Arkansas - Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears Overlook - Fort Smith
Trail of Tears
The overlook at Fort Smith
National Historic Site is a stop
on the Trail of Tears National
Edge of the Indian Nations
Exhibit panels at Belle Point tell
the stories of the "Five Civilized
Tribes" who were removed to
what is now Oklahoma during
|The Trail of Tears Overlook
as viewed from the ruins of old Fort Smith
For many of the thousands of Native
Americans forcibly removed from their
homes in the Southeast to new lands
in what is now Oklahoma, Fort Smith
was the "end of the trail."
The old frontier fort stood on the edge
of the Indian Territory, lands reserved
by the Federal government for the
Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw,
Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole.
Many Native American families
received supplies here before
traveling on into Oklahoma to
establish their new homes. Soldiers
assigned to the Indian Territory were
also supplied through Fort Smith and
in later years U.S. Marshals based at
the old fort helped Tribal Police clear
their lands of outlaws who were
preying on Native American families.
The old fort is now a National Historic
Site and a stop on the Trail of Tears
National Scenic Trail. The Visitor
Center and grounds include displays
about the Trail of Tears.
Fort Smith National Historic Site is located on
the Arkansas River in downtown Fort Smith,
Arkansas. The park includes the ruins and
surviving buildings of two frontier forts, the
original "Hell on the Border" jail, a
reconstructed gallows, VIsitor Center and the
Trail of Tears Overlook.
To reach the Overlook from the main parking
lot, simply follow the well-marked paved
walkway to the banks of the river.