Trail of Tears Association

Supporting the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Railroad Bed: Cherokees traveling west on the Water Route had to use the railroad starting in Decatur because Muscle Shoals was not navigable.

Elkhorn Tavern at Pea Ridge National Military Park: Cherokees passed by this structure during their removal west.

“Remember the Removal” Bike Riders pose in front of the Vann House State Historic Site in Chatsworth.

A stretch of the Original Route of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail on Old Golconda Road in Pope County.

TOTA President Jack Baker speaks at the memorial grave marking of two Cherokee chiefs, Fly Smith and Whitepath, who died along the Trail of Tears in Hopkinsville.

Visitors walk part a section of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail at the Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson.

Unicoi Turnpike roadbed: This ancient trading route of the Cherokee was used during their forced removal west on the Trail of Tears.

Cherokee National Choir singers perform at the Oklahoma chapter’s grave marking of survivors of the Trail of Tears in the town of Grove.

Visitors to Cherokee Removal Memorial Park in Meigs County stand at the overlook of the Blythe’s Ferry site where many Cherokees left their homelands for the forced removal west.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Map

Trail of Tears Association

The Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) is a non-profit, membership organization formed in 1993 to support the creation, development, and interpretation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Designated as a national historic trail by Congress in 1987, the Trail commemorates the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their homelands in the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in 1838 - 1839. In 1993, the Association entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) to promote and engage in the protection and preservation of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail resources; to promote awareness of the Trail's legacy, including the effects of the U.S. Government's Indian Removal Policy on the Cherokees and other tribes (primarily the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole); and to perpetuate the management and development techniques that are consistent with the National Park Service's trail plan.

TOTA, a citizens' organization of national and international members, has state chapters in the nine states through which the Trail traverses. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. State chapters address the more specific issues in each state, such as membership development, chapter organization and other efforts that assist the Association and the National Park Service in achieving their goals and objectives.