Mantle Rock Preserve
You can hike a portion of the Trail of Tears at The Nature Conservancy's Mantle Rock Preserve in Livingston County, Kentucky. The outdoor exhibits, featured below, guide the retracement experience (walk the original trail).
They Passed This Way - An orientation to the history of the Trail of Tears.
Exploring Mantle Rock - An orientation to the hiking and retracement trail and an overview of the events that occurred in the Mantle Rock Preserve area.
The Nature Conservancy - Highlights the natural wonders of Mantle Rock Preserve and introduces the role of The Nature Conservancy in protecting special places. (586 KB pdf)
Walk in Their Footsteps - Located where the visitor first steps onto the historic road that was followed on the Trail of Tears, this exhibit presents the reality of the Cherokee's 800-mile journey.
A Changed Landscape - Describes the conservation work done to return this area to a healthy prairie. (171 KB pdf)
Witness to History - Places the lifespan of a tree into the story of the Trail of Tears. (431 KB pdf)
Protecting the Glades - Tiny wonders can be found in the rare glade habitat of the preserve. (174 KB pdf)
A Winter Camp - This portion of the Trail of Tears journey occurred during a bitter cold winter. (437 KB pdf)
The Original Route - Indicates the end of the retracement trail experience and shows where the Trail of Tears continued from this point. (438 KB pdf)
The Real Story of Mantle Rock - Local stories place the Cherokee camp under Mantle Rock. Find out if the Cherokee did indeed camp at this spot. (275 KB pdf)
Did You Know?
After their removal to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the late 1830s, Cherokee people established tribal government headquarters in Tahlequah, developed a constitution, and maintained a bilingual school system. Their experiencess are commemorated on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.