Two new detours along Natchez Trace Parkway will take effect in Mississippi and Alabama later this month. Phase Two, of the ongoing paving project near Tupelo, MS, Milepost (MP) 262 to 266, is scheduled to begin the week of October 11, 2021. A new multiphase project near the Mississippi/Alabama border, Milepost 293 to 327, will begin in late October.
The Parkway has reopened from MP 257 to 262. The Chickasaw Village site and National Scenic trail are scheduled to open later next week. Phase Two of the project will begin early next week resulting in a detour from MP 262 to 266. The Parkway will close to all traffic including vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. The bike-only campground at MP 266 and all trail accesses through the detour are included in the closure. The Parkway Visitor Center at MP 266 and Northern trailhead of the Blackland Prairie section of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail will remain open, although neither can be accessed directly from the Parkway.
Additionally, Phase One of a nearly $40 million rehabilitation project from MP 293 to 327 is scheduled to start in late October. The Parkway will close to all traffic and a detour will be implemented from John Rankin Highway to US-72. Phase One should be complete by December 2021. Phase Two will begin next spring and Phase Three will follow, continuing through summer 2022. The project will consist of complete rehabilitation of the main line motor-road, mill & overlay of ramps and pull-off areas, traffic safety improvements, and accessibility improvements from MP 291 - 331. Project funding is provided by a grant from Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP), the National Park Service, and the Federal Highway Administration Federal Lands Transportation Project (FLTP) program.
Travelers are encouraged to follow the signed detours to navigate around the closures. Updates to the road status and maps are available on the park website at www.nps.gov/natr and on Facebook @NatchezTraceParkwayNPS, or call (800) 305-7417.