Monday, March 30, 2015

Natchez Trace, Part 2

I found another web site,, which tells more information about the stops along the way. It’s really mostly for bikes. This part of the trail is at Jackson/Raymond area, Canton/Jackson areaKosciusko area, French Camp area. I’ll probably defer from pictures of just the signs and only put pictures of places we stopped at instead.

The beginning of this part is very bumpy and bouncy. The part yesterday was much better.
IMG_5143IMG_5144IMG_5154IMG_5155IMG_5168IMG_5183IMG_5184IMG_5185IMG_5186IMG_5192IMG_5238IMG_5239IMG_5240IMG_5248IMG_5249I liked the Tupelo-Bald Cypress swamp. It didn’t smell, easy for pictures. The Cole Creek swamp was dirty, smelled bad.
IMG_5265IMG_5267IMG_5269 We didn’t realized there was a visitors center across the road until we drove past it.  It’s for the town of French Camp. The information on the National Park Service map doesn’t give information for the surrounding area. There’s a couple of places we’ve found after the fact.

We stopped at Jeff Busby Campground, mm 193.1 on the Trace.  We only went about 100 miles, and it’s only 1:30 in the afternoon, but if we go all the way to the next campground on the Trace, about 200 miles, I don’t think there would be any room left by the time we get there today. It looks like the campgrounds start filling early. There are 3 free campgrounds along the Trace. This one has a  restroom, water fountains, picnic table, fire pit, grill and food hanger. We walked up Little Mountain, 630 feet elevation, from our campground at 450 feet elevation. (They don’t have much for mountains in this area of the valley.) Weather permitting, we might stay here for a few days.
IMG_5270IMG_4309IMG_4290IMG_4291IMG_4292I don’t know what kind of snake this is. I only had my small camera and couldn’t zoom in, and didn’t want to get in close in case it was venomous. There are three kinds of venomous snakes in this area, but we think it’s just a water snake.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The start of the Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace Parkway is 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi into Alabama and ending south of Knoxville, Tennessee. The Trace started with the Natchez, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indian nations. Later travelers, soldiers, “Kaintucks”, etc. made the Trace larger.
We started the Trace around 10:00 this morning, using the brochures from the National Park Service that shows what is at certain mile markers and their map. We missed the very first stop; didn’t see anything beside the road, not realizing you had to turn off and then we didn’t know if we could get in and back around with the RV and Jeep. We stopped at the Old Trace Exhibit Shelter and cemetery. The cemetery wasn’t even mentioned. We just noticed a mowed path to some trees and a small fence there. So we followed the path.
Next was a turn off the road, again didn’t know if we should take it or not, to Emerald Mound. The map doesn’t state how far off the parkway road it is, so once we got to a narrower road we stopped and brought up Google Earth so we could see where we’d end up. It’s a narrow road, would work better with the tow vehicle but we made it in and out okay. If there would have been a lot of cars parked in the lot, it would have been tricky. Emerald Mound is the second largest temple mound in the US at 8 acres.
IMG_4959IMG_4960IMG_4962IMG_4966IMG_4971IMG_4973IMG_4983IMG_4984 Loess Bluff.

Mount Locust Inn and plantation was built in 1780. Shortly after that, with a growing number of travelers walking the Trace, the family turned their home into a “stand”, which was nothing more than a crude inn. A staple corn crop enabled the family to offer a meal of corn mush and milk with sleeping arrangements on the porches and grounds. A four-room two-story annex was erected behind the house. A traveler would pay 25 cents for their food and lodging. By the mid-1820s the steamboat and other roads pretty much brought an end to the Natchez Trace.Mount Locust had up to 51 enslaved people at one time. There is a separate slave cemetery and a family cemetery on the grounds.
Sunken Trace is a short trail through a deeply eroded section of the Original Trace.
Owens Creek Waterfall used to be a waterfall, now it’s more of a trickle. The water table has dropped.

Rocky Springs has a free primitive campground, picnic area, restrooms, and an old historic town site. We were going to stay at the campground but there is no cell service and I needed cell service for our Google Hangout birthday party tonight. (Granddaughter’s 8th birthday over the internet - Happy birthday Calissa!)