Mississippi: Natchez Trace Parkway
7 Day Inn Tour
It took 71 years to finish the entire 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway. Come explore this linear national park that is full of history, natural beauty and wildlife. Traffic is minimal while small-town southern hospitality will be at its max.
The first 6 women to sign up receive 5% discounts.
Mostly flat with some gently rolling hills. Moderate cycling level. Leisurely level with an ebike.
6 nights lodging, all breakfasts, 4 picnic and sack lunches, 5 dinners, & snacks, van support, cue sheets and trained guides.
$195 for Specialized hybrid or road bicycle designed specifically for women. $295 for an electric-assist ebike.
Fly in and out of the Jackson, MS airport or take the train. Then take a taxi for the 20-minute trip to our starting hotel. WomanTours will provide a complimentary shuttle at the finish of the tour back to the airport or train station by 11:00am. Or drive and leave your car at our starting hotel for the week.
"Except for Mother Nature on one day, we had the most perfect riding conditions I have ever experienced. At the end of every day I was sad there was no more riding."
DAY 1: We meet on the outskirts of the capital city of Jackson, Mississippi at a hotel near the bike path. We’ll have our rental bike fitting at 3:30pm, then an orientation meeting at 5:30pm, followed by our first dinner together. 0 miles.
DAY 2: After a hearty breakfast, we’ll take the bike path to the Natchez Trace Parkway and head south. We’ll bike the mostly flat quiet road past fields of cotton, grazing cows and cypress trees draped in Spanish moss.
Feel free to stop along the way to read the many historical markers. Learn how the native Choctaw lands shrank in the face of pioneer settlements. Read how one of these pioneers, Cowles Mead, first became an area tavern owner and then acting state governor, when he ordered the arrest of the country’s vice president Aaron Burr for treason. (He was later acquitted.)
We’ll leave the Trace for a detour along meandering country roads to the famous civil war town of Vicksburg for our overnight. 35 or 57 miles.
DAY 3: Our layover day in Vicksburg will give us the chance to explore the Vicksburg National Military Park. We’ll learn why the town was an important stronghold during the Civil War. Control of Vicksburg dictated control of commerce and transportation along the Mississippi River. The many monuments along the park loop pay tribute to the 20,000 men who lost their lives fighting on either side for that control.
in 1840, our Cedar Grove Mansion Inn was also used by General Sherman as a military hospital during the war and still has a Union cannonball embedded in a parlor wall. Its original furniture, beautifully restored carriage house, and formal gardens remind us of the elegance and romance of an earlier time. You could choose to walk the loop through the park, or you may just stay back at our inn to enjoy a mint julep on the front porch instead. 0 or 20 miles.
DAY 4: We say good-bye to Vicksburg in the morning, and bicycle quiet back roads over the Big Black River back to the Natchez Trace. We’ll stop in the ghost town of Rocky Springs for a picnic lunch and then ride past Mangum Mound, dating back 1000 years.
Keep your eyes peeled — we’ve seen armadillos, red-tailed hawks and white-tailed deer through this stretch. We’ll overnight in Port Gibson, the small town General Grant declared “too beautiful to burn.” 26 or 44 miles.
DAY 5: We complete our tour of the Trace today with a beautiful ride into the town of Natchez. Much of today’s miles are on the newest portion of the parkway. We’ll glimpse a section of the original Trace, now sunken from years of use and erosion deep into the earth. We’ll pass the Elizabeth Female Academy, the state’s first college for women.
Then we’ll enter one of the oldest and most historic cities of the South — Natchez. We’ll stay in the heart of downtown, surrounded by grand antebellum homes and not far from the Mississippi River. 45 miles.
DAY 6: You have a choice today for your final ride. You can do the longer option and the more challenging ride that takes you out of town and onto quiet rolling country roads. Along the way we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. We’ll also tour the grand Longwood House, the largest octagonal house in the nation. The war interrupted its construction in 1861, and you’ll see the scaffolding still in place. Or you can choose the shorter scenic loop, staying in town to explore the beautiful old mansions at a slower pace. 12 or 46 miles.
DAY 7: After breakfast, we will say good-bye and then shuttle back to the Jackson airport, arriving by 11:00am. 0 miles.