Southern Natchez Trace 8 day guided tour - Adventure Cycling

Trip Dates: Oct 19, 2019 – Oct 26, 2019 Cost:$1,399.00 Location: Ridgeland, MS Physical Difficulty: Intermediate

Come experience cycling the best of the old South. Travel along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway through southern Mississippi from Ridgeland to Natchez, a jewel of a town. Tour the antebellum homes in the town that was once the richest in the South before continuing our journey through the verdant farmlands to Port Gibson, the town General Grant deemed “too beautiful to burn,” and visit Windsor Ruins along the way. We spin on to the historic Civil War city of Vicksburg, and visit the Vicksburg National Military Park, the key to the Civil War.

Start Date: Oct 19, 2019 End Date: Oct 26, 2019
Start Location: Ridgeland, MS End Location: Ridgeland, MS
Total Days: 8 Riding Days: 5
Rest Days: 3 Miles: 298
Average Daily Mileage: 59.6 Surface: Paved
Riders: 60 Airport: Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International (JAN)
Tour Leader: Kelly Hannegan Meals: Catered meals
Accommodations: Camping, Motel Options Type: Supported
Physical Difficulty: Intermediate Level of Support: Fully Supported
Cost: $1,399.00

 

Overview

Come experience cycling the best of the old South. Travel along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway through southern Mississippi from Ridgeland to Natchez, a jewel of a town. Tour the antebellum homes in the town that was once the richest in the South before continuing our journey through the verdant farmlands to Port Gibson, the town General Grant deemed “too beautiful to burn,” and visit Windsor Ruins along the way. We spin on to the historic Civil War city of Vicksburg, and visit the Vicksburg National Military Park, the key to the Civil War.

Day 1

Ridgeland, 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 in this Deep South town 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 Rocky Springs, 49 miles. After we leave our hotel in Ridgeland, set your own pace as we cycle south along the pastoral Natchez Trace Parkway. As we pass through Clinton, take a few minutes to stop by the visitor center, with a museum highlighting the history of the Trace and Clinton. As you continue south, you will see the historic location of the Battle of Raymond, where Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s troops clashed with the confederate brigade of Gen. John Gregg on May 8, 1863. Pedal through history at Dean’s Stand where Gen. Grant made his headquarters after the Battle of Raymond and Red Bluff Stand, which previously served as the boundary between the Choctaw tribe and three different nations, France, Spain, and the U.S.

Day 3

Rocky Springs to Natchez, 62 miles. Today you will continue your bike travel along the Natchez Trace Parkway to the southernmost terminus in Natchez. This is the Deep South! Spanish moss hangs from the trees and the scenery varies from hardwood forest to open pastures and cotton fields. Soon you’ll pass the Sunken Trace, a preserved section of the original route where you can easily imagine a lone horseman appearing around the bend on his arduous wilderness journey. Your day’s journey will end at your campsite along the mighty Mississippi River.

Day 4

Natchez, layover day, 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, which may include touring several of the unique and impressive antebellum mansions. Take a few moments to visit St. Mary Basilica in the heart of Natchez, the city’s central landmark, known as an architectural masterpiece among the south’s Catholic churches. Or relax and enjoy the southern hospitality at one of the downtown cafés. This day is yours to enjoy the Deep South.

Day 5

Natchez to Grand Gulf State Military Park/Port Gibson, 65 miles. Today we’ll leave the Trace and venture off the parkway onto the backroads of Mississippi. We’ll ride past Alcorn State University, founded in 1871 by the Reconstruction-era legislature to provide higher education to freedmen. Along your route, you will visit the Windsor Ruins, built in the mid-1850s, a plantation that once sprawled over 2,600 acres and now looms like a Roman ruin thanks to the 23 still-standing columns. The day will end near Port Gibson, the city Gen. Grant called “too beautiful to burn.” Tonight’s campsite is the Grand Gulf State Military Park a few miles from town. 

Day 6

Grand Gulf State Military Park to Vicksburg, 69 miles. Enjoy today’s ride on a peaceful country road as we drop into the Big Black River floodplain. We’ll end today’s ride in the town of Vicksburg, site of a turning point in the Civil War when Union forces laid siege to the city for 47 days.

Day 7

Vicksburg, layover day, 0 miles. There are plenty of layover day options here, including a scenic and historic bike tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park, a walking tour of the charming downtown area and surrounding historic district, or strike out on your own to see this unique southern city.

Day 8

Vicksburg to Ridgeland, 53 miles. Your final day takes you back to Ridgeland via Old U.S. 80 along rural roads through pastures, cotton fields, and forests, passing the sometimes-forgotten towns of Bolton, Edwards, and Bovina. Ride through history as Union troops marched through this area after capturing the city of Jackson. Arrive back in Ridgeland with a new appreciation for this area’s complicated past and its potential future as a bicycling destination!

 

Image credits to Adventure Cycling Association (Sharon Korstick | Alan Brown | Arlen Hall)

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: Multi-day
Tour duration: 8 days
Fitness Level: Medium
Language(s): English
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Mobile Coverage: Limited
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
Phone Number: Click to Call
Email: Email
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