Cherokee Heritage Trails
“It’s always been my belief that we were put here in the beginning. This is our land. This is where our Creator wanted us to be, because this is where he put us. …”
– Marie Junaluska
From the serene peaks of the Balsams to the muddy banks of the Little Tennessee River, Cherokee Heritage Trails wind through the southern Appalachians, telling the story of the Cherokee people, Ani-Kituhwa-gi, who once commanded all of the Southern Appalachians. Although most of the Cherokee were forcibly removed to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838, a small group remained in their homeland, becoming the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Today they own about 57,000 acres – the Qualla Boundary, a remnant of their ancestral lands.
This website provides a framework of the Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook, which includes descriptions of sites and events on the trails, words from Cherokee people, photographs, and maps. Along with a personal Cherokee Trail Guide, one can experience a glimpse of this great culture through driving tours, individual visits to sites, or extended outdoor experiences – hiking, camping, biking, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and whitewater adventure.
Celebrating the rich heritage of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, this guide introduces readers to important sites throughout the Cherokee homeland in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and north Georgia. The book presents Cherokee stories, folk arts, and historical information as well as visiting information for Cherokee historic sites. The Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook offers a journey into the lands and culture of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, introducing the vibrant world of Cherokee heritage, organized around the seven geographical hubs of the original Cherokee homeland.
The Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook ties everything together in a vast tapestry of life and history. Every site presented was chosen by the Cherokee people themselves to represent their heritage and will; help us in our understanding of Cherokee history and culture. Through their words and the imagery presented in the book, the Cherokee people themselves become your personal tour guide on these trails.
For an in-depth look at each one of the interpretive centers along the Cherokee Heritage Trails, including complete articles and quotes, detailed information on all the historical sites, amazing full color photography depicting the land and its people, stories from many of the Cherokee Elders and much more about the wonderful Cherokee culture, make the Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook a part of your personal library. Click here to find out more.