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Natchez Trace sees more visitors despite government shutdown

brown-natchez-trace-parkway-signTUPELO — The Natchez Trace Parkway experienced an increase in recreational visits in 2013 despite the government shutdown, the National Park Service reports.

More than 6.01 million people used and visited the Natchez Trace Parkway in 2013, which is up from the 5.56 million people on the Parkway in 2012. This made the Natchez Trace Parkway the eighth most visited National Park Service site. When the non-recreational user numbers, such as commuters in the Tupelo and Ridgeland areas, are added to the equations, more than 14.7 million people used the Parkway in 2013.

“Since we started keeping statistics for recreational users on the Parkway in 1953, more than 425.6 million visitors have used the Parkway,” said superintendent Mary Risser. “That doesn’t include those individuals who use the Parkway as part of their daily commute.”

Besides recreational users, the Parkway is also used as an educational resource by students and teachers. In 2013, almost 4,000 children visited the Parkway on school field trips.

A relatively new type of Parkway patron is the virtual visitor, who visits by way of the internet. The official Natchez Trace Parkway web page has approximately 50,000 visitors per month, and the Natchez Trace Parkway Facebook page has over 2,000 followers reaching 300 to 400 people per day.

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One comment

  1. The Natchez Trace is a treasure and I use it at every opportunity! Nearly every out-of-town visitor to my home is treated to the experience down the Trace to Port Gibson, The Ruins of Windsor, Alcorn and on down to Natchez.

    The prehistoric Native American Mounds are fantastic and get my imagination revved!

    South, nearer Natchez, the new facility at Mount Locust is now complete and very nice. The most awful element of criminals made passage on The Trace a huge risk, one that most of us can hardly imagine. Our ancestors were a very tough bunch! There’s a wonderful selection of books to be had at Mt. Locust, about the history along The Trace, so be sure to pick up a few!

    Up nearer to Leiper’s Fork, TN, there are many historic attractions. I never knew that Meriwether Lewis, at the time Governor of The Louisiana Territory, ended his life on the Trace until I visited Grinders Stand.

    I can’t believe so many people use it…while motoring down or up The Trace, it feels that I’m the only person on the road way. And, that’s the way I love to experience our wonderful parkway.

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