Photos courtesy of Paul Wade.
The southern trailhead of the Potkopinu Trail is located at milepost 17 just south of Coles Creek picnic area.
The southern trailhead has space for several cars but is not recommended for recreational vehicles. The northern trailhead three miles away has a larger parking area.
Potkopinu (Pot-cop-i-new), the southernmost section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, is only three miles long, but it is the longest stretch of "sunken" historic Trace remaining.
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.
- 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.