City Escapes:  Ridgeland, Mississippi

Text: James T. Parks • Photography: Luke Swab

This escape takes riders from a modern-day suburban environment back to the 19th century when bloody Civil War battles determined the future of our nation. You’ll also visit a historic location where columns of stone are the only ghostly remnants of a once expansive plantation. After a lunch of tasty Southern fare in Port Gibson, the adventure concludes with a pleasing transition back to the 21st century on the historic Natchez Trace Pkwy.

Most of the route’s rural topography is heavily forested. The Natchez Trace Pkwy leads riders through lovely countryside landscapes. This is a laid-back cruise on mostly flat two-lane tarmac. Curves on the secondary roads, closer to the Mississippi River, offer more spirited riding, but they should be taken at a prudent pace due to limited sight lines and the abundance of critters. 

The roads are generally in good to excellent condition, although near the Mississippi you may find rough spots. The riverside roads are subject to flooding during certain times of the year.

LUNCH STOP

Royalty Lounge & Bistro is a cozy diamond in the rough with a menu full of mouthwatering selections, which include southern fried chicken, BBQ burgers, Cajun pasta, grilled shrimp, and more. Find it at 711A Farmer St, Port Gibson, MS, (601) 559-5300.www.facebook.com/RoyaltyLoungeAndBistro