I decided fifteen years was too long to pass between trips to the Natchez Trace. Honestly, I didn’t think we really had the time to take off for a trip. We’d already taken a few days to go to the beach, and it’s hard to get 80 days in before December if you’re taking trips every month.
However, I sometimes forget as a homeschooling family you’re always learning wherever you go. Some trips you can count as homeschooling days.
When planning a family field trip, I always look for specific criteria.
• A trip that takes no more than 4 hours to get there.
• Cities with decent and affordable accommodations .
• Fun, educationally appropriate activities for the kids.
• Grocery stores to buy necessities such as sandwich fixings and snacks.
• A few perks: After all it is a getaway. Hotels that provide breakfast or hot tubs to relax in after a day of hiking can make it more of a family vacation and not just another day of homeschooling.
The more I see of Tennessee,
the more I fall in love with this state.
About Natchez Trace
The Natchez Trace runs for 440 miles from Nashville, TN to Natchez, Mississippi. With 100,000 years of history, this scenic drive was used by American Indians, settlers, and future presidents. When considering this as a family field trip, studying the Chickasaw Indian tribe would be a perfect choice for a Native American unit. Want to keep going with your history curriculum? The Natchez Trace will also connect you to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Still want more? Venture off the trace for a bit and learn about Davy Crockett and his connection with Andrew Jackson.
Points of Interests Along Natchez Trace
It’s time to leave the textbooks behind and really experience the history of our country. The best part about this is you can do it out in nature surrounded by your favorite people: your family!
The Natchez Trace has limitless possibilities tempting you to start taking more field trips and leaving the textbooks behind!
Death and Grave of Meriwether Lewis
Only about 70 miles SW of Nashville you can walk and explore the grave and death site of Meriwether Lewis. You can read and learn the value of this important man of our history, walk along the Pioneer cemetery, and find the Old Trace where the Chickasaw Indians and settlers made their way to trade.
Davy Crockett State Park
Ok. This is not on the Trace, but only an hour and 30 minutes from the Meriwether site, you can spend a whole afternoon at the Davy Crockett State Park. Take a self-guided tour through the Davy Crockett museum and learn amazing facts about this pioneer, politician, solider, and industrialist. Hiking trails will follow the original Trail of Tears. Let your kids wade in the waterfall after working out along one of the trail’s exercise training machines. Isn’t it better to workout in nature instead of in a stuffy gym?
The Waterfalls and Hikes
Celebrate the season of colors and cooler temperatures with hikes along the Natchez Trace. Go ahead and pick up the Trace coming back from your trip to Davy Crockett State Park. The entire family will love the beautiful scenery, the crisp fall air, and the chance to take pictures of relaxing waterfalls.
Towards the end of the Davy Crockett museum you can read about his connection with Andrew Jackson. How fabulous is it to be able to travel back closer to home to visit The Hermitage? If you haven’t already visited The Hermitage, check out their Homeschooling Days calendar on their website. November 13th will be a Trail of Tears class. How lucky for us to be able to visit all of these historical places within our very own state!
Planning Your Family’s Next Field Trip? (Vacation) Don’t forget to look for the amazing sights Tennessee has to offer!
Christa Brown is a homeschooling mother to three perfect angels. She has a passion for inspiring life-long learning and shares it through mentoring, thematic units, curriculum studies, and learning activities. You can read more from her on her website.