Natchez Trace trip sounds exciting, I was there yesterday for two hours biking and it was absolutely awesome.

You may want to post this question to the HBC general mailing list as well. I am certain there is many guys there who have toured NTP over these years and have loads of information.
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Old 06-26-06, 11:21 AM   #3
supcom
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Visit the National Parks website and look up the Natchez Trace for information and maps that should help you plan your trip. As I recall, there are some cyclist-only camping areas at some of the stops that may be free of charge. It would be worth a call to the visitor center to find out.

http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm

Look up climate data for nearby cities at weather.gov. Weather in that part of the country can be highly variable in October. I would be prepared for temps as low as freezing and highs in the 80's. Best to check the forecast a day or two before your departure and adjust accordingly.
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Old 06-28-06, 10:22 PM   #4
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I did the Trace the last week of April. What a great trip. I will try to come up with the answers the best I can. But it will take me a day or two. Where will you start and end? I have a few books that you can order that will give you more in-depth info. I will include the names when I draft my longer reply. You will enjoy it a whole lot.

Brian
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Old 06-29-06, 09:13 AM   #5
pwm303
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Originally Posted by tigerdriver
I did the Trace the last week of April. What a great trip. I will try to come up with the answers the best I can. But it will take me a day or two. Where will you start and end? I have a few books that you can order that will give you more in-depth info. I will include the names when I draft my longer reply. You will enjoy it a whole lot.

Brian
I will be traveling S2N end-to-end and back if I have time. I hope to have 10 days and plan about 80 miles/day.
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Old 06-29-06, 11:57 PM   #6
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The Natchez Trace Parkway is a US National Park that stretches from Nashville, TN south thru Alabama, Tupelo & Jackson Mississippi to Natchez, MS. It is 442 miles long. We went south from Nashville and our stops were set up to use the US Parks campgrounds(they are free). We only used one commercial campground(cost $10 for the three of us) at mile marker 123 Ratliff Ferry. There are towns all along the way, but the Trace does not go thru them. They will be 1-4miles off the road in either directions. All the camgrounds had good water, except Rocky Springs(had water, but tasted terrible).

The ride is hilly, but beautiful. Traffic is extremely light except around Tupelo and Jackson MS. Try to go thru them not during rush hour. Road is great the whole way except in Jackson. They are rebuilding one of the Trace bridges and you have to detour.

This book helped tremendously "Bicycling the Natchez Trace" by Glen Wanner. It has all the towns, telephone numbers, and interesting points along the route. I even carried it with me. Another useful book was "Guide to the Natchez Trace Parkway" by F. Lynn Bachleda. I provides the answers to questions the other book does not cover.

These web sites also helped a lot:

http://www.byways.org/browse/byways/...age=Bike%2FPed

http://www.pedaling.com/searchRides/...sp?RouteID=658

Also the US Parks Service has a packet for cyclists they will send you with a super map and campsite locations and phone numbers.


Hope this helps, if you have any more questions , please ask.

I know you will enjoy the trip. The Katy Trail is next for me in October.

Ride safe.

Brian
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Old 06-30-06, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips on the books. I plan to ride it in September, but hope to stay in motels/hotels. In 30 years in the Army I had all the camping I wanted. Grail
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