Taking the Slow Road

We’d been hanging around in Texas waiting for the weather to warm up in Canada but now it’s time to head north. Our plan was to head to Natchez MS, visit the sights and then take the Natchez Trace north to Jackson. We’d already done the Trace from Nashville, south to Jackson a couple of years ago.

The Trace was originally a foot path stretching north from Natchez to Nashville used by “Kaintucks” who had floated their furs and other goods from the north, down the Mississippi river on flat bottomed boats that they had built with timber from their own land. They sold everything including their boats in Natchez for gold and started their walk home up the Natchez Trace. The trip down could take as long as four weeks and the walk home might take six weeks or more.

Mount Locust Inn

Mount Locust Inn-the walking travelers’ respite

Along the way were rest stops or inns, each a day’s walk apart, where a traveler could have a meal and spend the night for the cost of 25 cents.

The back of the inn.

The back of the inn.

Mount Locust, at mile 15.5 is the only remaining stand, open to the public all year except Christmas day.
Built circa 1780, Mount Locust was also a working plantation with slaves. Considered luxurious in it’s day, it is primitive by today’s standards, but a dry roof and a warm place by the fire after a long day of walking must have felt pretty good.

A warm place to bed down.

A warm place to bed down.


A place to rest for a weary traveler.

A place to rest for a weary traveler.

With the advent of paddle wheel boats it became easier to travel up river and foot traffic on the Trace dwindled. The National Park Service purchased it in the 1940s and restored it to 1820 condition.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

The boys' room. They raised 8 boys and 1 girl in this home.

The boys’ room. They raised 8 boys and 1 girl in this home.

The color blue is authentic. Indigo was grown right there on the plantation.

The color blue is authentic. Indigo was grown right there on the plantation.

Today’s Trace is a paved two lane highway open only to non commercial traffic, speed limit 50 mph. Historic landmarks make interesting stops.

The spinning wheel.

The spinning wheel.

The pantry with all the essentials a well run household needed.

The pantry with all the essentials a well run household needed.

There are no fuel stops or restaurants along the way. You need to visit nearby communities for these necessities. There are campgrounds, some state parks a few miles off the Trace and some campgrounds right on the Trace are free on a first come basis, you need to stop early for these as they fill up quickly, especially on weekends. The trip should take two or more days, depending on how many stops you make.

Hunter's trophy

Hunter’s trophy

Chair seat is deer hide.

Chair seat is deer hide.

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4 comments on “Taking the Slow Road”

  1. Thank you for the interesting history lesson, sounds like a nice place to visit.

  2. This is such a lovely post! I love the Master bedroom and the pantry, which was full of gardening tools too. I always envy your fabulous porches (or verandas)
    We do not have them over here, because of the weather I guess. I would love to sit out there, or sleep even!

  3. Thanks for this great post about the Natchez Trace. It’s on our must do list of trips to take in our fifth wheel. We love to take the slow roads and stop to visit interesting places.


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