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Missouri: Trail of Tears State Park
Posted on Friday, January 19 @ 23:17:23 CST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails 429 Moccasin Springs
Jackson, MO 63755 (573) 334-1711

The tragic history that gives Trail of Tears State Park its name provides a sharp contrast to the peaceful, serene setting and the abundance of recreational opportunities enjoyed by visitors today. 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.

Trails

Trail of Tears State Park offers 14.5 miles of trail within the park's 3415-acres.
Peewah Trail -- 10 miles
Peewah is an Indian word meaning "come follow in this direction." This trail offers visitors access to the most remote areas of the park. Winding through Indian Creek Wild Area, this trail is approximately 10 miles long and is open to hikers, backpackers and equestrian riders. The trail is divided into four different sections by following various loops of the trail. The green section takes visitors to an overlook located along the Mississippi River and is approximately 1.5-miles round trip. The yellow loop is 3.4 miles and meanders along the Mississippi for a short distance. The red loop is a little under six miles.
Sheppard Point Trail -- 2 miles
This trail is a two-mile loop trail that ascends to the top of a beautiful bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The trail is considered difficult and is open only to hikers due to the rugged terrain.
Lake Trail -- 2 miles
The picturesque Lake Trail winds around the basic campground and along a portion of Lake Boutin for approximately two miles. Nature Trail -- 0.5 miles
Nature Trail is the shortest trail in the park. Visitors have spotted white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits and gray squirrels while hiking along this easy trail.

Directions to Trail of Tears State Park

From St. Louis
Trail of Tears State Park is approximately two to two and one-half hours from the St. Louis area. Travel south on I-55 to Exit 105 (Fruitland/Jackson). Take Hwy. 61 north for approximately one mile. Turn right onto Hwy. 177 and continue for seven miles. At the four-way stop in front of the Proctor and Gamble Plant, turn right to stay on Hwy. 177. Continue on Hwy. 177 for another 2.8 miles. The entrance to the state park will be on the left right before the Hwy. 177/Route V intersection.
From Jefferson City
Trail of Tears State Park is approximately four hours from the Jefferson City area. Travel east on U.S. Hwy. 50 until it ends at I-44 (just past Union). Take I-44 east to Hwy. 141; proceed south to I-55. Take I-55 south Exit 105 (Fruitland/Jackson). Travel north on Hwy. 61 for approximately one mile. Turn right onto Hwy. 177 and continue for seven miles. At the four-way stop in front of the Proctor and Gamble Plant, turn right to stay on Hwy. 177. Continue on Hwy. 177 for another 2.8 miles. The entrance to the state park will be on the left right before the Hwy. 177/Route V intersection.
From Springfield/Joplin
Trail of Tears State Park is approximately five hours from the Springfield area. Travel east on I-44 to U.S. Hwy. 65. Take U.S. Hwy. 64 south to U.S. Hwy. 60. Travel east on U.S. Hwy. 60 to I-55 near Miner. Take I-55 north to Exit 105 (Fruitland/Jackson). Travel north on Hwy. 61 for approximately one mile. Turn right onto Hwy. 177 and continue for seven miles. At the four-way stop in front of the Proctor and Gamble Plant, turn right to stay on Hwy. 177. Continue on Hwy. 177 for another 2.8 miles. The entrance to the state park will be on the left right before the Hwy. 177/Route V intersection.
From Carbondale, Ill.
Trail of Tears State Park is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes from Carbondale, Ill. Travel south on U.S. Hwy. 51 to IL 146. Stay on IL 146 as it becomes Hwy. 34/74. Turn right onto Hwy. 177 and continue for 12.3 miles. At the stop sign at the junction of Hwy. 177 and Route V, turn right to stay on Hwy. 177. The entrance to the state park will be on the right almost immediately after turning onto Hwy. 177.
From Memphis, Tenn.
Trail of Tears State Park is approximately three and one-half hours from Memphis. Travel west on I-40 to I-55. Take Exit 277 toward Blytheville/Jonesboro and merge onto I-55 heading north. Continue on I-55 for 170 miles to Exit 105 (Fruitland/Jackson). Travel north on Hwy. 61 for approximately one mile. Turn right onto Hwy. 177 and continue for seven miles. At the four-way stop in front of the Proctor and Gamble Plant, turn right to stay on Hwy. 177. Continue on Hwy. 177 for another 2.8 miles. The entrance to the state park will be on the left right before the Hwy. 177/Route V intersection.

For more information: http://www.mostateparks.com/trailoftears.htm

 
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