I love driving on the Trace, so I figured I would also hike some of it. The Natchez Trace (road) follows the Natchez Trace (the actual footpath used in the 1700-1800’s). You can hike the entire Trace. Pretty crazy.
I only did a short loop hike near Leiper’s Fork called Garrison Creek. It’s only about 3 miles and a relatively easy hike. Obviously, it follows the Trace. But, I didn’t think about that and just found it distracting because when I’m hiking I like to feel like I’m far from civilization, even if I’m not.
I don’t recommend this hike. There’s not much going on and you have to cross a creek that clearly meant to have a bridge and said bridge is crumbled into that river and get your feet super wet. Plus, it’s kind of a confusing trail. If you have done many others in the area and are looking for something different, I guess you can check it out but definitely don’t make this your first hike in the area. Like please, at least do Radnor or something.
this is what they call an overlook?
Distance from Nashville: 45 min
Directions to trailhead: Garrison Creek Milepost 427.6 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, start behind the bathrooms.
Trail: The trail is kind of confusing about where to start, but there’s really only one trail. Well, actually 2, but that one connects to the main one. There’s a short “overlook trail” the connects to the main one (blazed in blue). See my route below in black.
Length of hike: 3 miles
Brief overview: Creek crossings that require your feet to get wet to to your ankles along with gentle hills and trees. Nothing special. It doesn’t feel secluded and you can often hear cars go by. Not recommended, kind of a (milk) dud.