Natchez Trace State Park is located on an alternate route of the old Natchez Trace. This route of the old trace is on the opposite side of the Tennessee River from the Natchez Trace Parkway. The name originally applied to a series of trails and paths that originated with animal migration routes and American Indian trade and travel routes. These were later used by returning boatmen that had floated goods to markets in Natchez and New Orleans from the Nashville area.
Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Program approximately 48,000 acres of land were purchased in the area of the park. This purchase provided jobs for many people. Programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration established many of the buildings still being used today and laid the foundation for what is now Natchez Trace State Park at the core of the large tract of public lands.
The park has 13.5 miles of hiking trails, ranging from a one-half mile up to 4.5 miles, and a 40 mile overnight trail. The trails wind through the forest and fields and along the lakeshores and streams of Natchez Park. Visitors also enjoy the museum that features local and park history, picnic facilities, camping, cabins and lodges, boating and the park’s restaurant.
The park offers activities for visitors of all ages. Fishing is a favorite activity at Natchez Trace and anglers have four lakes from which to choose. Fifty-eight acre Cub Lake and 690 acre Pin Oak Lake are operated by Tennessee State Parks, while 90 acre Maple Creek Lake and 167 acre Brown’s Creek Lake are operated by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Natchez Trace State Park is one of the few parks that have an onsite wrangler camp. Located 2.2 miles south of I-40 on Hwy. 114 the Bucksnort Wrangler Camp features 65 campsites with full hook-ups, two bathhouses and a dump station. There are 250 miles of riding trails on the south end of the park in the Natchez Trace State Forest operated by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.