During our ongoing drive back and forth between Atlanta and St. Louis we continue to search for places to stop off at. We try to stop every couple hours to stretch out our legs a little bit, but after years of traveling back and forth we have to get a bit more creative. On a more recent drive we stopped off at Trail of Tears Commemorative Park. The park is located in Hopkinsville, TN and is about 20 minutes away from the highway, making it a little further, but still within a reasonable distance.
As the name suggests, the park is a part of the historic and tragic trail of tears. The historic site was actually a documented part of the trail of tears that forced Cherokee to be removed from their homes and walk across a large portion of the United States (Georgia to Oklahoma) to the land the government had set aside and deemed Cherokee land. The trail of tears led to the death of thousands of Cherokee people. The park served as a camp along the trail, and two Cherokee chiefs are buried there. There is a small heritage center that has select hours, and the cabin is actually an original structure that was part of the trail. Each year the park also hosts a powwow, and, although we haven’t attended this powwow, we have attended several in the past and encourage you to visit one to learn more about the diverse and fascinating culture of the Native Americans. Besides the heritage center, there is a map outlining the trail, a monument, and a small park to roam about. Trail of Tears Commemorative Park is a small, but deeply important park as it remembers the lives lost and helps to also demonstrate the resiliency of the Cherokee people as they continue to thrive.