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Old 09-13-11, 10:44 PM   #1
BikeArkansas
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Natchez Trace late in October

A friend and I are planning to ride the Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez late in October. Our plan is to camp in the bicycle campsites mostly. I am riding a LHT and my friend is riding a Surly cross that is converted to a touring bike.

I rode an out and back century a couple years ago just North of Jackson, MS. That is the only time I have been on this road. I am looking for any tips. We plan some fairly high mileage so we can complete the ride in a week or less. Working for a living is a real pain.

Anything to avoid or other problems to watch for would be welcome knowledge.
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Old 09-14-11, 07:19 AM   #2
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My wife and I did the Trace last year in early October and found it surprisingly pleasant. I would suggest you get Glen Wanner's book, Bicycling the Natchez Trace. Be sure to read the alternative routes in the back of the book. The Trace is nice riding but it can be a bit boring. Going off Trace is nice once in a while.

Some must see places: "The Wall". Tom Hendrix has built a tribute to his great great grandmother that is astounding. The guy will talk your ear off but it's worth the time.

Stop by Fall Hollow Campground. Bill Roper prepared us an impromptu lunch and wonderful conversation to go with it.

Plan a stop at Tishomingo State Park. Lovely area, cool suspension bridge and wonderful rustic cabins.

We diverted over to Vicksburg and had a great time riding around the battlefield. If you go off the beaten path, you can find all kinds of old trench works and forgotten monuments back in the woods.
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Old 09-14-11, 04:21 PM   #3
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I would suggest carrying a good map of MS. You will have to leave the Trace for food and often it is several miles to a town. It is more hilly on the TN section than around Jackson. There is a marginally adequate bike shop near the Northern terminus, next door to the Loveless Cafe. The Eola Hotel in Natchez seems interesting.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:17 AM   #4
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Keep your head (and ears) up when in the vicinities of Tupelo and Jackson. The Trace is used as a major thoroughfare in both of those areas, so there is quite a bit of traffic ignoring the posted speed limit. Other than that, it should be a fairly enjoyable ride.
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