• Metropolis, Illinois, to Jackson, Tennessee: Superman to Davy Crockett

      202 miles - 8 hours

      Superman's hometown of Metropolis is the starting point for a road trip that includes a visit to historic Paducah, Kentucky, before heading south on the Woodlands Trace through the 'Land Between the Lakes' into Tennessee. This Tennessee route holds such roadside wonders as the Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Eiffel Tower, the Big Cypress Tree State Park, and Davy Crockett's Cabin. The route ends at the home of Casey Jones in Jackson, Tennessee.

      Here are some highlights along the route.

      Metropolis, Ilinois (Starting point)
      Metropolis is located along the Ohio River northwest of Paducah, Kentucky. The welcome sign to Metropolis proudly claims it is the 'Hometown of Superman.' Downtown Metropolis is called Superman Square and there is a huge Superman statue located in front of the Massac County Courthouse. When in Metropolis, take a break from Superman and have some fun at Fort Massac State Park.

      Paducah, Kentucky (mile 14)
      Paducah is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. Historic downtown Paducah is on the National Register of Historic Places. Puducah is home to the National Quilt Museum. Thanks to the 'Wall to Wall' mural program, over 50 murals can be seen on the floodwall in downtown Paducah.

      Land Between the Lakes (35)
      Land Between the Lakes is 170,000 acres of land with 200 plus miles of hiking trails, and includes 300 miles of shoreline. The Woodlands Trace (KY Highway 453 and TN Highway 49) runs north/south through the Land Between the Lakes and it provides access to loop drives that lead to the numerous bays and other places to explore. Near the north entrance, stop at the canal overlook to see the waterway that connects Kentucky Lake to the west and Barkely Lake to the east. Stop at the Elk and Bison Prairie to see area wildlife. In Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky border, visit The Homeplace (an old farm depicting the mid-19th-century), the South Bison Range and Trail followed by the Great Western Iron Furnace Ruins. A Day of Play at Land Between the Lakes by ByWays.org is an excellent resource.

      Kentucky-Tennessee Border (mile 69)
      The Woodland Traces switches from KY Highway 453 to TN Highway 49 at the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

      Fort Donelson National Battlefield (mile 85)
      Fort Donelson National Battlefield is located in Dover, Tennessee. It is located on US Highway 79 less than two miles from the southern terminus of The Trace. The north (Union) captured Fort Donelson from the south (Confederate) during the American Civil War in 1862.

      Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tennessee (mile 116)
      Paris is home to a 60-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower and every year it holds the World's Biggest Fish Fry. The 'Welcome to Paris' sign has a huge catfish on it. Paris, which has a downtown square surrounded by lots of old buildings, is the county seat of Henry County. The Paris-Henry County Heritage Center, which is located in the the North Poplar Historic District, is a place that offers opportunities to learn about history of Tennessee's Henry County.

      Dresden, Tennessee (mile 137)
      Dresden claims that it is located about midway between Chicago and New Orleans. The annual Tennessee Iris Festival is held in Dresden.

      Big Cypress Tree State Park, Tennessee (mile 152)
      Big Cypress Tree State Park was named for a bald cypress tree that once lived on the park. The tree was the largest bald cypress in the U.S. prior to being hit by lightning in 1976. The tree is gone, but the park offers a nice opportunity to explore the Tennessee country-side on foot.

      Davy Crockett Cabin and Museum, Rutherford, Tennessee (mile 166)
      In 2010, Rutherford held the 43rd Annual Davy Crockett Days. Davy Crockett was born in the the northeast corner of Tennessee in the town of Limestone. He lived in Rutherford from 1822 to 1835 and the cabin at this site was his last home and it is where is mother's grave can be found.

      Jackson, Tennessee (mile 202)
      Jackson is the county seat of Madison County. The town was an important railroad town during the Civil War. While in Jackson, you can visit the grave of John Luther Jones and the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum located in Casey Jones Village. Be sure to see Jackson's historic Post Office turned courthouse building that was built in 1932. From Jackson, it is a 130 mile drive east on I-40 to Nashville or a 90 mile drive west on I-40 to Memphis.

      Bison in the Land Between the Lakes in Tennessee.