Potkopinu Trail - Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Potkopinu (Pot-cop-i-new) is the southernmost section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail paralleling the parkway from milepost 17 to 20. Only three miles long, but it is the longest stretch of "sunken" historic Trace remaining.

Potkopinu Trail

Named for the Natchez Indian word meaning "little valley," this trail has some embankments over twenty feet high created by thousands of 'Kaintucks' who walked the Trace each year in the late 1700s and early 1800s through the easily erodible Loess soil.

Potkopinu Trail Map

  • Horses are not allowed on this trail. Bicycles are not allowed either.
  • Be prepared: there are several stream crossings, which vary in depth and width depending upon recent rainfall. There are no bridges traversing streams and creeks in order to preserve the trail as it was over 200 years ago.
  • Be on the alert for snakes and ticks.
  • The north end of the trail has the best sunken trace views.
  • The national park service only owns the trail corridor - there is private property on both sides. Do not wander off the trail.

Click on these trailheads for more information pictures:


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