Three women pose for a photo on the Natchez Trace near French Camp.
Today’s goal was French Camp, about 20 miles (32.2 km) up the parkway. Last night, the weather forecast called for rain/thunderstorms overnight and into today, tapering to “just” rain by the end of the day. I wasn’t sure what I’d do re: hiking, as it would depend on the severity of the storms. Well, apparently the severe weather moved south overnight, along with much of the rain.

So when I woke up this morning, it was simply to cloudy skies. I hit the parkway around 8:30, and did an 8.6-mile (13.8-km) out-and-back to Hurricane Creek, where there was a short nature trail. En route, I ran into a biker from Ohio, who I’d spoken with yesterday. He’s a retired guy riding a recumbent trike, festooned with a flag and pinwheel. I love fun people! His wife is supporting him along the way.

Right before Hurricane Creek, two women pulled over and asked if I needed anything. Long story short, the driver had hiked across America 20 years ago and is passionate about helping hikers. We took photos together and she insisted on giving me $20, since she’d been helped by so many people during her adventure. Her friend also gave me tissues and candy. What a fun encounter! There are so many wonderful people in this world, and we must never forget that.

Hitting French Camp in the AfternoonCypress swamp on the Natchez Trace.

When I returned to my motel (America Best Value Inn) around 11:30, it was to a steady rain. I took the next hour off to catch up on work. Then, when the rain tapered off, I drove up to Cole Creek and did another out-and-back to French Camp so I’d hit my goal of at least 20 miles (32.2 km). I wish I could have hiked all original miles, rather than out-and-backs. But there are no trail angels for this trail, and no taxis in Kosciusko, so you have to be creative.

Cole Creek, by the way, is home to a very cool cypress swamp.

Tomorrow night my friend, Amy Eckert, will be joining me for the rest of my hike. I’m so stoked!


P.S. I saw a fighter jet today, so there must be a military group nearby.

Natchez Trace Miles Today: 18.8 (30.3 km)
NT Miles Overall: 181.7 (292.2 km)
NT Miles To Go: 262.3 (422.1 km)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

A good book on the Natchez Trace is Nashville to New Orleans Road Tripa Moon guide by Meg Littman that includes info on the Trace.

Book your room at America Best Value Inn here!

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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