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Mississippi Natchez Trace question

Old 01-09-19, 08:13 PM
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Mississippi Natchez Trace question

I live in Nashville and train on the Trace here. However, I am going to be staying with my mother-in-law in Madison, MS for a full week in March. I'd like to train on the Trace there, but know nothing about it. Is it safe? I'm a widow and don't want to do anything stupid. Any advice would be welcome.
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Old 01-09-19, 09:05 PM
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I have never ridden it personally, but based on what I have read if you ride north from Madison, it should be pretty good. There is a place in the Jackson area where the trace is indistinguishable from other city streets, so don't go south There is a century each spring based out of Ridgeland (basically Madison) and they ride the trace North of Madison. It's apparently a good route for that century. I think you'll be fine.
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Old 01-10-19, 09:21 AM
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I live in Ridgeland and have ridden the Trace in the Jackson area for many years. Generally, the Trace is very safe with reduced speeds, no commercial traffic, good signage for cyclists and grassy shoulders. At the same time, I think a mirror and no earbuds is really helpful. The portion of the Trace from Highway 43 to I-55 gets some rush hour commuter traffic, particularly from Old Canton Road to I-55. I avoid that section from 7:00 am to 9:30 am and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. during the week. Weekend traffic is much lighter. The ride between Old Canton Road and Hwy 43 along the Ross Barnett Rez is very scenic, but avoid it at weekday rush hour. The section from I-55 to I-20 has alot of traffic all day and I do not ride that section due to the traffic. The Trace north of Highway 43 and south of I-20 has minimal to almost no traffic and is great to ride anytime. There is also a bikepath that parallels the Trace for about 15 miles from the Ross Barnett Rez Overlook on the north end to just south of Highway 49 on the south end. That gets you out of the traffic along the busiest portions of the Trace.


The local bike club, Jackson Metro Cyclists, also has a variety of group rides on most nights starting up after the beginning of daylight savings time in March. Nice folks who always welcome new riders. Home - Jackson Metro Cyclists
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Old 01-10-19, 10:44 AM
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As Msbiker stated, you might want to avoid rush hour times if possible. Generally the closer you are to town (any town on the Trace) the heavier the traffic. Traffic also can be fierce out towards the reservoir on weekends and during evening rush. Don't know much about fishing, but I would expect traffic near the reservoir would pick up around March with folks beginning to enjoy the lake more.
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Old 01-10-19, 06:55 PM
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There is a really good band out of Natchez Mississippi, Bishop Gunn.
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Old 01-11-19, 09:14 AM
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I've toured on the Trace twice and I've found the vast majority of drivers are respectful and courteous to cyclists. I don't think you'll need to worry for your personal safety as a female cyclist more than you would anywhere in the USA, especially closer to the populated areas along the Trace such as the Greater Jackson area. I think the biggest risk sharing a road with motor vehicles is inattentive and distracted drivers though the lower speed limit on the Trace slightly reduces the risk.
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Old 01-14-19, 02:41 PM
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I have ridden many miles on the Trace around the Jackson/madison area.....but you have to be picky about your times. Generally N of Hwy 43 is alway good, and my favorite area is S of I-20 over in clinton. There is a parking area near the interstate and you go S from there....essentially no traffic most of the time.

The stretch from Hwy 43 (Canton) basically all the way over to Clinton is used heavily by commuters and I try to avoid it
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