• Trail of Tears artwork and trail walk

    Trail Of Tears

    National Historic Trail AL,AR,GA,IL,KY,MO,NC,OK,TN

Management

  • Established in 1987
  • 5,045 miles long (2013)
 

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 Cherokee detachments followed westward. Today the trail encompasses about 4,900 miles of land and water routes, and traverses portions of nine states.

The National Park Service, in partnership with other federal, state, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners, administers the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Participating national historic trail sites display the official trail logo.

Certification

Challenge Cost Share

Trail of Tears NHT Logo
 

National Trails System
The National Historic Trails System, established by the National Trails System Act of 1968, commemorates historic routes and promotes their preservation, and development for public use. National Historic Trails recognize diverse facets of history such as prominent past routes of exploration, migration, trade, communication and military action. The historic trails generally consist of remnant sites and trail segments, and thus are not necessarily contiguous. Although National Historic Trails are administered by federal agencies, land ownership may be in public or private hands.

Learn more about the National Trails System, including National Historic, Scenic, and Recreation Trails. View the National Trails System map.
 

Our Mission
We collaborate with partners to provide leadership and coordination in the planning, protection, development, and interpretation of our national historic trails and Route 66 for public use and benefit.

Did You Know?

Elkhorn Tavern at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Thousands of Cherokee people lost their lives during their forced removal from their homelands in the Southeast to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the late 1830s. Road conditions, illness, and miserable weather conditions all took their toll on the Trail of Tears, now a National Historic Trail.