Last updated: May 21, 2023
History and recreation go hand in hand in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Consider this trip idea for a bicycle day in town! Bring your own bike or take advantage of the VeoRide Bikeshare Program that offers regular bikes as well as electronic "pedal-assist" bikes to rent through an app at multiple sites around the city for the public to use. Be sure to have a map - either on paper or your smartphone!
Stop 1: Trail of Tears Park and Historic Site
Trail of Tears Park and Memorial, 1100 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Fayetteville, AR 72701
This small corner park adjacent to the high school and on university property offers a surprising peaceful experience for a busy traffic area. Exhibits describe the camp of 1,200 Cherokee that rested here in January 1839. The nearby water source, which runs across the street parallel to the road and recreation trail, made this place a good camp site.
Stop 2: Tsa-la-gi Trail Segment of the Razorback Greenway
Tsa La Gi Trail Corridor, Fayetteville, AR 72701
From the Trail of Tears Park, cross Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd at the stoplight. The trail is just beyond the small creek running parallel to the road. The trail segment’s name, Tsa-La-Gi, is the word for “Cherokee” in the Cherokee language, and the trail roughly follows one of the routes of the Trail of Tears, the path taken by Cherokee people during their forced migration. You may be able to find a bike at this spot.
Stop 3: Sarah Ridge Home
Sarah Ridge House, 230 W Center St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
The log walls of Sarah Ridge’s home, the oldest house still standing in Fayetteville, are enclosed within the plaster walls of the lower floor of the current house. The home represents the political complexity of Indian Removal that began in the homeland and continued in Indian Territory. Sarah Ridge moved into the home after fleeing Indian Territory (Oklahoma) after the murder of her husband and two others. Learn more about the Sarah Ridge Home. The Ridge House is at 230 W. Center Street in Fayetteville a few blocks west of downtown. The building is not open for public visitation but there is an exhibit outside.
Stop 4: Site of Fayetteville Female Seminary
Site of Female Seminary, 301 W Mountain St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Located just south of Stop 4, the site of the seminary is located at 301 West Mountain Street. Miss Sophia Sawyer founded the Fayetteville Female Seminary in 1839 when she moved to Fayetteville with Sarah Ridge and her seven children. Sawyer had a long relationship with the Ridge family and educating the Cherokee that began in Georgia.
Stop 5: Take a Break Downtown at the Square Gardens
Square Gardens, Downtown Fayetteville, 1 W Center St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
The Fayetteville Square, bounded by Center, East, Block and Mountain streets, has been the hub of commercial activity since the town was founded. First lots were surveyed in 1835.
Also on the square, the Experience Fayetteville Visitors Center can help you find your way back to your vehicle, home, or hotel.