Trail of Tears State Park
Open: Open all year
Number of Sites: 52
Number of Sites with Electric: 10
Number of Sites with Electric and Water: 7
The 3,415-acre park is a memorial to the Cherokee Indians that lost their lives in a forced relocation, as well as a place for visitors to participate in a variety of outdoor adventures.
The park is located on the site where nine of 13 groups of Cherokee Indians crossed the Mississippi River in harsh winter conditions in 1838-39. Thousands lost their lives on the trail, including dozens on or near the park’s grounds. Legend says that Nancy Bushyhead Hildebrand died and was buried within the park’s boundaries. The Bushyhead Memorial is a tribute to all the Cherokee who died on the trail. The park’s visitor center features exhibits that interpret the forced relocation, as well as the park’s many natural features.
Today, numerous picnic sites are scattered throughout the park and campsites are available in a wooded area and near the river. Anglers can cast their lines in either the Mississippi River or the 20-acre Lake Boutin, stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish. The park’s numerous trails offer opportunities for hiking, backpacking, primitive camping and equestrian pursuits. In winter, the bluffs and cliffs along the river are noted as roosting sites for bald eagles.
Trail of Tears State Park offers basic, electric and electric, water and sewer campsites and a special-use camping area. On-season (April through October) services include reservable sites, a dump station, showers, water and laundry. Campers planning to carry in firewood must comply with current firewood advisories. The special-use camping area is by reservation only for group camping. It offers campers a large area to set up multiple tents, vault toilets, picnic tables and a fire pit.
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