The Corps of Discovery When Thomas Jefferson was looking for a strong, bold leader to explore the northwest in search of an all-water connection between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean, he found an eager volunteer in his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis. Jefferson agreed that Lewis was the man for the job, and on May 14, 1804, the Corps of Discovery left St. Louis. The 2.3 year tour failed to find a continuous waterway to the Pacific, but it succeeded spectacularly in accumulating massive amounts of geographical, cultural, and biological information. This information, though familiar to the resident American Indians and the French and British trappers in the northwest, was previously unknown to scientists. After the Expedition After the expedition returned home, Jefferson rewarded Lewis with the governorship of the Upper Louisiana Territory. As the presidency changed, so did politics. Several of the bills that Lewis submitted to the Department of War for payment were questioned, leaving Lewis personally liable for those bills. Lewis set out from St. Louis (the capital of the Upper Louisiana Territory) toward Washington to defend them. Part of Lewis's route took him along a portion of the Natchez Trace. During the early morning of October 11th, while staying in Grinder's Stand, Lewis died of gunshot wounds. The evidence that exists leads most historians to conclude that Lewis' wounds were self-inflicted, and many who knew Lewis believed he had committed suicide. Some accounts dated 1848 and later suggest that Lewis may have been murdered. The Memorial Meriwether Lewis was buried near Grinder's Stand, and, in 1848, the State of Tennessee erected a memorial to honor him. A simple erect, broken shaft reaches above the stone base, symbolizing a life cut short. The memorial includes several inscriptions, one in Latin. "Immaturus obi; sed tu felicior annos vive meos: Bona Republica! vive tuos." "I died before my time, but thou O great and good Republic, live out my years while you live out your own." To see the Lewis Monument, visit the Meriwether Lewis Site at milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Its was very beautiful but the trails need more signs/maintenance.

Parts of the trail were very maintained. Then there were parts of the trail you had to wonder if it was still the trail. Lots of trees down and found some poison ivy on part of the trail. But overall I enjoyed the hike. Especially the part of the trail close to the water.

Way too much unavoidable poison ivy allowed to grow all over footpath itself.

I made it a mile before turning back. Trails need some attention big trees down everywhere.

This trail needs some maintenance. Trees, big and small, lying across the path were common. The blazes are almost gone and not a bright color. There needs to be some additional signage at intersections of paths to keep you on your planned hike. There are some slippery spots on steep inclines because of rock. Some areas were overgrown and there is a lot of poison ivy out there. This is a nice challenging trail with lots of incline/decline and small streams. Probably underused and underappreciated because of comments like mine. The park is nice and clean, nicest restrooms on that section of the Trace. Just wish the trail also met that standard.

I couldn't complete the loop because of over growth past the creek. Way too much poison ivy grown over a large portion of the trail. I had to turn around and hike up the road to get back to my car. The areas I did hike was beautiful and would have loved to complete the loop. A few large downed trees forced me off the trail and when I had to circle back a newly fallen tree blocked the trail which wasn't there when I first went through.

11 months ago

Great Trail, a bit narrow for 2 dogs at the same time, but quiet and perfect. There were several incline / decline portions along the river - when you take the left and start to decline if you follow the path counterclockwise (go to the right). Otherwise, really decent paths and lots of history.

Beautiful,loved it

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

One of my favorite areas in Middle Tennessee. A great hike with beautiful scenery and lots of history. Also has a primitive campground here. Close to Fall Hollow and Devil's Backbone.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Beautiful! Take your all trails app with you to keep you on the trail. It was covered in a thick blanket of leaves.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Drove down the Natchez Trace on a beautiful Christmas Day. ( there is a detour 5 miles before the trail) The park is very well kept and the trail is easy to follow. I took the Old Trace to the edge of the park then followed the trail to the camp area and back to the lot I parked in. Really enjoyed the creek along the trail.
This trail is about 1-1/2 hours away, but I would certainly go back to share it with a friend!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Get a map at the park!
We started at the monument down the old trace road. When you get to the four way stop, do NOT turn right! There are several trees across the trail, it is grown over, we lost our way a couple of times, the two hill climbs were on all fours, and had it not been so dry, we would've definitely gotten our feet wet. I'd stay straight for the most lengthy of trails. The full loop is a lot longer than 4.3. It's more like 5.3. The old trace road trail and the trail portions to the west of the park road are easier and maintained. We did not see another hiker the whole time. Listen to the other reviews in warmer weather about ticks. I can see the potential for a great tick attack! The full large loop isn't signed or spray painted at all. Take a map and keep your eyes on!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The campground is very well maintained and peaceful. Lots of great spots that are free on first come basis.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

We hiked this trail in June and it was very overgrown and difficult to follow- Even with a map and a hiking app, we ended up on the main road and caught a ride in the back of a park ranger's pickup truck back to our car! We want to try again in the fall or early spring, when the undergrowth is at a minimum. If you hike it in the summer, be sure to wear bug spray, long pants and hiking shoes. You will have a LOT of weeds and bugs to contend with.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Overgrown in places. A downed tree to cross here and there. Well-worn foot trail. Lots and lots and lots of poison ivy. Shorts and sandals would be a very bad idea.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Great hike but definitely needed map. The trails are somewhat over grown but we had no problems. The kids enjoyed it...loved having the bathroom area about midway through the hike.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Hiked this trail today and it was worth the trip. I would recommend downloading a map before traveling to this trail as there were none available and the information cabin was not open. The trail is not marked nor maintained very well but we did not have any problems following the narrow trail. I would rate this trail as moderate. We only saw one other person the entire hike. Overall, a good hike.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I have been hiking this trail for the past five years on a regular basis. It is a beautiful forest with a change in topography that makes for enjoyable hiking. Over the years I have never seen evidence of trail maintenance and the trail has steadily deteriorated. Over the past three months the trails have become nearly impassable; overgrown with poison ivy, briars, 6' high vegetation, fallen trees, and erosion. I contacted the authorities 3 months ago to report that the trails is in need of maintenance but nothing has been done.

Be careful, you and your children will get covered with poison ivy and chiggers. You should avoid this trail until the trail is opened up.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A little bit of history about the burial site of Meriwether Lewis. Lot of options for hiking although need to get a map otherwise it gets confusing as to where the trail leads when it branches. We completed the loop that goes along the perimeter, which we recommend as it follows a small stream that leads into the Little Swan Creek. About 70% of the trail was along the creek, or had a view from some nice high bluffs. Although the trees were pretty bare when we were there (end of March), I am sure it would be a lot nicer during summer and especially autumn. This hike is listed as "easy", but I would rate it moderate. A fairly flat trail like those along the Gulf Coast would be "easy", but since this was very hilly with some spots along the tail having fairly steep dropoffs. Recommended.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It was very interesting to be at a place with so much history and it gave me a renewed appreciation for the difficulty of life before our modern age. Part of this loop takes you on the Old Trace, with the rough markings of the old path that travelers used when taking their goods down to the Gulf to sell.

The trail also takes several passes by the Little Swan Creek, which includes creekside views as well as some nice bluff views.

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