A Guide to Northwest Georgia’s Native American Past

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 08:00

Rooted in history and steeped in rich tradition, Georgia’s 18 state historic sites provide picturesque scenery and an in-depth look into the Peach State’s momentous past.


Conveniently located near one another and riddled with educational artifacts and cultural clues, a day trip along I-75 to the following Native American sites will provide visitors with a drivable excursion that promises an eye-opening look into early cultures and the tragic Trail of Tears. Days of operation vary, so be sure to check GaStateParks.org before planning the next family adventure.

Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site

Begin an insightful trek across land that was once inhabited by several thousands of Native Americans from 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D. Located in Cartersville, Ga. – 43.7 miles from Atlanta – the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site contains six large earthen mounds, a plaza, village sites, borrow pits and a defensive ditch laid out over 54-acres of historic land.
Depending on the day of the week and time of year, a variety of themed events and activities are available to participate in while visiting this historically significant destination. Get a history refresh at the on-site museum, relax on riverside benches and enjoy a brisk walk through the nature trail along the glistening Etowah River. Before departing for the next stop, partake in a viewing of the informational short film showed here further depicting the nature of the Native Americans who once called this land home.
For a detailed list of events, facility offerings, nearby attractions and things to do while visiting visit GaStateParks.org/EtowahIndianMounds.

Historic Site Address:

813 Indian Mounds Round SW
Cartersville, GA 30120
Bartow County

New Echota State Historic Site

Continue the exploration of Georgia’s history at one of the most significant Cherokee Indian sites in the nation. In 1825, New Echota State Historic Site – located 29.6 miles from the Etowah Indian Mounds – became the capital of the Cherokee Nation by the Cherokee national legislature. During its short history, this expansive site was the location of one of the first self-governments of an Indian tribe and housed the first Native American language newspaper. Additionally, it’s also the site where the Indian removal treaty was signed, leading to the infamous Trail of Tears and the death of 4,000 people.
Today, 12 of the original and reconstructed buildings still stand tall. To soak up all that this significant site has to offer, enjoy on-site fishing, scenic nature trails, self-guided tours, a visitor center with informative exhibits and a film on the compelling history of New Echota.
For event information, hours of operation and pricing details visit GaStateParks.org/NewEchota.

Historic Site Address:

1211 Chatsworth Highway NE
Calhoun, GA 30701
Gordon County

Chief Vann House State Historic Site

Wrap up the day at a state historic site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the oldest remaining structures in the northern third of the state of Georgia, the Chief Vann House. A mere 24.5 miles from New Echota, Chief Vann House is the first brick residence in the Cherokee Nation. Built by Cherokee Indian leader James Vann in 1804, the 137-acre plantation allows guests to experience guided house tours, a half-mile of winding nature trails, a 19th Century Cherokee farmstead and a visitor center illustrating the impact the Vann family had on the Cherokee Nation. While here, visitors will even see a burn mark from when Georgia’s militia drove the Vann family from their home during Cherokee removal.
For pricing and a comprehensive list of events offered here visit GaStateparks.org/ChiefVannHouse.

Historic Site Address:

82 Highway 225 N
Chatsworth, GA 30705
Murray County

After a long day, revel in the natural beauty that awaits at nearby Cloudland Canyon State Park. Overnight accommodations are available in multiple forms including yurts, cottages and campsites. To reserve accommodations and view additional park offerings visit GaStateParks.org/CloudlandCanyon.


Media Contact:

Brianna Reid