Southern Natchez Trace
Come experience cycling the best of the Southeast. Travel along the scenic recreational Natchez Trace Parkway from Ridgeland to Natchez, a southern jewel of a town. We will continue our journey through verdant farmlands to Port Gibson, the town “too beautiful to burn,” visiting Windsor Ruins along our way. We’ll overnight at Grand Gulf Military State Park, which some refer to as the “Little Grand Canyon,” a park known as one of the natural wonders of the Ozarks. We spin on to the historic Civil War city of Vicksburg and visit the Vicksburg National Military Park, the key to the Civil War.
Soak up the scenes of Spanish moss–draped trees, enjoy catered meals that reflect the best of this region’s culinary tradition, and learn about the past and present of this corner of the country.
Grab some friends and join today! Each rider in a group of 5 or more will receive a 15% discount. Learn more...
"The food was great, the staff was great, and the trip was tons of fun. We met lots of interesting people!"
Day 1. Ridgeland, Mississippi, 0 miles
We'll meet in Ridgeland, a scenic suburb north of Mississippi's capital city, to get acquainted with our tour leaders and one another. If you arrive early, prepare to be wowed by the cycling culture here that has fallen head over heels for two (and three!) wheels. Check out the Ridgeland Multi-Use Path and Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail, then settle in for a map meeting and a restful night before we embark on our justly famous route in the morning.
Day 2. Ridgeland to Vicksburg, 53 miles
After enjoying breakfast, we'll leave our Ridgeland hotel and begin our route along the Natchez Trace Multi-Use Path, crossing over and heading south along the historical Natchez Trace Parkway. In Clinton, we'll turn west off the parkway following rural Mississippi backroads through pastures, cotton fields, and forests. Our route follows the 1863 footpath of the Union troops as they marched through the area en route to Vicksburg. We'll pedal past the Champion Hill Battlefield, cross over the Big Black River on an old truss bridge and climb up to the river town of Vicksburg, where we will spend the next two nights.
Day 3. Layover Day in Vicksburg, 0 miles
After a hearty breakfast, we will all climb on our bikes and ride to the Vicksburg National Military Park. At the National Military Park, we will cycle through a piece of Civil War history as a licensed battlefield guide will narrate our bicycle tour. After the tour, you will have the afternoon to enjoy the National Military Park's Visitors Center, with time to explore the river town of Vicksburg. Visit the Coca Cola museum where the first Coke was bottled, view the nearby antebellum homes, stop into numerous shops or even try your luck at the casinos.
Day 4. Vicksburg to Grand Gulf Military State Park, 44 miles
Enjoy today's ride on peaceful country roads as we drop into the Big Black River floodplain. You'll ride by and have the chance to visit the old Rocky Springs Church, the last remaining building of a town that once flourished in the plantation era. We'll end today's ride at our overnight historical landmark Grand Gulf Military State Park, a 400-acre landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes Fort Cobun and Fort Wade.
Day 5. Grand Gulf Military State Park to Natchez, 64 miles
We'll ride the country roads on the outskirts of Port Gibson, the city General Grant called "too beautiful to burn." We'll continue past Alcorn State University, founded in 1871 by the Reconstruction-era legislature. Along your route, you will visit the Windsor Ruins, built in the mid-1850's, a plantation that once sprawled over 2,600 acres and now looms like a Roman ruin due to its 23 still-standing columns. We will cycle back onto the Natchez Trace Parkway all the way into Natchez.
Day 6. Layover Day in Natchez, 0 miles
Today you will have the opportunity to experience all that historic Natchez has to offer. First, stop at the Natchez Visitor Center to watch the engaging history of Natchez film and plan your day. Take a few moments to visit St. Mary's Basilica in the hear of Natchez, the city's central landmark, known as an architectural masterpiece among the South's Catholic churches. Or relax and enjoy the hospitality at one of the downtown cafes. This day is yours to enjoy.
Day 7. Natchez to Port Gibson, 46 miles
Our route today begins with crossing the mighty Mississippi River through the town of Natchez to the terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Your route today is on the beautiful historic Natchez Trace Parkway. You will have ample time today to ride and visit the historic sites. Take time to visit the Emerald Mound, an 8 acre ceremonial mound built between 1200 and 1500; Mount Locust, a restored plantation and historic museum. Today's route ends in the historic Port Gibson, where we will enjoy a southern meal at a local antebellum home.
Day 8. Port Gibson to Ridgeland, 64 miles
Your final day takes you back to Ridgeland on the majestic Natchez Trace Parkway, traveling from one historic site to the next, with a stop in the historic town of Clinton. We'll say our good-byes in Ridgeland after a scenic and historic journey on one of the country's most bike-friendly parkways.
Know before you go
Information for eBike riders:
Because every rider, eBike, road condition, and elevation profile is different, it is ultimately up to the participant to judge best whether their battery will last through each tour day. We recommend using pedal assist in its lowest setting or off when not needed to maximize battery range. Bringing a second battery is also recommended. They can be carried by staff on our fully supported events, but will need to be carried by the participant on our inn-to-inn trips.