Redline 925, Bacchetta Strada 'bent, Old Giant Cadex, Cannondale SM400(??) MTB
couple questions for someone with Natchez Trace self supported experience
I am going to be doing the Natchez trace back and forth from nasheville soon. couple questions wanted some input on
do you hang you food when camping along trace? The Book "Bicycling natchez trace" suggest you should due to critters (no bears along it), but wasnt sure if its that big a deal
If you have the experience...how busy is the trace this time of year with other bicyle tourists / traffic / campgrounds? am i likely to bump into some other tourist in campgrounds?
Anyone stealth camp along trace? Seems like the parkway campgrounds are reasonably spaced but might need the option. I know it is not technically allowed...but seems like an awful lot of space and doubt would be an issue...but wondering if anyone had experience.
Lastly, any suggestions on where to stay in natchez if wanted to treat myslef to some comfort? thinking might take day off there, hit casino, see if any nightlife...probably would want to stay downtown. suggestions?
i am really looking forward to this upcoming tour...its my first "big" self supported tour.
2013 Wilier Gran Turismo; 2007 Specialized Sequoia; 2011 Bike Friday Pocket Sport (for traveling & touring)
I can't answer your specific camping questions, but I did the length of the Trace in both directions during periodic business trips in 2009-10, including my very first overnight tour. Traffic is hardly worth mentioning- except in Jackson, MS and a little bit in Tupelo. Jackson is heavy, avoid rush hour times there if at all possible.
I think the Trace is an outstanding place to ride- even after I completed it, I continued to ride when I was in the area. Scenic, historic sites to visit and keep it interesting, and roads generally smooth though there are a few sections of rough pavement that noticeably slowed me down.
I rode the Tennessee section of the trace in 2009 as part of a transcontinental route. Stealth camping on the trace is illegal but definitely possible. The old trace, which is basically doubletrack, intersects the new road at regular intervals. I woud recommend, going down the old trace until you are mostly out of sight of the road, and set up a tent there. As always, wait til dusk to make camp.
I have had some trouble with critters (skunks and raccoons) getting into food bags before, so hanging your bags is probably a good idea. Neither of those animals was able to rip open my panniers, but a skunk was smart enough to open a poorly-closed ortlieb roll-top.
I didn't see any other tourists, but I ran into an awful lot of roadies when I got close to Nashville.