Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Natchez Trace Parkway & McFarland Park

Gerry and I have driven the length of the Natchez Trace Parkway more than once and it is an enjoyable drive if you aren't in a hurry.  Our first time on the Trace was in a car and we were able to stop and go with no problem.  Another trip we had the motorhome and tow car and it was more difficult.

Since we were in the area, we decided to take a short drive on the Trace after stopping in Red Bay to pick up some headlight bulbs.  One bulb on the motorhome went out and we bought two of them since they usually fail about the same time.  After picking up the bulbs we headed for the Trace and took the long way home.

There are a number of stops along the Trace and we pulled into the Cave Springs parking lot.  Right behind the sign is a walkway that takes you down to the cave.  It is a very short walk and the cave wasn't that impressive.  It was in a sink hole and part of the cave roof had collapsed. 

 A short distance down the road was the Bear Creek Mound.  As the sign states, it was a small mound built a long time ago by the local Indians in the area.  It wasn't a burial mound, but most likely was built for ceremonial purposes.

Bear Creek Mound

 One of the local attractions in the area is the Coondog Cemetery.  We visited it a few years ago and wrote it up in a blog.  It struck us as strange that they would have a brown sign pointing out the cemetery since most brown signs are for national or state parks.

 We were on the Trace during the heat of the day and saw a few squirrels, birds and some wild turkeys.  This one was on the side of the road and took it's time getting out of sight.  They know they are protected and didn't run away as fast as most turkeys do.  We have a couple flocks of  wild turkeys near the cabin and they will speed up to get out of sight when they spot you.

 The Tennessee River used to have ferry boats as means of getting across the river before bridges.  The Colbert family was quite large and had a couple ferry boat crossings along the Tennessee river.  I read up on the Colbert family and they were a quite fascinating group.  

 The Colberts were quite the business people as evidenced by him charging Andrew Jackson $75K to transport his army across the river.

 The two fishermen were very close to the bridge over the Tennessee river.  I couldn't tell if they were having any luck, but if they were fishing then it was a good day.

 We exited the Trace right after crossing the bridge and drove along the river road toward Florence, AL.  The river wasn't in view for the most part until we arrived in Florence.  The McFarland Park is on the river and has a nice campground, except the roads are narrow and the sites are tight.  The view is great though.

Florence, AL McFarland Park 

There was a small fishing dock and it was well used as you can see from the photo below. 

In addition to the campground there is a nice golf course, marina, picnic areas, a hammock area and large playing fields.  It was one of the nicest County Parks we have seen on our travels and we would try and get a campsite there if we are in the area again.  One negative point is that the bridge nearest the park is closed to trucks and RVs at the present time.

On the south side of the river there are several large houses on the bluffs.  I would imagine they are million dollar houses with million dollar views. 

It was a long day and we visited for a while and then went back to the motorhome for dinner.  Gerry had a big night planned with her favorite TV programs on the air.

That was our day, how was yours?

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