Red Clay State Historic Area Park
by HOWARD PIERCE Banner photographer
Mar 02, 2014 | 796 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Red Clay Historic Park
Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
THE VISITORS CENTER at Red Clay State Historic Park encompasses the James F. Corn Interpretive facility which contains exhibits telling the stories of the 19th century Cherokee and the Trail of Tears, and featuring Cherokee art, a video theater, gift shop and a small library.
view slideshow (8 images)
Sometimes the greatest treasures are overlooked and sitting in our own backyard. The slightly remote, yet quite accessible, Red Clay State Historic Park is a treasure of Bradley County.

The park has a reputation as a location for picnics with 18 tables and a large pavilion equipped with restrooms, a grill, water fountain and its own fireplace. The pavilion is set to accommodate groups as large as 100 people with reservations gladly accepted for up to a year in advance.

Encompassing an area of 260+ acres, the family and pet friendly Red Clay provides plenty of space for a variety of activities including both easy and moderate hiking trails; various fields, some large enough and appropriate for sports such as flag football, soccer and ultimate frisbee; two amphitheaters; and Mill Creek, a great place to cool the kids off on hot summer days.

Mill Creek’s water flow is supplied by the Blue Hole Spring, a key natural landmark to Red Clay’s history.

At one point, Red Clay was the last council grounds for the Cherokee government before it was forced into the Trail of Gears. The spring supplied the water during council meetings.

Dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the Cherokee nation, Red Clay celebrates the proud heritage as well as remembers the turbulent past that drove the Cherokee clans (seven of them) from the region and westward on the Trail of Tears.

Red Clay is open year round with limited hours during the winter. Beginning this weekend, the park gates open at 8 a.m. and remain open until dark.

To get to Red Clay State Historic Park, head south on Dalton Pike (about 6.5 miles south of Waterville Elementary) and turn right onto Weatherly Switch Trail S.E. and follow the signs.