Trail of Tears State Park

Trail of Tears State Park is located adjacent to the Mississippi River.  In 1804 Meriwether Lewis rode a custom made, 55-keelboat down the Ohio River and joined William Clark in Clarksville, Indiana.  From there, Clark took the boat down the Ohio River and then up the Mississippi River passing by this spot.   There is a Lewis and Clark wayside exhibit located at the main overlook within Trail of Tears State Park.   The ADA accessible overlook is located roughly 160 feet above the Mississippi River.  The overlook gives you a great view of upstream, downstream and across the river into Illinois.

The park marks another tragic event later in American history.  In 1838 and 1839 the Cherokee were forced from their homes in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee and were moved to the Indian Territory, known as Oklahoma today.  There were 17 detachments of Cherokee.  A few detachments traveled by steamboat along the Tennessee River, Ohio River, Mississippi River to the Arkansas River into Indian Territory.  However the majority used the Northern land route and crossed the Mississippi River within Trail of Tears State Park.  Moccasin Springs Road in front of the Visitor Center is part of the original route.

The park has a Visitor Center with exhibits and a video about the Cherokee Removal, two campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas and a lake where you can fish and swim.

Contact Information

Park Staff
Reservations and Information:
573-290-5268 or 573-290-5284

Moccasin Springs Road, Jackson, Missouri 63755, United States

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Other Information

  • Hours Open

    The park is open year round. Roads may be closed due to snow or ice. The Visitor Center is only open on Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4 mid-March through April. The Visitor Center is open 9-5 Wednesday through Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday May through October.
  • Seasons Open

    The park is open year round. The Visitor Center is open seasonally. Please consult the webpage.
  • Prices and Fees

    No entrance fees. There are camping fees.
  • Accessibility

    Several areas of the park are accessible including; the Visitor Center, the Bushyhead Memorial, one ADA campsite with 30 amp electric service, the shower house, the swim area and overlook.
  • Eco Friendly Notes

    No parking on the grass.
  • Pet Friendly Notes

    Pets must be on a leash at all times. Only federally recognized service animals are allowed in the Visitor Center.