The17xprt

Natchez Trace Campground Recommendations

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We will be driving the Natchez Trace Parkway in August. Can anyone recommend campgrounds along the way? We prefer full hookups and travel in a 35' Class A. Unfortunately, the State campgrounds on the Trace do not have any hookups. We'll most likely spend three or four days sightseeing and don't ming driving off the Trace to camp. Thanks!

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I can recommend Riverview RV in Vidalia, LA. It is just across the river from Natchez.

We also stayed two days at Barnes Crossing RV park in Tupelo, MS. I would recommend it, and will probably stay there again.

We didn't travel any farther north on the Trace than Tupelo, so I can't help you there.

FWIW, the drive along the Trace parkway was one of the most pleasant drives we've made in our short year with the mh.

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We have driven the Trace several times in a 45' with Jeep toad, there is not much in the way of sites, this is what we have done, drove to Jackson , Ms on the Trace, exit at Madison, Ms and I-55 N stayed in Canton, Ms at Movietown RV Park app 17 miles from exit, the next morning re-entered Trace and drove to Tupelo, Ms a good day drive, several pull offs for site seeing and rest area about half way,this is a federal parkway and the speed limit is what is posted and no more. We have stayed at Campgrounds at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo, Ms and Trace State Park Pontotoc/Belden, Ms. This State Park is a very nice park. I suggest you Google Trace Park Pontotoc, Miss, they have a site map, Eagle Ridge is the newest section on the Lake . We stayed several days in the park, we are off road people and like to take side trips into the country side . Oxford, Ms home of Ole Miss and William Faulkner was one of our side trips. From Tupelo we re-entered the Trace and continued our trip into Tenn and the Cumberland Mts.

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We drove the Trace in 2003, joining it near the midpoint and heading southwest to Natchez. We loved it so much that we went back and drove the whole park from Natchez to the end near Louisville the next spring, 2004. We didn't find any suitable parks along the way to recommend. We usually boondock when we can't find parks and this worked out well for us along that route. We didn't boondock in National Park parking areas, that is prohibited but if you exit at nearby towns you can find places to park overnight. I think we drove the return in three days as we had already visited most of the sites on the southern part of the Trace on the way south in the fall. We found this to be a great trip and highly recommend it to all. Outside of the regular printed campground guides, we use RV Park Reviews to locate RV parks. They have listings for some parks you won't find anywhere else.

Our springtime trip began staying in the Riverview RV Park across the river from Natchez in Vidalia, Louisiana. We stayed there for a week and toured Natchez during the spring Pilgrimage when many of the old mansions are open for visitation. There are almost thirty mansions that you can visit during the fall Natchez Pilgrimage this year. They sell tickets in groups of three or four mansions as a set. You have all morning (or afternoon) to visit your three or four mansions. Visit them in any order, spend as much or as little time as you wish. There are conducted tours running continuously, guides are dressed in period costumes and you are conducted through the home while learning area/building/family history, construction details, remodeling, furniture, etc. In most places you may wander the grounds on your own. We highly recommend this event if you can fit it into your schedule this year. The dates for the fall Pilgrimage are 9-27 to 10-14-2013.

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Since we are traveling in an off season month (August) does anyone know if campground reservations are absolutely necessary? I've never traveled without them before. I know people do it all the time, but I'm a chicken and worry we won't be able to find a place for the night.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!

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Several years ago when we did the Trace, we started in Jackson, Ms. Stayed at Petrified Forest and I do not recommend this park. The next 2 nights we stayed at a very nice park in Tupelo, Ms. I do not remember the name but it was small, nice, well maintained. When we made it to Nashville, we stayed 4 nights at Davy Crockett SP. It was nice but the sites on top of the hill were not made for larger RV's. Down the hill was better. Along the way there is a lot of interesting things to look at. Even Oprah Winfrey's home town is accessible from the Trace. Speed limit is strictly enforced, so take your time and enjoy. Happy travels.

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Thanks. We have reservations at Riverview. It looks beautiful and I'm glad to hear it is recommended. We are going to map out the rest of our trip today. I'll keep the Tupelo park in mind. We want to stay at David Crockett park and will plan our mileage around that stop. One of the things we like about the Trace is the speed limit and lack of commercial vehicle traffic.

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By now you probably went to the Trace. Please let me know your experience.... how many days you stayed vs how many days you think you should have stayed? The campgrounds you visited... which towns you think should be visited for longer periods...

I was thinking the trace should be "divided" in three areas and spend about 3-4 days in each area...what do you think? Thanks!

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Yes, we are back. Unfortunately our trip did not go as planned. We made it to the beginning of the Trace and took a detour to Vicksburg. That night at the campground our leveling jacks broke and we had to wait five days for a new motor. By that time we had to head back home. It was still a great trip and I'll share what I learned.

I see you're in Gainesville. We were coming from Miami and had events scheduled in Melbourne and Pensacola. I highly recommend Falling Waters State Park in Chipley, FL. They have the highest waterfall in Florida and nice trails to walk. The flow of the fall depends on recent rainfall. It can get down to a trickle, but it was beautiful when we saw it in August.

After Pensacola, we went to Dauphin Island, Alabama and stayed at Pelican Nest. The bad part is that it is a tiny park and tricky to maneuver in, but we were lucky because everyone was leaving the day we arrived. Our site had plenty of room for our 35' Class A including the slides. The best part is that the people are very nice and helpful. There is a beautiful public beach across the street, and a pretty good restaurant next door. I would stay there again, but probably not during their busy season.

As others have posted, Riverview in Vidalia, Louisiana was wonderful. It was amazing to us to be able to look out our front window and see the Mississippi River. We only stayed two nights but wish we had stayed longer. Natchez, Misissippi is just across the river and even though it was off season, they had a shuttle to go to town. We didn't get a chance to take advantage of it though. I'd suggest to reserve at least a full day or two for the city of Natchez. There are tours of the Antebellum homes but few are open during the off season.

Our first and only day on the trace we got to see the first 33 miles. I bought the book Guide to the Natchez Trace Parkway, 2nd Edition, by F. Lynne Bachleda. I found it on Amazon. Although not the most current, it has a lot of info about the stops on and off the Trace. I used the book as we drove to help decide if we wanted to stop, and to learn more about what we saw. It covers the Trace from south to north and has recommendations about where NOT to venture in an RV. It is organized by milepost so it's easy to use. I highly recommend the book or one like it. We also found a list on the Park Service website that listed what was available at each exit (gas, food, campgrounds) and how far away it was.

The first and only day, we did 33 miles of the Trace with lots of stops to walk the trails and see the sites. We still had time to go to Vicksburg and drive through the National Military Park. It would have been nice to have a second day to really take our time to fully explore the park. We stayed at Rivertown RV park. It is more of a stopover than a destination, but it was quiet, clean, the people were very nice, and it was close to Walmart, etc. We would definitely stay there again. They had a mobile RV repairman in the area who came out at 8:30 pm to help us. He was great and didn't charge us an arm & a leg. (Greywolf Mobile RV Repair)

As far as trip planning, I did realize that we needed more time than we had scheduled. Remember that the Trace is around 400 miles and the speed limit is 50 MPH. I tried to plan things based on driving time, taking into consideration that we would be stopping often for 10-30 minutes at each site we wanted to see. Taking frequent (easy) walks made the drive time easier, but we felt it at the end of the day. It is hard for me to tell you how much time to stay in each area because it really depends on your interests. For example, we could have spent 2 days at the Military Park in Vicksburg, but not the town itself. Also, we were there in the off season so there were no crowds, traffic was light, and local RV parks were mostly empty. (We did not schedule any camping on the Trace campgrounds because there are no hookups.)

I like your idea of dividing the Trace, but I think I'd divide it up into four sections and spend about three weeks total for the trip. I'm really sorry I can't give you any personal experience after Vicksburg. A guide book will be really helpful to better plan your time and calculate driving distances based on your interests. We really loved the small part we saw (so did our dogs) and we want to go back.

Oh yeah, watch out for ticks on the trails.

I hope this helps!

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Awesome! I did not see your reply until just now, probably I missed the "notification". However, I did divide the trip in four segments/weeks/maps taken from the park and the community sites.

The campgrounds I have planned are: Natchez (3nights/MP8.1), Timberlake (3n/103.4), Jeff Busby (MAYBE 1n/193.1), Davis Lake (5n/243.1), Piney Grove (7n/293.5) and Camper's on I-65 between Columbus and Nashville. I called several to have an idea on availability and they all said the same "call a few days before, usually there is". These have E/W/d except Busby which is dry. I have planned to go N on I-75 and come South from Nashville, so we could be at Hohenwald's Oktoberfest on the 12 and the fall festival of Tupelo on the 24th. Taking it easy and enjoying the views and fall colors.

You were lucky to see the Falling Waters with water! We did go a couple of years ago and there was no water at all! And I had heard of Pelican Nest. If the snowbirds have not filled it by the first wk of November, maybe we'll stop.

Sorry about the jacks. Last year, on our way to the NW, a storm half way there broke our canopy, but luckyly we could roll it back and continue.

Thank you for your input! I feel more confident now with what I have prepared. Hope you can eventually continue the Trace.

Safe Travels,

Jocelynn and Quico Power

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