Drivers and motorcyclists will enjoy the 28-mile-long route that takes you over and under the famous Double Arch Bridge, thru the picturesque Fernvale community, up and down Old Highway 96 under a canopy of trees and thru the heart of the historic village of Leiper's Fork where you can enjoy a meal at one of three restaurants and do some casual shopping at the antique shops and art galleries that line the street.

Cyclists

Bicyclists looking for a challenging hill to climb look no further. Starting in Fernvale, Old Highway 96 climbs 400' feet to the top of the ridge. About 340' of the ascent takes place over one mile of road for an average grade of 6.5%!. If you bike in the opposite direction from Leiper's Fork to Fernvale the elevation gain is only 300'.

Parking options are plentiful on the parkway. On the parkway, there is a parking area just south of the Highway 96/Double Arch Bridge exit. around milepost 436. Please don't park at the Birdsong Hollow parking area on the north side of the Double Arch Bridge as this parking area is not very large and is a very popular stop - we recommend that everyone take the time to drive or ride across the bridge and view the bridge from the observation area at Birdsong Hollow. You could also park at the Garrison Creek stop (see below).

Food, Water, Restrooms

There are two restaurants (Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant and Country Boy in Leiper's Fork (go north on Old Hillsboro Pike about 150 yards from where Old Hwy 96 intersects with Old Hillsboro Pike) and there is a market (Leiper's Fork Market) that has beverages, snacks, pizza and sandwiches on the south side of Leiper's Fork on your way to/from the Natchez Trace.

There are no comfort stations on the 9 mile-long Natchez Trace section of the loop (cyclists could park at the Garrison Creek comfort station/picnic area on the Trace about 1.4 miles south of the loop and simply add a few miles to the trip). The restaurants and market in Leiper's Fork have restrooms.

Lodging

Hummingbird Haven B&B in Fernvale is about 1/10th of a mile off the loop.

Directions

Directions for the route are listed below starting just south of the Double Arch Bridge. You can also view the route on MapMyRide.com.

Directions Cumulative Miles
Starting at the parking area on the parkway near milepost 436. 0.0
Travel north on the parkway 2 miles to the Double Arch Bridge. 2.0
Take the time to drive/ride across the bridge to the Birdsong Hollow stop and observation area. 2.2
Go south back across the bridge to the Hwy 96 exit and down the ramp to another observation area with a view looking up at the bridge. 2.7
Turn left onto Hwy 96. Travel west going under the bridge and continue for a total of 2.7 miles before turning left onto Old Harding Pike. Note for cyclists: Hwy 96 is a four lane road but there is a 4 to 5 foot wide shoulder on both sides of the highway. 5.4
Travel 5 miles south on Old Harding Pike to the 3-way stop in "downtown" Fernvale. Fernvale Road goes to the right and Old Hwy 96 is straight ahead. Elevation here is 602'. Hummingbird Haven B&B is located on Fernvale Road about 1/10th of a mile to the north. 10.4

Go straight onto Old Hwy 96. Travel 8.5 miles to Leiper's Fork where Old Hwy 96 intersects Old Hillsboro Road. After 3.2 miles you will be at the top of the ridge - 1017'. Old Hwy 96 runs across the top of the ridge for 2.3 miles. A mile before you reach Leiper's Fork you will pass one of the Natchez Trace bridges.

18.9
When you arrive in Leiper's Fork the elevation is 705'. Turn left on Old Hillsboro Road and go north a couple hundred yards to where the restaurants and most of the shops are located. 19.0
Travel south on Old Hillsboro Road 1.2 miles to the intersection with Hwy 46/Pinewood Road. Leiper's Fork Market will on the right just before the intersection. 20.2
Travel west .6 miles on Hwy 46 to the Natchez Trace Parkway access ramp and up the hill to the parkway. 21.0
Turn left on the parkway heading north towards Nashville. Travel 7.5 miles to the parking area where you started. 28.5

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