Road Trippin’ through Alabama and Mississippi, Part 5

After spending the night in Fultondale, which is just outside and northwest of Birmingham, Alabama, we drove to Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi. Online, this park looked beautiful and had nice trails, unique rock formations, and a swinging bridge constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, we did not find the rock formations in this park. We did find Haynes Lake which was very pretty and majestic, as well as several disc golf courses that we did not use. Oddly, there was hardly anyone around; sometimes it felt as if we were the only two people in the park, which seemed scary! Most of the trails were overgrown and hard to follow. We came across a pioneer cabin that was in disrepair, as well as a pavilion that had cobwebs everywhere inside it.

We did make our way to the swinging bridge, which was a bit frightening as it swung slightly back and forth. While in the middle of the bridge, I took a selfie of David and myself and then David noticed a cable was broken, so we immediately ran off the bridge! David did go back on the bridge to the half-way point to look around, but I stayed firmly on solid ground!

We then decided that we had spent enough time in the park, and it was time to leave. On our way out, I noticed a sign to follow the Natchez Trace Parkway to get to our next stop: Tupelo, Mississippi. I told David to take that route, as we were planning to go to the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor’s Center anyway. Also, when we had just entered Mississippi that morning, we had stopped at one of the state’s visitor’s centers, and I had grabbed a brochure for the parkway. I now took the brochure out of my backpack and began reading about this park that’s part of the National Park System.

I had put the parkway’s visitor’s center on our itinerary without fully understanding what it was. It just seemed interesting and was one of very few things to do in northern Mississippi. It turns out, the parkway is 444 miles long and goes through three states! It was established as a park in 1938, and it commemorates a significant highway. The highway used to just be a dirt path in the middle of the woods that connected Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. It also used to be a national post road for mail delivery as designated by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801.

In the 1800’s, people would take their crops and livestock down the Mississippi River to sell their goods in either Natchez, Mississippi or New Orleans, Louisiana. Then, they would take the Natchez Trace back home. Some famous Americans who have traveled on the Trace include General Andrew Jackson, Meriwether Lewis, John James Audubon, and Ulysses S. Grant.

Now, the Trace is paved for visitors to drive or bicycle on. It was a nice scenic drive, and we enjoyed not having to see billboards. All we saw was nature on either side of the road! Along the way, there were a few stops where you could drive off into a small parking lot to either read an informational board about the site you were at or you could get out of your car to walk a short trail. We stopped to see the Twentymile Bottom Overlook and the site of 13 graves of unidentified Confederate soldiers. We then arrived at the visitor’s center where we learned from the exhibits, watched a short film, and talked with the nice couple working the desk of the visitor’s center. The couple told us that there was construction up ahead on the Trace and that a stretch of it was closed. So, we checked into our hotel and ate amazing food and drank delicious drinks at Mugshots!

*I was not compensated for the reviews of any of the businesses in this blog post.

Bridge in Tishomingo State Park
Natchez Trace Parkway

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Hello! I am a young woman living in Indiana who loves to travel and share my stories with the world!

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Meandering Mandy

Meandering Mandy

Hello! I am a young woman living in Indiana who loves to travel and share my stories with the world!

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