What to do in Red Clay State Historic Park

The park encompasses 263-acres of narrow valleys formerly used as cotton and pasture land. There are also forested ridges that average 200 feet or more above the valley floor.

Being a historic park, Red Clay is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Cherokee history. The James F. Corn Interpretive Center, located near the park entrance, houses the park administrative offices, a theater, a resource reading room, and exhibits. This facility contains artifacts and documents that emphasize the 19th-century Cherokee history and culture. Replicas of a Cherokee farmstead and Council House of the period show how the area might have looked 150 years ago. The great council spring is located near the Council House and is accessible by a paved trail designed to accommodate the handicapped. The council spring is about 15 feet deep, and produces over 504,000 gallons of water a day.

The site contains a natural landmark, the great council spring or Blue Hole, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill reek, a tributary of the Consasauga and Coosa River system. The spring was used by the Cherokee for their water supply during council meetings.

Other points of interest are Chief John Ross cabin site, Nancy Ward grave site, Chattanooga Choo-Choo; Rock City, Chattanooga Aquarium, Ruby Falls and Hiwassee River.

Recreation
Recreational activities at this park are viewing the museum and picnicking.

Location
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County in Tennessee, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line.

From Chattanooga, on I-75, take exit 3-A (E. Brainerd Rd.), travel 8 miles East on Brainerd Rd., turn right on London Lane for 2.3 miles. Continue traveling straight on to Keith Road for .5 mile, turn left on Mt. Vernon Rd., travel for 4 miles. Turn left on Old Apison Rd., travel for 7 miles. Turn left on Red Clay Park Road and travel 1.5 miles to the park.

Climate
Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees. Summer's full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cool fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant fall colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall foliage.

Address
1140 Red Clay Park Road S.W.
Cleveland, TN 37311

Phone: 423-478-0339

  • Red Clay State Historic Park Travel Q&A

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