If you’re a fan of American music and history, you’ll want to make time for the Mississippi Blues Trail motorcycle ride. This trail follows Highway 61, also known as the “Blues Highway,” along the Mississippi River. It’s a famous road amongst blues music fans, as numerous blues artists have recorded songs about the road.
Read on to learn more about riding your motorcycle along this famous road in Mississippi.
What Is the Blues Highway?
U.S. Route 61, also known as the Blues Highway, is a major highway that spans from Wyoming, Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana. This highway is 1,600 miles long, and much of its length follows the Mississippi River.
The highway received its name as the Blues Highway because of its history within Blues Music. Part of the highway encompasses the Mississippi Blues Trail, which has markers throughout, indicating important sites in blues history. Additionally, the Blues Highway has been the subject of many blues songs, from artists such as:
- Big Joe Williams
- Sunnyland Slim
- Eddie Burns
- Charlie Musselwhite
- Eddie Shaw
- Mississippi Fred McDowell
The highway even inspired Bob Dylan’s album “Highway 61 Revisited.”
While you could ride your motorcycle along the entire 1,600-mile route, many blues fans choose to turn the Mississippi portion of the route into a blues-themed motorcycle trip.
What is the Mississippi Blues Trail?
The Mississippi Blues Trail is a portion of Highway 61 that celebrates historical moments in blues music throughout Mississippi’s history. This trail includes numerous markers that indicate historical sites in blues music, allowing you to learn more about the state’s legendary blues scene.
The Mississippi Blues Commission created this trail in 2006 and began placing markers in areas around the state at that time, especially near the Mississippi Delta. However, the trail has been an ongoing project, and the Commission continues to place more markers as funds become available. You can also find trail markers in other historic blues locations throughout the U.S., such as Chicago.
Today, the Mississippi Blues Trail has almost 200 markers celebrating artists, radio stations, record companies, and historic events in the Mississippi blues scene.
Taking a Mississippi Blues Trail Ride
The Mississippi Blues Trail is one of the most famous roads in American music. If you’re planning a Mississippi motorcycle trip, you’ll want to add this trail to your itinerary.
The easiest way to take a Mississippi Blues Trail motorcycle ride is to begin in Memphis, travel south on Highway 61, and end in Vicksburg. You can find a list of the trail markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail website, allowing you to plan which markers you’d like to visit during your trip.
You can also add other blues-themed stops to your itinerary to make your trip a proper Mississippi Blues ride. For example, you can begin your motorcycle ride by visiting the Gateway to the Blues Museum outside Memphis. You can also check out the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, which highlights Mississippi Delta blues musicians in a small, easy-to-access location.
Tips for your Motorcycle Trip
The great thing about the Mississippi Blues Trail ride is that you can make your trip as short or long as you’d like. However, whether you’re planning an afternoon excursion or a week-long visit to every trail marker, here are a few tips to help you stay safe on the road:
- Review Mississippi’s motorcycle laws before setting out.
- Ensure that any passengers know the best ways to stay safe on your bike.
- Pack food and drinks in your storage compartment in case you have trouble finding restaurants in more rural locations.
- Ride cautiously on busy highways like Highway 61.
Following these tips will set up your Mississippi Blues Trail motorcycle ride for success.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and need help getting fair compensation for your injuries, don’t sing the blues. Call Law Tigers at (888) 863-7216.