State parks to hold Trail of Tears commemoration | Events
Lake Guntersville State Park, along with other state and regional parks, are 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 will be held throughout the day.
There will be a welcome at 9 a.m. at the lodge, folowed by a hike on King's Chapel Trail. Hikers will be led one mile into the park to view one of the largest historic marker trees, bent and shaped by Mative Americans. Gina Williamson of the United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya will lead a trail blessing at 10:30 a.m. This will be followed by a symbolic walk on the Trail of Tears route at 11 a.m.
All visitors to Alabama’s state and national parks are encouraged to bike, hike, and paddle these 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.
By keeping a log of the distances that one hikes, bikes, and/or paddles, the parks and Trail of Tears Association are commemorating the efforts with special keepsakes. 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. These milestones may be reached at all participating parks, some, or one. They include Russell Cave National Monument, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Lake Guntersville State Park, and DeSoto State Park.
The Sept. 28 event is free and available for all ages. Lunch and afternoon events will be inside the Lodge and include several folklore presenters.
For more information, call Lake Guntersville State Park at 256-571-5445, or visit www.alapark.com.
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