The Bell Route
On October 11, 1838, 660 Cherokee led by John Adair Bell left from Fort Cass (present day Charleston, Tennessee) to begin an arduous 700-mile journey. Weak and miserable from being held in removal camps, the people in the Bell detachment who passed through here banded together, staying close to family members for the long trek.
Walk in Their Footsteps
You are invited to walk along the same path the Cherokee traveled on the Trail of Tears in 1838. It was a cold and wet November as they trudged by, not even half way to their destination to Indian Territory.
The Cherokee that passed through here left their home in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee with 56 wagons and 318 horses.
The journey had already been a trying one, as they were faced with terrible road conditions that slowed their progress. Imagine how the numbers of people and wagons would have mired an already muddy road.
The Bell detachment that traveled through here lost 23 of its members along the route due to exhaustion and illness before the group of weary travelers arrived in Evansville, Arkansas, on January 7, 1839.
A Safe Visit
The Trail of Tears interpretive retracement trail is just over 2,5 miles long one way. As you hike the trail, you will see signs indicating when you are on the original historic route.
For a safe and enjoyable visit, please:
· Pay attention to trail signs
· Stay on the trail
· Share your hiking plans with friends or family
· Wear appropriate shoes and clothes for hiking
· Be aware of ticks, poison ivy, and snakes
· Carry a bottle of water and snacks
· Help keep the trail litter free and leave no trace
Please help preserve the traces of the past for future generations.
Main Road through Park
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail - Retracement Trail
Shoals Creek Trail/Waterfall Trail