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A can’t miss destination after renting your campervan  is the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. Guest blogger Katy Clarke highlights her favorite stops on this road trip.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee

Just south of Nashville is a road begging for a larger-than-life road trip. Stretching 444 miles through three states, the Natchez Trace Parkway is technically a national park, but it’s so much more.

Starting in Nashville, TN, and ambling south to Natchez, MS, the Trace is a local favorite of cyclists and runners because of the low speed limits, lack of traffic, and beautiful rolling hills, but continuing on you can uncover the heart of the Trace: gorgeous scenery, rich history, and that rare chance to take it slow.

Make it an entire road trip by itself, or a fun day trip outside of Nashville.

Loveless Cafe Nashville Tennessee

The Loveless Cafe

It just so happens the Nashville entrance to the Trace is right next to the famous Loveless Cafe. If you’re looking for southern cooking with an emphasis on butter and comfort food, I highly recommend a stop. Loveless is world-famous for two things: their biscuits and the wait time. Served with homemade preserves, the biscuits come out hot and delicious every time and they are well worth the wait.

Loveless Cafe Biscuits Nashville Tennessee

The last time we went it was a cold, dreary February morning at 7 am, and there were already a surprising number of people inside. By the time we left, the place was hopping.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee Sign

Beginning Your Road Trip

Once you start your trip down the Natchez Trace, you’re bound to notice the scarcity of, well, everything. No street lights, few signs (just reminders that the speed limit is 40 mph, thank you very much), no billboards, and good luck with a cell signal. What you get instead is pretty awesome.

Sights along the Trace are noted by the mile markers–small wooden signs that mark the progress of your trip. Forget your GPS on this trip, you’ll be going old school.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee waterfall

Top Stops Along the Way

Mile 438: Birdsong Hollow and Double Arch Bridge. You have the opportunity to see this impressive bridge from both above and below. Along the Trace, there’s a parking area and scenic overlook, and just south of the bridge you can exit and check out the bridge from below on Highway 96.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee waterfall

Mile 438: Birdsong Hollow and Double Arch Bridge. You have the opportunity to see this impressive bridge from both above and below. Along the Trace, there’s a parking area and scenic overlook, and just south of the bridge you can exit and check out the bridge from below on Highway 96.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee Forest

Mile 428: Leiper’s Fork. If you want to take a quick side trip off the Trace, Leiper’s Fork is just the cute, quirky little town to pull you off. Exit the Trace at milepost 428 and follow the signs to the historic district. There a few restaurants in this cute little area, but the one you want to hit is Puckett’s Grocery. This little gem holds great food, live music, and a fun atmosphere, so it’s well worth the side trip.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee

Mile 391.9: Fall Hallow Falls: My favorite! Your first encounter with this waterfall is literally 10 feet from the road.  However, you can continue hiking down a windy, rocky trail to be rewarded with other smaller falls and eventually make it down to the base.

Natchez Trace Parkway Nashville Tennessee sign

And that’s just the start. You’ve got hundreds of miles of road and 10,000 years of history left to explore. Slow down and enjoy!

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