The amount of automobile traffic along the Natchez Trace Parkway from milepost 100 to 105 through the Jackson suburb of Ridgeland can be anywhere from moderate to heavy. During rush hour times in the morning and afternoon car traffic in this area is quite heavy.
Fortunately, there is now an alternate route that bicyclists can take through this section of the Natchez Trace Parkway!
The city of Ridgeland has built a Multi-Use Path (for bicycles, walkers, joggers, roller bladers, etc.) that parallels the parkway from Highland Colony Parkway (near milepost 101) to Harbor Drive (near milepost 103).
Further to the south and to the north the national park service has created the Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail. It connects with either end of the Ridgeland Multi-Use Path with the end result being one continuous, multi-use path from the Reservoir Overlook area (milepost 105.6) south to the Choctaw Agency area (milepost 100.7). In the future, the Natchez Trace Multi-Use Trail will be extended further south to the Osburn Stand area (milepost 93.1) and eventually all the way to Clinton, MS at milepost 89.
When traffic is heavy in this area (which is most of the time) you can exit the parkway onto the path on the south end at the Choctaw Agency (milepost 100.7) or at the north end at the Reservoir Overlook (milepost 105.6). The path passes right behind the Parkway Information Cabin at Ridgeland (milepost 102.4) which is a park service visitor/information center with bathroom facilities. For the most part the path parallels the parkway within 100 yards or less from the road.
We highly recommend taking advantage of this alterate route. Please remember to share the path with others. To view a pdf file of the Ridgeland Multi-Use Path please see: http://www.visitridgeland.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Bike_MapPanel-21.pdf