|Trail Length: 1.2 miles||Type of trail: Loop|
|County: Gordon County, GA||Our rating: Moderate|
|Features: stream, historic||Your rating:|
|Usage:||Added on: April 21, 2002|
|Last hiked: April 21, 2002||Updated on: February 05, 2009|
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Hiking trails in Gordon County, GA
At New Echota State Park, in Calhoun, Georgia, the New Town Trail takes you into a part of the park that was heavily used by the Cherokee who came to the town during the council meetings, but where only limited building had occurred by the time the Cherokee were forced to move west on Trail of Tears.
New Echota was the capital for the Cherokee from the start of the early nationalist movement on which the Cherokee embarked after being forced by settlers from land to the east and north. Today the park is a quiet testiment to the nation that flourished in North Georgia from 1792 to 1838. On the site is the re-creation of the office of the Cherokee Phoenix, the home of Samuel Worcestor, or a tavern owned by James Vann. In addition to these are two government buildings, the Cherokee Supreme Court and the National Council House. There are other structures including a homestead owned by a Cherokee.
About halfway through the town, the well-marked entrance to Newtown Trail comes off the path to the left. As you follow the interpreted trail it falls to a river crescent. There was plenty of wildlife in this area, especially the river birds you would expect to see. Keep your eyes peeled for golden eagles, which, although we didn't see any, are known to inhabit this area.
Newtown Trail rises gradually as you move away from the river, deeper into the woods. At the top of a small knoll an overlook permits a view of a camping area used by Cherokee who visited the town during Council meetings. When the council was in session the town would swell from 50 to 5,000, and many would camp here.
The trail continues to its end at the home of missionary Samuel Worcestor. Called "Messenger" by his Cherokee companions, Worcestor was hated by the government of Georgia, who feared he might be able to halt the settlers incursions onto Cherokee land. It was the Supreme Court ruling in Worcestor vs. the State of Georgia that declare the Cherokee Nation sovereign and forced Andrew Jackson to negotiate the corrupt Treaty of New Echota with a faction of the Cherokee Nation.
The trail itself measured 1.2 miles, however, if you include the walk to see New Echota, we measured the distance at 2.0 miles.
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia