One of the oldest roads in the world is in the southeastern part of the United States, and crosses Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. It is the 450 mile long Natchez Trace Parkway. The Natchez Trace has Indian temple mounds and Indian village sites that existed as long ago as 8000 B.C. Some of these sites were occupied by human beings long before the building of the ancient pyramids of Egypt. Emerald Mound, located on the Natchez Trace near Natchez, MS, is the second largest ceremonial earthwork in the U.S. It was built over two centuries before Columbus landed in America, by Native Americans known as Mississippians..
The Natchez Trace is the story of the people who used it ~ from the Indians who traded and hunted along it, to the "Kaintuck" boatmen who stomped it into a rough wilderness road on their way back from trading their farm goods in Spanish Natchez and New Orleans; to the post riders, government officials, and soldiers who made it a link between the Mississippi Territory and the newly formed United States from 1800 to 1830. The Trace during its busiest time carried settlers,pioneers, preachers, travelers, warriors, highwaymen, and armies.
The Trace flourished and grew before the time of steamboats, but with their arrival, the Trace gradually withered and died. Today only a few sections of the original old historic trace remain. Come with us on a journey along the Natchez Trace, to learn more about this historic road, and its downfall.