Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway (a National Park)is a 444 mile scenic byway which begins in Natchez and ends in Nashville, TN. This path was once tread by buffalo, then American Indians, and finally utilized as a walking route by Ohio Valley traders. In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson designated teh Trace as a national post road for mail delivery between Nashville and Natchez. General Andrew Jackson, Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809), John James Audubon, Jefferson Davis, and Ulysses S. Grant fare some of the famous Americans to have traveled the Natchez Trace. Most travelers were anonymous working folks. In the early 1800s through the mid-1820s, "Kaintucks" from the Ohio River Valley floated cash crops, livestock and other materials sown the Mississippi River on wooden flatboats. At Natchez or New Orleans, they sold their goods, sold their boats for lumber and walked or rode horseback toward home via the Old Trace. As the road was improved, stands (inns) provided lodging, food, and drink to Trace travelers.
The Trace crosses three states: Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee; four distinct ecosystems; and eight major watersheds. It is habitat for nearly 1,500 species of plants, 33 mammal species, 134 bird species, and 70 species of reptiles and amphibians.