Collecting National Parks - Natchez Trace Parkway Day Four

Missed the first installment of this series?

Collecting National Parks: Natchez Trace Parkway Day 3

For the first time on our trip, we didn't have to start the morning by packing up our campsite. We decided to stay two nights at Tishomingo because of all the things there were to do in the are. Starting with the State Park itself!

Destination: Tishomingo State Park (mi 305)
Planned stops: Shiloh National Military Park
Soundtrack: 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson (audiobook)

Tishomingo State Park

We live below sea level. Suffice it to say that we get really excited when we hear words like "outcroppings", "drop-offs", "strenuous hike". We could've easily spent the day hiking, but we limited it to a few short-ish trails. They were so much fun that even the three-year-old managed over two miles of up and down terrain on his own two legs. We did the Outcroppings Trail and the Saddleback Ridge Trail.

Shiloh National Military Park

It was about 45 minutes off the Trace, but since it was an opportunity to collect another stamp in our National Park Passport Album, we set aside the afternoon to do it.

We should have set aside an entire day. The visitor center itself it wonderful - artifacts and an amazing 45-minute video (the boys had I had watched it on YouTube before the trip, but we were happy to watch it again, it was that good). But it's the driving tour that's really where it's at. We should have set aside about four hours if we wanted to see everything (and that's if we continued along at a fairly steady pace!) We had only about hour until the park closed.

At the visitor's center, we downloaded an app that provided Park Ranger videos at points along the way and we prioritized the things each of us most wanted to see: Shiloh church, the Hornet's Nest, the spot were Albert Sidney Johnston died. There are dozens and dozens of monuments - where high-high ranking officers fell, where battalions were encamped, monuments for each state's soldiers. We took along the Junior Ranger booklets which had the kids keep an eye out for certain monuments that had key information that they needed to fill in their booklets in order to earn their badges. I can't recommend this stop highly enough. And watching the video (maybe several times) was really the key to having the driving tour be more than just driving through fields and woods.

Stay tuned for Day 5 of our Natchez Trace Parkway adventure! Did you ever chance a vacation at a spot you weren't exactly sure you'd like? How did it turn out? Sharing is caring! Leave a comment and tell me about it. :)

#camping #campingwithkids #familyvacation #historytravel #nationalparks #natcheztrace #natchezstatepark #travel #tishomingo #hiking #shilohbattlefield #civilwar

Check out some of my other travel posts:

Minimalist Packing for Camping with Kids

Collecting National Parks: Natchez, Mississippi

Our Quest to Collect National Parks



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