The park site was the last seat of government for the Cherokee Nation before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by the U.S. military, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate west. Eleven general councils were held between 1832 and 1837. Red Clay is where the Trail of Tears began, for it was at the Red Clay Council Grounds that the Cherokee learned that they had lost their mountains, streams, and valleys forever.
This part of our history offers grim accounts of this time period. I believe as we learn about the past, we can transform how we live in the future. I would strongly encourage you to take some time to learn about our history in this scenic setting with beautiful trails. The park manager, Ranger Erin, would love to see you at the visitor center and a picnic could be a great addition to your day of visiting Red Clay. Don’t miss the film, it is incredible!