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Robin DeanOct 3, 2016CommentShare

Updated Dec 15, 2021, this article contains one or more maps ...

Natchez Trace: Tennessee's Forest Parkway

Tennessee is a beautiful place to either visit or live. Our motorcycle tour across "the volunteer state" introduced many fine riding roads, none of which was I familiar with until now. TRO author and Murfreesboro resident Greg White single handedly built our entire route (thanks Greg!), pointing us toward Natchez Trace to kick things off.

“Natchez Trace isn't twisty by Blue Ridge Parkway or Tail of the Dragon standards. It's more of a pleasant/scenic direct route between Memphis and Nashville.”

Natchez Trace isn't twisty by Blue Ridge Parkway or Tail of the Dragon standards. It's more of a pleasant/scenic direct route between Memphis and Nashville. Being a two lane parkway, there aren't any stop signs or signals and commercial traffic isn't allowed. Sailing through the countryside via the deepest of sweepers, it provides a number of reliable food/gas stations along the way.

The southern terminus of Natchez Trace, i.e. mile marker zero begins in Natchez, Mississippi before crossing over the Tennessee border near Collinwood by way of Alabama. Also referred to as "Old Natchez Trace", the 400+ mile historic forest trail was originally cleared by indigenous tribes following prehistoric animal tracks along a dry ridge line. Its post-industrial status allows for motorcycling that's far more fun than anything slab, be it highway or expressway.

Natchez Trace Ride
Natchez Trace Ride

Natchez Trace is lightly patrolled by forest rangers. Our spirited travel time between Memphis and Nashville totaled around five hours. This is a road worth enjoying with a relaxed mindset, taking many breaks to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Map Image

Think of it as a sort of sport touring expressway. It's low in traffic with plenty of space to pass with curves to boot, making it a fun yet direct route. What a great way to never decide which city's barbecue is better, forcing you to repeatedly visit both! Next stop: Nashville ...

Sidenote: If you feel like exploring other places along the trace, noteworthy towns include Franklin, Columbia, Lawrenceburg, Florence, Cherokee, Tupelo and Houston.

What Twisty Roads In Tennessee Are Your Favorite?

There are a lot of great riding roads in the birthplace of rock 'n' roll. Which ones do you prefer? What do you like about them and why? Your input is invited. Post An Article!

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Robin Dean

About Robin Dean

Motorcycle advocate, enthusiast and traveler. Founder, The Riding Obsession (2014). MSF RiderCoach credentials: BRCu, BRC2u, MSRCu, ARCu, 3WBRCu ~ Tidal Playlist

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