A nine-mile stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway thru Tupelo, MS will be closed for several months starting July 2021 for repaving.

The project will be split into two sections (phases):

  1. The first phase of paving began on July 19, 2021:
    Paving will start at milepost 257 at US Highway 278/Hwy 6 on the south end of Tupelo and continue north to milepost 262.5 at the McCullough Boulevard/Hwy 178 intersection. Phase one is estimated to last 2 to 3 months. See map and detour directions below.
  2. The second phase of paving will start after the first phase has been completed:
    The second phase includes the area from McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178 north past the Parkway Visitor Center and ends at Highway 145 (milepost 266.1).

When each section is being paved the parkway will be closed in that area. Bicyclists will not be allowed in the closed area.

The detour route, marked with signs (Marked Detour Route), takes vehicles to the east of the parkway thru downtown Tupelo on heavily traveled US 45.

US 45 is not safe for bicycle travel.

  • The map below shows both the Marked Detour Route and an Alternate Bicycle Route.
  • Parts of the bicycle route are not ideal for biking but is much safer than the marked detour route.
  • If you are biking with a support vehicle we recommend that you shuttle around the paving project using the Marked Detour Route.
  • When cycling always wear brightly colored clothing and have both front and rear lights on your bicycle.

Below the map are directions for both routes.
Natchez Trace - Tupelo, MS Paving Project Closure and Detour

Phase One - Driving Detour and Alternate Bicycle Detour Directions

Marked Detour Route for Vehicles and Motorcycles

The Marked Detour Route is 11.3 miles.

South to North Marked Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 257 onto US 278/Hwy 6.
    Turn left onto US 278/Hwy 6 and drive east 5 miles to US 45.
  • Drive north on US 45 for 4.5 miles to McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178.
  • Drive west on McCullough Blvd//Hwy 178 for 1.8 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 262.5.
    Enter the parkway and drive north.

North to South Marked Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 262.5 onto McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178.
    Turn left onto McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178 and drive east 1.8 miles to US 45.
  • Drive south on US 45 for 4.5 miles to US 278/Hwy 6.
  • Drive west on US 278/Hwy 6 for 5 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 257.
    Enter the parkway and drive south.

Download the Map and Directions
(MS Word document)

Alternate Bicycle Detour Route

The Alternate Bicycle Detour Route is 12 miles.

This route is on two lane roads except for 0.7 miles on McCullough Blvd. The McCullough Blvd section is the only part of the route that is the same as the Marked Detour Route. Some of the roads (Palmetto, Graham and Mitchell) are in the country, other roads (Country Club, Clayton, Holmes and Kincannon) are residential streets and a couple roads (Thomas and Lumpkin) are connector roads traveling thru residential areas.

Matthew Knight at Trails & Treads bicycle shop in Tupelo was very helpful in creating the bicycle route.

South to North Alternate Bicycle Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 255.9 onto Palmetto Road.
    Turn right onto Palmetto Road and bike east 2.3 miles to Graham Drive.
    Note: the Marked Detour Route starts at US Hwy 278 one mile to the north. If you miss the Palmetto Road exit you could exit onto US Hwy 278/Hwy 6 and bike east about 0.7 miles to Graham Drive - but 278 is a busy road, best to turn around and bike back to Palmetto Road. There is a market on Palmetto Road.
  • Turn left onto Graham Drive and bike north 2.5 miles to Mitchell Road.
  • Turn right onto Mitchell Road and bike east 1.3 miles to Thomas Street.
  • Turn left onto Thomas Street and bike north 2.9 miles to Holmes Street.
    Note: Thomas Street Elementary School is on this street - traffic will be heavier during school arrival and dismissal times.
  • Turn right onto Holmes Street and bike east 0.5 miles to Lumpkin Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Lumpkin Avenue and bike north 1.1 miles to Kincannon Avenue.
  • Bear right onto Kincannon Avenue and bike east 0.4 miles to Clayton Avenue.
  • Turn right onto Clayton Avenue and bike south 300 feet to Country Club Road.
  • Turn left onto Country Club Road and bike north 0.2 miles to McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178
    Note: street sign says Jenkins instead of Country Club Road. McCullough Blvd on ramp is not marked (Country Club Road goes over McCullough - look for the on ramp on the left).
  • Turn left onto McCullough Blvd's on ramp and bike west 0.7 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 262.5.
    Enter the parkway and continue biking north.

North to South Alternate Bicycle Detour Route Directions:

  • Exit the parkway at milepost 262.5 onto McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178.
    Turn left onto McCullough Blvd/Hwy 178 and bike east 0.7 miles to Country Club Road.
  • Turn right onto Country Club Road and bike south 0.2 miles to Clayton Avenue.
  • Turn right onto Clayton Avenue and bike north 300 feet to Kincannon Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Kincannon Avenue and bike west 0.4 miles to Lumpkin Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Lumpkin Avenue and bike south 1.1 miles to Holmes Street.
  • Turn right onto Holmes Street and bike west 0.5 miles to Thomas Street.
  • Turn left onto Thomas Street and bike south 2.9 miles to Mitchell Road.
    Note: Thomas Street Elementary School is on this street - traffic will be heavier during school arrival and dismissal times.
  • Turn right onto Mitchell Road and bike west 1.3 miles to Graham Drive.
  • Turn left onto Graham Drive and bike south 2.5 miles to Palmetto Road.
  • Turn right onto Palmetto Road and bike west 2.3 miles to the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 255.9.
    Enter the parkway and continue biking south.
    Note: there is a market on Palmetto Road.

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