Well, I have graduated my first child and the hectic holiday/graduation weekend is over. Looking forward to summer, I will be writing about many volunteer opportunities over the summer, but I also will time to time write about ideas for travel and summer fun outside the Brentwood bubble. My friend, Jackie, recently recommended Jackson Falls off the Natchez Trail and so I've looked into the idea. I am ready to pack a picnic and hike it tomorrow. It sounds like a great half day trip and I hope to take my nephew there tomorrow before he makes the flight back north to Rhode Island.
Jackson Falls is named for one of Tennessee's three presidents, Andrew Jackson, who was known to have traveled the Natchez Trace himself five times. The Natchez Trace is an ancient Indian trail that was later used as a return trip north from Natchez, MS by boaters who brought goods south on the Mississippi river. In the early 1800s, the invention of steamboats made travel upriver possible and the traffic on the trail greatly reduced.
Southpoint.com Travel Guide states about the falls, "If you only see one waterfall on the (Natchez Trace) Parkway make it Jackson Falls, mile 404. The parking area offers one of the nicest overlooks on the Trace. An old barn crests a distant hill and if you’re lucky the farmer may be plowing his fields. A steep, paved trail leads to Jackson Falls which is actually two cascades. On the uppermost and largest falls tumbles down a steep cliff in an unusual fashion while the lower falls is a more traditional tumble."
Miles are marked on the Natchez Trace by wooden posts so that you can easily find the sites along the way. Many more suggested sites can by found within ten miles either side of Jackson Falls including an old tobacco farm (401.4) and a campground/picnic site that houses the Meriweather Lewis gravesite (385.9).
The rest stop is approximately 50 miles West from Nashville's I-40 near Shady Grove, TN. It does have a pathed walkway and should be accessible to most children and adults. According to The Guide to the Natchez Trace Parkway by F. Lynne Bachleda, "The at-most ten minute hike to Jackson Falls is paved, bridged, and stepped down to the falls themselves, which makes it fairly easy."
Personally, I will enter the Natchez Trace from Highway 100 and it won't be as far for those of already in Williamson County. Hope this fantastic weather holds so we can hit the trail.
Happy Summer to all!