Phase One of paving (from milepost 257 at the US Highway 278/Hwy 6 intersection to milepost 262.5 at the McCullough Boulevard/Hwy 178 intersection) was completed on October 9, 2021 and is now open.

Phase Two paving will be between milepost 262.5 at the McCullough Boulevard/Hwy 178 intersection to milepost 266.1 just north of the Parkway Visitor Center at the Hwy 145 intersection. Phase Two will begin the week of October 11, 2021 and is estimated to last about 2 months. See map and detour directions below.

During Phase Two:

  • The parkway will be closed in that area.
  • Bicyclists will not be allowed in the closed area.
  • The Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 266 and the 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. The Parkway Visitor Center can be accessed from Hwy 145.
  • The bicycle campground at milepost 266 will be closed.

The detour route, marked with signs (Marked Detour Route), takes vehicles to the east of the parkway thru Tupelo on heavily traveled US 45 and Gloster Street.

The park service has setup two detour routes:

  • If you need something to eat, gas, restaurants, hotels or shopping, take the Business Detour Route. There are many businesses on Gloster Street.
  • If you want to by pass business traffic (i.e. get back to the parkway quicker), follow the instructions for Avoid Business Traffic taking you onto US 45.

US 45 and Gloster Street are not safe for bicycle travel.

  • The map below shows the Marked Detour Routes and an Alternate Bicycle Route.
  • Almost all of the bicycle route is on two lane roads traveling thru residential neighborhoods or farmland and is much safer than the marked detour route.
  • If you are biking with a support vehicle we recommend that you shuttle around the paving project using the Marked Detour Route.
  • When cycling always wear brightly colored clothing and have both front and rear lights on your bicycle.

Below the map are directions for both Phase Two routes.
Natchez Trace - Tupelo, MS Paving Project Closure and Detour

Phase Two - Driving Detour and Alternate Bicycle Detour Directions

Marked Detour Route for Vehicles and Motorcycles

South to North Marked Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 262.5 onto McCullough Blvd.
  • Avoid Business Traffic: Take detour onto McCullough Blvd (east). Take ramp to Hwy 45N (approx. 1.2 mile). Get off at Barnes Crossing (approx. 4 miles). and turn left at bottom of ramp. Get in the right lane and turn right onto N Gloster Street (at Walgreens approx. ¼ mile). That will take you to the Natchez Trace Parkway entrance (approx. 1 mile).

    OR
  • Business Route: Take detour onto McCullough Blvd (east). Take ramp to N Gloster Street heading north. N Gloster Street will eventually take you to the Natchez Trace Parkway entrance.
  • Re-enter the parkway at milepost 266.1 and drive north.

North to South Marked Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 266.1 onto Highway 145/N Gloster Street.
    The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is less than 1/4 mile south of the northern detour terminus.
  • Avoid Business Traffic: Take detour off parkway onto N Gloster Street (Hwy 145). Turn left at light at Barnes Crossing (approximate 1 mile/at Walgreens). Get in right lane and take ramp to Hwy 45 S (approximate 1/4 mile). Take HWY 45 S to McCullough Blvd (HWY 178) west (approximate 4 miles). Head west on McCullough Blvd to the Natchez Trace Parkway (approximate 1 mile).

    OR
  • Business Route: Take detour off parkway onto N Gloster Street (Hwy 145). Stay on N Gloster to McCullough Blvd (approximate 4 miles). Take the ramp to McCullough Blvd (Hwy 178) west. Follow signs to Natchez Trace Parkway (approximate 1 mile).
  • Re-enter the parkway at milepost 262.5 and drive south.

Download the Map and Directions
(MS Word document)

Alternate Bicycle Detour Route

The Alternate Bicycle Detour Route is 8.9 miles.

This route is on two lane roads except for 0.4 miles on McCullough Blvd. The only parts of the Alternate Bicycle Detour Route that are the same as the Marked Detour Route is where you exit the parkway and hop back on the parkway.

Matthew Knight at Trails & Treads bicycle shop in Tupelo was very helpful in creating the bicycle route.

South to North Alternate Bicycle Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 262.5 onto McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178.
  • Bike west on McCullough Blvd for 0.4 miles to Mount Vernon Road.
    Note: the Marked Detour Route directs vehicles to the east on McCullough Blvd.
  • Turn right onto Mount Vernon Road and bike north 2.6 miles to Road 461 / Rook Road.
  • Turn right onto Road 461 and bike north 2.6 miles to Road 1950.
    Note: Road 461 is flanked by farmland. In the fall, farmers will be harvesting - watch for large farm equipment entering the road.
  • Turn right onto Road 1950 and bike east 0.2 miles to Birmingham Ridge Road.
    Note: there is no road sign for Road 1950. If you miss the turn, don't worry, simply continue on to Birmingham Ridge Road.
  • Turn right onto Birmingham Ridge Road and bike east 2.2 miles to Chickasaw Trail.
  • Turn right onto Chickasaw Trail and bike south 0.5 miles to Highway 145.
  • Turn right onto Highway 145 and bike south 0.4 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway northbound entrance ramp.
    Enter the parkway and continue biking north.

Ride with GPS
Ride with GPS route with cue sheet

ridewithgps.com/routes/37828874

North to South Alternate Bicycle Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 266.1 onto Highway 145.
  • Bike north on Highway 145 for 0.2 miles to Chickasaw Trail.
    Note: the Marked Detour Route directs vehicles to the south on Highway 145.
  • Turn left onto Chickasaw Trail and bike north 0.5 miles to Birmingham Ridge Road.
  • Turn left onto Birmingham Ridge Road and bike west 2.2 miles to Road 1950.
  • Bear left onto Road 1950 and bike west 0.2 miles to Road 461 / Rook Road.
  • Turn left onto Road 461 and bike south 2.6 miles to Mount Vernon Road.
    Note: Road 461 is flanked by farmland. In the fall, farmers will be harvesting - watch for large farm equipment entering the road.
  • Turn left onto Mount Vernon Road and bike south 2.6 miles to McCullough Blvd.
  • Turn left onto McCullough Blvd and bike east 0.4 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway southbound entrance ramp.
    Enter the parkway and continue biking south.

Ride with GPS
Ride with GPS route with cue sheet

ridewithgps.com/routes/37828862


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