On Sept. 28, 2013, the Lake Guntersville State Park, along with other state and regional parks, is commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears with the “800-Miles History Treks on Trails.” An early morning hike, trail blessing, drumming, symbolic walk, lunch and various presentations, artifacts, videos and speakers are scheduled throughout the day.
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail encompasses more than 800 miles of 14 land and water routes that begin in North Carolina and end in Oklahoma. Visitors to Alabama’s state and national parks are encouraged to bike, hike and paddle the routes taken by the people from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole nations when they were pressured in the 1830s to leave their homeland and settle elsewhere.
Participants who keep a log of distances hiked, biked and/or paddled are eligible for special keepsakes being issued by the parks and Trail of Tears Association. The first 500 people to reach these goals will receive the following: 100 miles: a pin; 400 miles: a patch; and 800-mile travelers will receive a Trail of Tears hiking medallion. Alabama participating parks include Russell Cave National Monument, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Lake Guntersville State Park and DeSoto State Park.
This event-filled day of activities is free and available for all ages. A schedule of events is posted at www.alapark.com/LakeGuntersville. For more information, call 256-571-5445 or email Patti Donnellan or Amanda Glover .