Wrapping up the Nachos

Finishing up my 10th National Scenic Trail

It’s a funny thing, finishing a hike that would have been more enjoyable as a car ride with short stops along the way. The green tunnel is beautiful but walking through it with cars zipping by and no shoulder as a safe zone is just not my kind of hike. Finishing it doesn’t feel like an achievement but it sure is a relief!

The history was interesting. As we walked  I imagined the Kaintucks floating down the Mississippi on their flatboard boats, then disassembling them, selling them and their merchandise, and walking the Natchez Trace north towards home. Their trip was much more perilous then ours. At least we don’t have to deal with bandits trying to rob us.

The most enjoyable section of trail was a little side trail to some cascades. And we finally got to enjoy well maintained beautiful trail in the very northern end of the Highland Rim section. What a difference that made to our hiking experience! We were all delighted. Good trail!

The very last section of the parkway was nice. Lots of bicycle traffic but hardly any cars. If it had been like this the whole way we wouldn’t have minded the many road miles. But helas, it wasn’t that way. And we’re happy it’s over.

All the signs and brochures say the Natchez (which we’ve now started calling the Nachos because it makes us giggle) is 444 miles long but as hard as we try we don’t see any mile markers past 442 and only a little ways further there is a highway. We can stretch it to 442.3 but that’s as far as it goes. It’s as random a finish as this hike was to me.

We take the obligatory finish photos at the 442 mileage marker and the next morning go back with a home made terminus sign. Long live colored markers and a pizza box!    

If you want to hike the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail I’d say just hike the sections of the trails marked as national scenic trails as much as they are open and maintained enough to hike. Don’t hike all those road miles. I don’t think anyone ever intended for hikers to hike those.

With National Scenic Trail number 10 under my belt I can now move on to something more scenic with more trail miles. A few rest days and then on to number 11, the Ice Age trail!

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