Red Clay was the last seat of Cherokee government before the tribe's forced removal on the Trail of Tears. The spring on site supplied water during council meetings of chiefs. The Cherokee capital was moved here from Georgia in 1832 when that state stripped the tribe of the right to govern itself.
The Trail of Tears actually began here as well, and the site includes forts and holding pens where the Cherokee were held while awaiting removal. The site contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek, a tributary of the Conasauga and Coosa River system.
Cherokee Days of Recognition has been a major event at the site for 30 years, attracting both those with Native American heritage and those who simply want to learn more about Cherokee heritage.
Tennessee Vacation eGuide
The 2016 eGuide gives you instant access to Tennessee’s irresistible attractions and destinations. Peruse venues online, then put in your order to get a free guide delivered to your doorstep.