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 parks grounds. Legend says that Nancy Bushyhead Hildebrand died and was buried within the parks boundaries. The Bushyhead Memorial is a tribute to all the Cherokee who died on the trail. The parks visitor center features exhibits that interpret the forced relocation, as well as the parks 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 parks 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. An accessible overlook provides a majestic view of the river and beyond.
The first 1/3 of the trail was challenging to difficult with many hills and dry creek bed crossings - if one follows the red highlighted trail clockwise. the last part of the trail is actually a blacktop road. It is probably about a half mile. Other routes will avoid the blacktop. There was some vegetation leaning over the trail in some or more areas. long pants is suggested. Trail markers were nonexistent for about the first mile clockwise to the first 't'. Enjoy.
Amy L. on Trail of Tears State Park Pee-Wah T...
Beautiful hike! Can't wait to do it again!
Lots of steep inclines! Was a blast but definitely a workout for my first actual hike. The river was flooded so we couldn't go all the way around the trail, so I will have to go back whenever the river recedes. Would love to do this trail in a bit cooler temperatures as the exertion and humidity made me wet all over with sweat. Still, it was a lot of fun with great views of the river.
I hiked the Peewah trail two weeks ago. It is an awesome trail. I started on the red line, but I ended up on the yellow line because I thought that was the longer trail. I guess I should of been more aware of my trail before I started. If I ever visit Missouri again, I will definitely hike here again!!
I did this trail two weeks ago. It was 90 degrees with 64% humidity...yes I was crazy!! It was definitely a hike. It was suppose to be a loop hike, but it rained and the Mississippi River was flooded. When I got 1.8 miles into my hike, I had to turn around and go back due to the flooding. It was a climb uphill almost the whole way back. I also got eaten alive by mosquitos and a special horsefly that would not leave me alone. My fault though because I didn't use bug spray before my hike! I would definitely do this hike again, but I was there visiting/working for two weeks on assignment.
This was a fabulous hike. I took the red section (about 5.75mi) and enoyed the trail. It is definately very wooded, trail was covered in leaves for the season, but was a very good trail. It was very peaceful, not too many people on it for a Sunday mid day.