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MISSISSIPPI MRT

Southbound

  • MS Segment 1–Greenville to Vicksburg
  • MS Segment 2–Moonlake to Greenville
  • MS Segment 3–City of Vicksburg
  • MS Segment 4–Vicksburg to Natchez

Northbound

  • MS Segment 5–Natchez to Vicksburg
  • MS Segment 6–Vicksburg to Greenville
  • MS Segment 7–Greenville-North
  • MS Segment 8–City of Vicksburg

Download the following Mississippi MRT Maps: Mississippi, Mississippi north, Mississippi south. These maps are for general orientation purposes only. They indicate the current status of the route, whether completed with signs on the ground, proposed, or still under development.

Proposed segments are being planned and have been assessed as generally rideable. Cyclists should use atlases and other sources to identify road routes.

Segments under development are marked in red and indicate dangerous cycling conditions. Bicyclists should proceed with extreme caution.

Sense of Place

Mississippi's MRT corridor is marked by distinctive southern small towns, interspersed with rolling hills passing through fields and forests. This delightful landscape tour begins in Greeneville, and ends when the MRT crosses into Louisiana at Natchez. Along the way, you'll pass through Vicksburg, with its great battlefield park that commemorates one of the turning points of the Civil War (or "War Between the States", as they call it down here; also known as "The War of Northern Aggression", you get the idea).

Other highlights of this charming stretch of the Mississippi River Trail include the Natchez Trace, a linear National Park that commemorates the old overland passage back to Tennessee taken by traders after they had floated their goods down river to New Orleans. Port Gibson, termed by Gen. Grant (see "War" above) as "the town too pretty to burn" retains the charm that captivated Grant. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this part of the world is home to the blues, that indigenous music that so powerfully conveys a sense of life in this place.

This is Delta farm country. Along the route you will see many reminders of the past—the hulk of a cotton gin, derelict farm buildings, and old "shot-gun" houses, so called because the rooms are lined up front to back, and a straight shot from the front will go through each room to the back. But you will also experience the "present" of Delta farming—mile after mile of highly productive fields of cotton, soybeans and other crops, with huge mobile, aerial irrigation systems and operating cotton gins.

Music lovers and all travelers who want to experience the heartbeat of this special region must take in the blues and learn about its fascinating history. The place to go is the town of Clarksdale, which requires a detour to Highway 61, known as the "Blues Highway". In Clarksdale head to the Delta Blues Museum at the Freight Depot in Blues Alley. *

Other regional points of interest between Helena and Greenville are Stoval and Friars Point. Blues man Muddy Waters was born in Stoval, and you can visit his cabin there. Friars Point, a hamlet that time forgot, sits snugly behind the levee and is a favorite of European tourists. After paying calls on its antique little shops and tiny museum, stop at a local convenience store for the "fixins" for a sandwich, then head for the top of the levee for lunch overlooking the river—or where the river is when it has a mind to be there! There is nothing touristy here; just the real thing.

*If you are captivated by Delta music—or if you wonder why others are—seek out Richard Knight's Blues Highway—New Orleans to Chicago. The MRT passes through many venues mentioned in his excellent guide.

 

Take Note

Designation or identification of the Mississippi River Trail is not a guarantee that the route will be safe for all riders under all conditions. The Mississippi River Trail descriptions are intended at this point for use by experienced long-distance bicyclists. Users ride at their own risk, and understand that they will commonly be sharing the road with motorized vehicular traffic. No liability, expressed or implied, is assumed by Mississippi River Trail Inc. for any result occasioned by use of these descriptive documents.

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