Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Motorcycle the Natchez Trace Parkway? Commercial traffic is prohibited.

The 444 mile long route stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.  Why motorcycle the Natchez Trace Parkway?

Reason #1: Commercial traffic is prohibited.

The National Park Service prohibits commercial traffic on the Natchez Trace Parkway. This means motorcyclists don't have to worry about semi-trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks, buses, etc.

For the most part the vast majority of motorized vehicles on the Trace are cars, pickup trucks and, of course,  motorcycles.

At each highway access point to the Trace there are "No Commercial Vehicle" signs posted on the on-ramps and on the Trace itself going both north and south. Any commercial vehicle that disregards these signs takes a huge risk of a heavy federal fine if a park ranger spots them.

The absence of large trucks makes the Natchez Trace Parkway an enjoyable motorcycle route. The only "large" vehicles you will encounter on the Trace are RVs and park service mowing and maintenance equipment. RVs are allowed on the Trace because they are "recreational" vehicles.

This is just one of 10 reasons why the Natchez Trace Parkway is an excellent motorcycle route:
  1. Commercial traffic is prohibited.
  2. Traffic is generally very light except around Tupelo and Jackson.
  3. No stop signs or stop lights. Access on and off the Trace is via on/off ramps which means no need to worry about cross traffic.
  4. The parkway is clean and smooth. One motorcyclist said it was "like riding on a cloud".
  5. Scenery is awesome. Instead of utility poles and buildings, the Trace is lined with forests, farmland, creeks and beautiful vistas.
  6. All along the Trace through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, historical and nature attractions offer interesting breaks and rest stops.
  7. Restroom facilities on the Trace are available about every twenty miles.
  8. Contrary to popular belief, there are gas stations, markets and restaurants near the Trace.
  9. Numerous side trails take you past antebellum and victorian homes, sunken roads, civil war battlefields and southern towns.
  10. There are many "motorcycle friendly" bed and breakfasts located along and near the Trace. 

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