TN--Meriwether Lewis Site CG, Natchez Trace Parkway

Discussion in 'National Parks, Forests and ACOE Campgrounds' started by Travelhoveler, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    One of our favorite campgrounds in Middle Tennessee is located at the Meriwether Lewis on the Natchez Trace Parkway. It's 75 miles by parkway from Nashville in Lewis County, on the gorgeous western Highland Rim of Tennessee.

    The Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the world's great scenic drives, an historical route connecting Nashville with Natchez, Mississippi. In the early nineteenth century, people in Tennessee would ship their goods by flatboat down the Mississippi River to Natchez or New Orleans, then walk back overland over the Natchez Trace. Today's parkway, a unit of the National Park Service, follows the historic route and interprets it, historic sites, and natural and scenic areas along the way.


    The Meriwether Lewis site, formerly Meriwether Lewis National Monument, is a large recreational area on the parkway at milepost 385. There are several hiking trails, two picnic areas, and a campground. Here is an NPS map of the area:


    Most visitors stop to see the grave of famed western explorer Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark Expedition fame, who died here on October 10, 1809. A coroner's inquest ruled his death a suicide, but many in the area believe he was murdered. After all, it's rather difficult to shoot yourself in the brain with a single-shot black powder pistol, then find the resolve to reload it and do it all over again. But then, Lewis was a remarkable man. A broken column marks his lonely grave in the Tennessee wilderness.


    The 32-site campground is located on a high ridge overlooking the valley of Little Swan Creek; it's about a mile and a half off the parkway. There are two loops, a comfort station, a few water spigots, picnic tables and fire rings. The whole campground was rehabilitated earlier this year; the comfort station was replaced with a new one and all the tables, fire rings, etc. were replaced. It's in tip-top condition. There is a campground host on site from late spring to early fall.


    How often do you see an unused fire-ring?


    We love camping here because it's beautiful, the hiking trails are excellent, cycling on the Trace is unparalleled, and the nearby Buffalo River (two miles down the Trace at Metal Ford) is one of the best kayaking streams in Middle Tennessee.


    We especially love that the campground is never crowded. Though it has 32 sites, we've never seen more than four occupied on an average weekend, and even on a major holiday, most of the sites remain vacant. In winter, we sometimes have it to ourselves. When we were there two weekends ago, there were four other sites occupied in addition to the host. Sites are well wooded and we were all spaced a couple hundred feet from one another. Here we are at a pull-through site; there are a number of back-in sites as well.


    If you're traveling the historic Natchez Trace, you'd enjoy a stay at peaceful Meriwether Lewis. No reservations, but no need--there's always space available. No hookups, no problems! It's a wonderful campground and there's so much to do. We don't often do actual campgrounds but staying in this uncrowded place, you'd hardly know you were in an actual campground as the usual problems never arise. Oh, and did I mention camping here is free?

    Cheers from Meriwether Lewis Site on the Natchez Trace Parkway!

  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Sounds great!

    I've camped all over the US except for the SE and I'd really like to see places like that. Perhaps someday...

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