Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears cuts deep into the Crowley's Ridge soil at Village Creek State Park.
With few exceptions, all American Indian tribes subjected to Indian removal came, by land or water, through Arkansas during their journey westward. At several Arkansas state parks, you can walk a segment of the actual route, or view it from above at an overlook, and gain new perspective on what happened along the Trail of Tears.
The Western Cherokee settled near here in the late 1700s, and established towns, plantations and the Dwight Mission school. Almost 50 years later, the Trail of Tears brought all five tribes through here by water or land. Lake Dardanelle State Park is an NPS-certified site of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. It's a great location to learn the history of the Trail of Tears, as this is one of the few location where stories of all five tribes can be told.
Scenic overlooks at Sunrise Point and Sunset Point provide dramatic vistas of the Arkansas River, the water route of the Congressionally-designated National Historic Trail of Tears. It also overlooks the area where the Western Cherokee settled in the late 1700s.
Overlooks at the east and west ends of Petit Jean Mountain provide dramatic vistas of the Arkansas River, the water route of the Congressionally designated National Historic Trail: The Trail of Tears.
This 1,011-foot peak has been a landmark overlooking the Arkansas River for centuries. American Indians undoubtedly saw it as they moved up the river by boat. Overlooks at the park visitor center provide spectacular views of the water route used by the Indians, and offers a glimpse into the poignant history of the Trail of Tears.
Within the rolling hills and forests of this 6,909-acre park is a section of Bell's route of the Trail of Tears listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This segment of the old Memphis-to-Little Rock road is cut deep into the Crowley's Ridge loessial soil, and has been touted as the most dramatic remaining section of the Indian removal route. It provides sobering, vivid imagery about what happened along the Trail of Tears.