Nestled in the rolling green hills of North Mississippi, the small city of New Albany is becoming well known as an easy destination for mid-southerners who enjoy shopping, cycling and quality festivals and events. Long known for its antique shops and quaint downtown, the city has been experiencing a renaissance lately, with new events and attractions opening up at a quickening pace. In just the last two years, some amazing things have happened.
The Tanglefoot Trail, a 44-mile bike trail built on the old railroad of William Faulkner’s grandfather (William Faulkner was born in New Albany and there is an award-winning museum a block from his birth site), opened to numerous accolades. People from around the country come to enjoy the fully paved and relatively flat trail that meanders past ancient Indian Mounds and through villages and countryside from New Albany to Houston, Mississippi. Couples often combine a trip….the wives will drop their husbands in Houston to ride the trail back, and they’ll shop the little towns on the way back and meet for dinner in New Albany.
Also this past year the State Legislature designated Highway 30 between New Albany and Oxford as the William Faulkner Scenic Highway. The trip, which takes a little better than a half hour, takes travelers through the woods and bottoms and little communities that inspired the great writer in his creation of Yoknapatawpha. On the trip, if it’s the right time of year, you’ll still see people plowing with mules or folks fishing from the banks of the fabled Tallahatchie River.
Additionally, New Albany has a growing number of quality events like the Down from the Hills Bluegrass Festival happening each spring, and Tallahatchie Riverfest which takes place the last weekend of September each year. Throughout the summer months, there’s most always something going on downtown, like the Biscuits and Jam Farmers Market, Folk Art on the River, Live at Noon concerts on Saturdays at the Trailhead, and so much more.
New Albany is definitely worth a stop for those whose travel will take them through a Memphis – Birmingham/Atlanta leg or the nearby cities of Oxford and Tupelo. Its quaint downtown is just minutes from the highway. To help you plan a trip or a quick stopover, check out the city’s website. They also have a lively fanpage on Facebook at ILoveNA. New Albany is located one hour southeast of Memphis on Interstate 22.