The Natchez Trace is 444 miles long that starts in Natchez Mississippi, travels through Alabama and ends in Nashville Tennessee. If you are traveling this National Park from south to north, take a detour at mile marker 355 and enter Natchez Valley.
Collinwood Tennessee is labeled as the “Gateway to the Trace” as it is the only city that is directly on the National Park roadway in Tennessee.
Your first stop will be the Wayne County Welcome Center, where they have fresh coffee, homemade snacks for travelers and loads of information to continue your journey north. There is plenty of RV parking and even showers available should you need them. While in Collinwood, visit The Dragonfly, an Emporium to grab a coffee for your walk down Broadway to visit the Veterans Park, where you will see 2 beautiful murals dedicated to those who have fought for our freedoms, and markers of past Wayne County veterans, along with a special memorial for the POW/MIA members who never returned home. Our American Legion worked tirelessly to ensure those past, present and future Veterans are honored humbly.
Hungry? Collinwood has what you are craving.
Behind the Veterans Park, there is Q Barbecue, where the secret to some of the best barbecue is smoked daily and served with a smile.
Not into barbecue? That’s ok! Jump in you car and drive south just a bit and visit Buckets where the hospitality is soothing after a long road trip and their daily specials will make your mouth water!
If you are traveling north to south, the Natchez Valley has another exit from the “Trace” to visit Waynesboro! Take exit 370 and drive west on Hwy 64 to visit this beautiful town where you can do a little bit of everything!
Waynesboro is the county seat, where there’s activities happening daily. Your first stop needs to be the downtown area. “The square” as the locals call it is filled with plenty of things to occupy your mind and relax.
The first thing you will see entering the “square” will be the former Wayne County Courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historical Places for the “brutalism architecture “ that was so popular in the 1970’s. Only a few of these designed buildings still stand in the United States, and Waynesboro is privy to one of them.
The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce is located inside the Courthouse, which is now an Administration building, and has a plethora of information to extend your visit in to our area. With everything from outdoor activities to historic trails, they have the information to make your visit a memorable one.
Again, hungry? The downtown area has 2 great restaurants here!
Emeralds is a place people from surrounding counties come to eat when they are looking for a special meal. Their hospitality and food supersede their reputation which is why this business has been around for over 40 years!
Wagon Wheel is located on the other side of the square. When you walk in, you feel like you have walked into a Time Machine. John Wayne has his own booth! Don’t believe me? Check it out! They have daily specials, and are now serving breakfast for your early birds that like to travel when the roosters are stirring. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the rustic atmosphere while you relax and prepare for the next leg of your journey.
Do you like to shop? We have you covered! With 4 boutiques in the downtown area, you are sure to leave with a little something to remember your visit to Natchez Valley.
While downtown, visit the Music Museum and our very own “Walk of Fame” where the music history goes deep in our area. Our very own Mark Collie has a Music Pathways marker to honor him in his hometown of Waynesboro.
You simply can't leave until you have visited Cllifton. Hop back on Hwy 64 west to travel to Clifton, where the river town is full of life. Historic downtown Clifton has remained the same since the 1800’s. Christmas time is especially a sight to see, as they decorate Main Street that resembles a Hallmark Christmas Card. You could spend a few days in Clifton and still not complete all the activities they have to offer! From river life to golfing, there is something for everyone in Natchez Valley!