Bicycling Magazine Nashville, TN: Natchez Trace Loop 

Ride the lonely back roads outside of Nashville en route to the Natchez Trace Parkway on this 25.2-mile loop starting in Deerfield.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 17 Jul 2007 5:48:42 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: Tennessee (TN)
Distance: 25.18 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1051 ft
Total Loss: 1066 ft
Net Change: -15 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Franklin, TN, Nashville, Natchez Trace, Tennessee
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Low on traffic and high on scenery, this relaxing country cruiser spins through idyllic countryside and the forested confines flanking the Natchez Trace Parkway. From Hunters Bend Elementary School in Franklin, head west on Fieldstone Parkway, a shoulder-less, four-lane thoroughfare. Enter the countryside while gliding down the Del Rio Pike near the ride's first climb, a 0.8-mile kicker averaging a modest 3.4-percent grade.

The scenery changes from flat farmland to gently rolling hillsides as you head northwest on TN 96 toward the Natchez Trace Bridge. This award-winning, architecturally renowned bridge connects two forested hillsides separated by a grassy valley. After crossing the bridge, follow the Natchez Trace Parkway through a leafy, wooded corridor before turning onto TN 100 and passing the Loveless Café, a famous Tennessee eatery and ideal mid-ride food stop.

From Loveless, the return trip back to Franklin is nearly devoid of climbing, with the toughest ascent consisting of a friendly, mile-long uphill averaging a mellow 1.8-percent grade. After cruising over more peaceful and lonely country roads, reconnect with Del Rio Pike to head back toward Hunters Bend Elementary to finish the ride.

-Mapped by Robert Hendry

TO TRAILHEAD: This ride starts at Hunters Bend Elementary School in Franklin. Follow Hillsboro Pike (US 431) and head west at Fieldstone Pkwy. School is on the right in 440 feet.

Position Format: Datum:

Natchez Trace Loop

Distance: 25.18 mi Points: 387
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.00 mi Start - Then go 0.02 mi
2 0.02 mi Turn left at Fieldstone Pkwy Then go 0.46 mi
3 0.48 mi Slight right to stay on Fieldstone Pkwy Then go 0.42 mi
4 0.90 mi Turn Left - Cotton Ln Then go 0.84 mi
5 1.74 mi Turn right at Del Rio Pike Then go 1.89 mi
6 3.63 mi Turn left at Old Hillsboro Rd/TN-46 W Then go 0.65 mi
7 4.28 mi Turn right at Barrel Springs Hollow Rd Then go 1.07 mi
8 5.34 mi Turn left at High Point Ridge Rd Then go 0.91 mi
9 6.26 mi Turn left to stay on High Point Ridge Rd Then go 0.22 mi
10 6.48 mi Turn right at TN-96 W Then go 2.67 mi
11 9.14 mi Turn left Then go 0.60 mi
12 9.74 mi Turn right at Natchez Trace Pkwy Then go 4.17 mi
13 13.91 mi Continue onto Natchez Trce Then go 0.23 mi
14 14.14 mi Continue onto Natchez Trace Pkwy Then go 0.59 mi
15 14.73 mi Slight right toward Mc Crory Ln Then go 0.16 mi
16 14.89 mi Turn right at Mc Crory Ln Then go 0.15 mi
17 15.04 mi Turn left at TN-100 E Then go 0.33 mi
18 15.38 mi Turn right at Pasquo Rd Then go 0.24 mi
19 15.62 mi Turn left at Sneed Rd Then go 0.92 mi
20 16.53 mi Turn right at Temple Rd Then go 2.46 mi
21 18.99 mi Turn right at Old Natchez Trce Then go 2.41 mi
22 21.41 mi Turn right at Old Hillsboro Rd/TN-46 W Then go 0.16 mi
23 21.56 mi Turn left at Del Rio Pike Then go 1.89 mi
24 23.45 mi Turn left at Cotton Ln Then go 0.84 mi
25 24.29 mi Turn Right - Fieldstone Pkwy Then go 0.88 mi
26 25.17 mi Turn Right - Then go 0.01 mi
27 25.18 mi Stop -

Points of Interest

Hunters Bend Elementary School

Location: 35.963230, -86.886586
This ride starts at Hunters Bend Elementary School on Fieldstone Parkway in Tennessee. Leave your car in the lot and head west to get started. There is no shoulder on Fieldstone, so be on the lookout for traffic.

Barrel Springs Hollow Road Hill

Location: 35.969289, -86.939964
Hit your first hill of the ride at mile 4.6 on Barrel Springs Hollow Road. Spanning 0.8 mile, this quick ascent gains a modest 145 feet at an average 3.4-percent grade.

Quick Ascent

Location: 35.963523, -86.953976
Attack a quick but steep 0.3-mile churn averaging a 4.7-percent grade while heading south on High Point Ridge Road.

Natchez Trace

Location: 35.984418, -86.990205
Turn left off TN 96 to head toward the Natchez Trace Parkway. Ahead, you'll encounter a 0.8-mile climb averaging a 5.4-percent grade. © Robert Hendry

Nasty Climb

Location: 35.988633, -86.989381
After crossing the bridge, you'll hit a nasty 0.3-mile kicker averaging a 13.7-percent grade.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Location: 35.992695, -86.979704
The Natchez Trace Parkway follows the original Natchez Trace, a 440-mile trail stretching from the Cumberland River to Mississippi River. The Trace was made into an official highway in 1801, but fell into disrepair and was abandoned by 1830.


Location: 36.018767, -86.981506
Enjoy an extended 2.7-mile descent as you coast down the Natchez Trace Parkway toward TN 100.

Loveless Cafe

Location: 36.034525, -86.972408
The legendary Loveless Cafe serves up classic southern dishes and is a good mid-ride stop. © Robert Hendry


Location: 36.030117, -86.952066
Turn from Sneed Road onto Temple Road to hit the toughest remaining climb on the ride. Short and mild, this ascent spans 1 mile at an average 1.8-percent grade.

Temple Road

Location: 36.012589, -86.949062
Negotiate for road-space with cars on this shoulder-less thoroughfare.

Old Natchez Trace

Location: 35.982069, -86.930952
Enjoy the peaceful country serenity of the Old Natchez Trace, a narrow but lightly-traveled road that passes farmhouses, fields and patches of forest.

Home Stretch

Location: 35.971025, -86.923356
Head home on the Del Rio Pike, another quiet rural thoroughfare featuring low traffic and country solitude.

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