Native plants played a significant role in the daily life of the Creek Indian civilization that inhabited the Chattahoochee Valley until relocation to Oklahoma in the 19th century. During the Woodland Period, the local inhabitants were skilled hunters and gatherers of native plants, nuts, and fruits. During the Mississippian Period (A.D. 700-1000) the Indian culture matured in its corn based agricultural practices and became less dependent upon readily available native trees and shrubs for survival.
The purpose of the Interpretive Trail is to acquaint the visitor with the uses native plants in the daily life of the native americans. Three major topics of use are as medicine, food, and as household items. For example, yaupon holly (llex vomitoria) was valued for its quality as a purgative, useful in treating stomach disorders. The Creeks also made a strong black tea called A-cee from the leaves. This drink was consumed daily and by men on special ceremonial occasions. To the Creeks, A-cee was a powerful stimulant and medicine.
From this vantage point, looking east one overlooks the Chattahoochee River Valley landscape. Fort Benning Reservation is on the horizon; the stickball field is in the foreground.
This walking trail and Indian heritage interpretive exhibit is made possible through the generous support of the J.W. and Ethel I. Woodruff Foundation of Columbus, Georgia and the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Other Contributors to the interpretive trail include:
Russell County Commission
Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Association
Historic Chattahoochee Commission
Alabama Department of Transportation (ISTEA Grant Program)
Faith Birkhead, Illustrations