Thanks for re-joining us on our northbound journey up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Today we pick up where we left off last time, at Emerald Mound. We are loading now, so get aboard the "Examiner Express," and let's go.
We pass the Turpin Creek picnic area, and the Loess Bluff area, where deposits of top soil where blown during the ice ages. Some tourists stop at Bullen Creek and take the 15 minute, self guided tour through a beautiful forest of hardwood and pine trees, but we travel on northward to mile marker 41.5, where we stretch our legs on the "Sunken Trace." The trace appears sunken in this spot due to thousands of travelers walking on the easily eroded loess soil. This short trail will allow you to walk on the Natchez Trace just as thousands have before you.
We are moving north again, but not for long. We must stop at Grindstone Ford/Mangum Mound at mile post 45.7. The National Park Service gives the following information about this stop. "Grindstone Ford - This ford marked the beginning of the wilderness of the Choctaw Nation and the end of the Old Natchez District. Nearby Fort Deposit was a supply depot for troops clearing the Trace in 1801-1802, and troops were assembled here during the Burr conspiracy allegedly to separate the western states from the Union. The site takes its name from a nearby water mill.
The trail to your left takes you takes you to the Old Trace and Grindstone Ford. Riverboatmen on foot or horseback crossed here, northbound, after floating cargo down to Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. Soldiers splashed across from the north to protect the Natchez District from British and Spanish threats. For post riders, Indians, bandits, and preachers, Bayou Pierre was the line between civilization and the wilderness.
Daniel Burnett's stand stood near here. Burnett was the speaker of the Territorial House of Representatives, a principal negotiator with the Choctaws, and a framer of the state constitution but his stand was unpretentious. His guests supped on mush and milk in a room filled with their own gear and Burnett's supplies. From here you may follow their path along the Old Trace to Grindstone Ford."
We have lingered for awhile at this last stop, and due to some weary travelers, we will continue our trip northward on the Natchez Trace when we are rested. Check out the slideshow in this article to see the places we visited, and be sure and join us next time. Also, invite your friends. Click on the subscribe link near the top of the page and receive an email each time a new article is published.