Natchez Trace Parkway - Alabama
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444 mile scenic drive from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee with 33 miles in the northwestern part of Alabama in Lauderdale and Colbert counties. A National Scenic Byway and All American Road, key sites along the Trace in Alabama include Colbert Ferry, Buzzard Roost Spring, Rock Spring, Lauderdale, Bear Creek and Freedom Hills Overlook.
The Parkway is a designated bike route. The section spans the area between the Tennessee-Alabama state line (milepost 341.8) and the Alabama-Mississippi state line (milepost 308.9).
Highlights and Key Points Along the Route
Rock Spring is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 330.2. The nature trail at Rock Spring offers visitors an opportunity to explore a small natural spring as it bubbles forth from the ground. Small fish can be seen in the deep pools created as the stream wanders through the rich bottomland soil and limestone rock.
Lauderdale is a picnic area is located at milepost 328.7. This picnic area is situated on the north shoreline of the Tennessee River.
Colbert Ferry is located at milepost 327.3. Here, George Colbert operated a ferry across the Tennessee River from 1800 to 1819. His stand, or inn, offered travelers a warm meal and shelter during their journey on the Old Trace. The site of his stand is approximately 50 yards up the path from the parking area. An additional 20 minute walk will take you along the Old Trace to the bluff overlook and back. The Colbert Ferry site offers restrooms, picnic area, swimming, fishing, boat launch, and a bike only campground.
Buzzard Roost Spring is located at milepost 320.3. Originally called Buzzard Sleep, the name was changed to Buzzard Roost in 1801 by Levi Colbert, a renowned Chickasaw chief. The spring was a water source for the Colbert house which also served as an inn and stand for travelers on the Old Natchez Trace. (Levi was a brother to George Colbert, they both ran the Colbert Ferry and their stands were about two hours apart by horseback.)
Freedom Hills Overlook is located at milepost 317.0. On the way up the trail there are two benches where visitors can stop and rest before continuing on up the hill. Another bench is placed conveniently at the top of the trail, which is the highest point on the Natchez Trace in Alabama.
Bear Creek is located at milepost 313.0. A shady picnic area with several picnic tables and grills sits next to Bear Creek near the Alabama-Mississippi state line.
Length of Byway or Route