Visiting Red Clay State Historic Park
Thrive Bucket List #38
Red Clay is where the Trail of Tears originated, for it was at the Red Clay Council Grounds where the Cherokee first learned that they would be forcibly removed from their tribal lands forever.
-A Watershed Moment Map and Vision
Blog Post by Hallie Dunham
The Thrive Regional Partnership’s Generation Thrive accepted the Thrive Bucket List Challenge to explore 36 of the tristate region's unique natural treasures last Sat., Aug. 5, when they visited Bradley County, Tennessee’s Red Clay State Historic Park. Tanner DeHart, Hallie Dunham and Jordan Taylor explored the park with the Generation Thrive mascot, Hans.
The park was busier than usual because of the first annual Cherokee Celebration, which brought together artists, artisans and ambassadors from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.
Visitors were encouraged to speak with the artists to learn why they make their artwork and the meaning behind it. Art ranged from dreamcatchers to local food.
“Once we wondered from the celebration area, we found the Blue Hole Spring, the Eternal Flame and historic homes of the Cherokee,” said Dunham. “The scenery was beautiful, the humidity was low, and with the help of a park map, there are lots of historic and natural features to explore.”
Park rangers and volunteers led interpretive programs throughout the park as a part of the celebration.
The Eternal Flame of the Cherokee was a crowd favorite on Saturday. “We got our photo taken with the Generation Thrive mascot, Hans,” added Dunham. The Eternal Flame at Red Clay serves as a memorial for the lives lost during the forced removal west in 1838, famously known as the Trail of Tears.
Generation Thrive gives an enthusiastic “thumbs up” for people, especially families to visit Red Clay, with or without a special event.
The park is located in Bradley County, Tennessee, just over the border from Whitfield County, Georgia. For more information visit Tennessee State Parks.
Anyone can participate in the Thrive Bucket List Challenge. Visit the Watershed Moment Map and Vision for the region’s natural treasures, visit the unique natural and cultural areas highlighted on the map, then post on your social media with the hashtag #ThriveBucketList.