The Natchez Trace Parkway

A day spent cycling the beautiful scenery along the Natchez Trace Parkway near Franklin, Tennessee. Featuring: Natchez Trace Parkway, Loveless Cafe, Timberland Park, Natchez Trace Bridge, Leiper’s Fork, Franklin Tennessee


4/6/20222 min read

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444 mile long National Parkway that roughly follows an historic corridor used by Native Americans and European settlers. It starts near the iconic Loveless Café restaurant in Nashville and ends in Natchez, Mississippi.

We took an exhilarating guided 32-mile electric bike tour from downtown Franklin, TN to the Natchez Trace Bridge with Pedego Franklin. The time flew by and the E-bikes made traveling the distance a breeze!

If you wish to experience a great day on the Natchez Trace Parkway, we suggest starting with a hearty southern breakfast at the Loveless Café. Or if you’re pressed for time, grab a Chicken Biscuit with Blackberry Jam to go from the Biscuit Kitchen right next-door at the Loveless Market (inside the Shell station.) We enjoyed ours at one of the picnic tables scattered throughout the front lawn of the restaurant. Make sure to check out the cute shops on-site as well and order some gifts or goodies to have shipped home. Where else can you find “Piggy” popcorn, brittle and pecans, all featuring real bits of their Applewood Smoked Bacon?

“The Trace” as it’s referred to by locals, makes for a lovely scenic drive and is also utilized by cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. The first official stop along the southern route is at the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, overlooking Birdsong Hollow. There are parking spots along the side of the road allowing you to walk out onto the bridge for stunning views of the valley below. Sunrise and sunset make for some magical photos!

Also near this stop is Timberland Park, sitting on 72 acres of pet friendly hiking trails, birding, and wildlife observation opportunities. Stop by their helpful Interpretation Center for information, restrooms and great educational displays. Be sure to step out onto the serene back deck complete with rocking chairs.

The next stop we highly recommend would be the quaint village of Leiper’s Fork. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time in this charming area brimming with art galleries, country restaurants and unique shops featuring local goods. Make yourself at home on the front porch of one of the local businesses, and roast some marshmallows in the fire pits set up in front of the shops. Keep your eyes open for a possible celebrity sighting, as more and more music artists have chosen to make this area their home. A tour of the Leiper‘s Fork distillery is another fantastic option where you can do a tasting of their small batch whiskey (and if you’re lucky like we were, pet the cats that make the distillery their home.)

Unless you plan to continue even further south, you might wish to head over to historic downtown Franklin, TN, enjoying the views along the country roads and the beautiful estate properties on the way. You’ll find more shopping and dining up and down Franklin’s historic, award-winning Main Street, filled with fantastic local shops and restaurants. We suggest stopping by the Franklin Visitor Center for a dining guide and suggestions for dinner at one of the local restaurants that feature live music to end your day!