Native Americans of the Southeast

Etowah Historic site Effigies (courtesy of Georgia State Parks)

Etowah Historic site Effigies (courtesy of Georgia State Parks)

Guest Review by Kim Hatcher, Public Affairs Coordinator of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.

Multiple sites along I-75 through GA

Driving I-75 between Atlanta and Chattanooga can become a fun-filled history lesson on Native Americans of the Southeast. At Etowah Indian Mounds (813 Indian Mounds Rd., S.W. Cartersville), kids can burn off energy climbing the 63-foot earthen mound where they can look over the valley and imagine life 1,000 years ago. Look for a fish trap in the Etowah River — this is a V-shaped rock pile that channeled fish into baskets. Look for songbirds, flowers and big trees on the riverside nature trail. The museum has real artifacts found at the site.
(effigies that were discovered at Etowah, now in the museum).

At New Echota Cherokee Capitol (1211 Chatsworth Hwy NE
Calhoun), kids can see a real printing press that was used to create a bi-lingual newspaper. This is a good place to teach about language and how Sequoyah invented the first written Cherokee alphabet. The museum has life-size “people” in traditional dress. This is also where the infamous Trail of Tears had its beginnings when the U.S. government wanted to take over Cherokee land in order to search for gold. A nature trail leads to a beaver pond.

Also nearby is Chief Vann House Historic Site (82 Ga. Highway 225 N
Chatsworth). Kids will enjoy seeing the children’s bedroom with toys.

New Echota Print Shop (courtesy of Georgia State Parks)

New Echota Print Shop (courtesy of Georgia State Parks)

Distance off the interstate: each site 1-5 miles off I-75

Hours and Admission Prices: $3.50-$5 each. Georgia State Parks are currently open only Thursday-Saturday, due to budget cuts.

Website: Find these sites are more at http://gastateparks.org/

Directions: From I-75, the Etowah Indian Mounds are located 5 miles southwest of I-75 exit #288. The New Echota Cherokee Capitol is located one mile east of I-75 exit #317 on Ga. Hwy. 225, and the Chief Vann House Historic Site is located 3 miles west of Chatsworth at the intersection of Ga. Hwys. 225 and 52-A.

Look for more segments on Georgia State Parks in the coming months.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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