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Planned Natchez Trace Parkway Route


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We are planning, next November to bring the Ollie to the Oliver Factory for the normal (yearly) maintenance and then make our way to New Orleans and then New Mexico using the Natchez Trace Parkway .

What do others think of this Parkway and how is the Jeff Busby Parkway campground? 

It looks like there are no reservations accepted at the Parkway CG so how soon in the day should we plan to stop to get a camp site?

How many days should we plan to travel the parkway to see the sites?

2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio



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  • The title was changed to Planned Natchez Trace Parkway Route
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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 





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There are three free campgrounds along the Natchez Trace.  Merriweather Lewis near Hohenwald at mm 385,  Jeff Busby  at mm 193, and Rocky Springs at mm 54.  I have camped at Busby and Lewis and would expect Rocky Springs to be similar.   No hookups.  No Showers.  Campground is a bit rough but because of that you don't need a reservation and its free.   I like FREE.  In November you can probably find a campsite in the middle of the night but I would arrive so you can level and do whatever needs doing before full dark.  There is a nice hike at Jeff Busby that goes to the top of a overlook with a view.   You could drive up there too.  All campsites are patrolled by the park service and I can't imagine you would have any trouble that was not self inflicted.   

The drive along the parkway is slow and curvy but fairly relaxing even if you are pulling a trailer.  I would imagine 2-3 days for the length depending on how many stops along the way. 


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Gregg & Donna Scott and Missy the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC




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Be careful to check on the open/close status of these campgrounds before you go.  Last year I know that the Merriweather Lewis campground was closed due to staff shortages (probably Covid induced).

From the current pictures online it appears as though the pavement at Busby has been improved since the last time I was there.  As ScottyGS says - some of the facilities can be a bit rough - closed restrooms, broken pavement, lack of general maintenance - but the restrooms that are open are generally fairly clean.  Water is available at the Merriweather Lewis campground (a spigot on the drinking fountain right near the restroom) but I didn't check at the other two campgrounds.  Therefore, be careful to have your fresh water tank at least half full.

Emerald Mound is (by far) the best of the Native American mounds.  Unless you are REALLY into that I'd wait until near the end of the Parkway to visit Emerald and leave the others rest.  Be sure to stop at the "Old Trace" since you will get an idea of just how many people, horses, wagons, etc. it took to wear a path this deep.  Finally, a short stop at the French Village will get you a chance to "drive" an old tractor (see below).








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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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22 hours ago, topgun2 said:

Be careful to check on the open/close status of these campgrounds before you go.

Here is the NP web page that lists current Open / Closed status today: 


Also note that more closures are to be announced soon:


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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD diesel


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