New Echota, founded in 1825, was the first and final capitol of the "unified" Cherokee Nation. The park, now a Georgia Historical Site, is located just off Interstate 75 on highway 225, about an hour north of Atlanta. Here, in what quickly became a bustling little town, hopes of a sovereign government for the Cherokee were both nurtured, then extinguished. Here is where the leaders of a nation of proud immigrants signed a treaty that surrendered their land to a new breed of immigrants. Yes, you read that right; the Cherokee were immigrants.

It is believed that the Cherokee migrated from the north and nudged the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to the south and west. The Cherokee migrated south for the same reasons so many other northerners do: a warmer climate, and seemingly abundant natural resources (and a retreat from the European invasion). In 1825, the well armed and aggressive European immigrants were moving south at a rapid pace.

The landscape and structures of New Echota capture a key period in the history of the Cherokee. A place where they almost overcame (or assimilated). They had a government very similar to the United States: a constitution, a written language, and, as a nation, a relative amount of wealth. There were those that opposed their "progress" and newly adopted European characteristics. The opposition came from the newly-formed state of Georgia, the US government,  and a good number of the Cherokee themselves. When the "friendly" European visitors discovered gold within Cherokee territory, the onslaught began. The end to any hope of peacefully coexisting with the white settlers was near.

To make a long story short, the Cherokee leaders signed a treaty that either forsook their brethren, or the chieftains sacrificed their own lives for the sake of their people. They were outnumbered and outgunned. What choice did they have? President Andrew Jackson had ignored the Supreme Court's decision to let the Cherokee keep their land, and it would be taken either by force or coercion.

The Cherokee opponents of the treaty retaliated quite violently. The endorsers of the "Treaty of New Echota" were assassinated. The remaining Cherokee were removed. Within ten years of the proud founding of a capitol city, the Cherokee were gone. The endorsers of the "Treaty of New Echota" were assassinated, and the balance of Cherokee were marched West to Oklahoma. 

The march west eventually became known as the Trail of Tears. Women, children, and the elderly were forced to walk much of the way. The cruel cold of winter took about 4,000 of the 15,000 remaining Cherokee. A once proud nation was suddenly silenced. Today, New Echota is an echo of the best of times, and a reminder of the tragic end of a legacy.

Visiting New Echota evokes a range of emotions from amazement and admiration to sorrow and shame. It's a place you must visit if at all possible. It's a history that must not be forgotten.

Unfortunately, New Echota, like all of Georgia's state parks, has suffered severe budget cuts. Unless you visit during an event like Frontier Day, you might not be able to tour some of  the buildings. You certainly will not see the demonstrations. Volunteers are doing their best to keep as much of the site open as often as possible.

Currently (October 2011) the operating hours are like this:
Hours: Thursday-Saturday / 9AM-5PM
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Note: The Cherokee were but one tribe of Native Americans evicted from their land in the 1830's. For information about the Creek Nation's Trail of tears, click here.

Adventure Journal
Entry Date: October 2011
Rebecca and I both grew up in this area, so we have visited New Echota numerous times throughout our lives. We have tried to take the children to the site fairly often so they can learn the history of the area as well as the people that were here before us.

Once a year, New Echota Historical Site hosts a mid-October event called Frontier Day. The Richardson Tribe has attended several of these events over the past few years (see a few below). During this year's Frontier Day, Rebecca was feeling under the weather, so I loaded the munchkins in "Willie B" the Jeep and headed east.

Little has changed over the past few years at New Echota. There are about a dozen structures on the property. Some are replicas or transplants. Several existed during the period of the Cherokee occupation. On pioneer Day, most of the old buildings are occupied and busy. We started in the museum. Although the kids had been here before, they always seem to discover something new. We took our time in the small museum area because there was a long line of people waiting to enter the park. I was impressed at the volume of people. This is good for the Georgia parks system. 

Exiting the rear of the museum brought us to the first of about 12 structures on the property. The first grouping is a sample of a Cherokee farmstead. Various volunteers and craftspeople are stationed at the corn crib and cabin. The kids got to taste real hand-churned butter and buttermilk. There was a real artist doing face painting there too. When we entered the 200+ year old cabin, we had the unique opportunity to see an elderly lady that had been born there.

From there we wandered around the property watching the demonstrations and enjoying refreshments. We all got to try some peach cobbler made in Dutch Ovens. That was yummy. As usual, there were games involving spear/javelin throwing and tomahawk chucking. The kids have all gotten pretty good with the spears since we made some a couple of years ago.

In summary, New Echota is still an awesome place to visit, especially during events like this. It's a shame their budget has left them struggling to keep the doors open. Especially in a year when the state has spent millions on a massive new state park near Newnan.

The Richardson Tribe

Adventure Journal
Entry Date: October 2009
We once again attended the annual Frontier Day at New Echota. The weather was cool and clear, and the activities were as good as last year. Various artisans and history lovers were strategically scattered around the site demonstrating their skills and exhibiting their handywork.

Mr. Le was once again demonstrating flint knapping, but he was also teaching the kids how to throw a spear as well. In the print shop, a man was showing how to set type and print a sheet. Each of the kids got a freshly printed copy of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper in the region, and the first to utilize the Cherokee's new alphabet.

Once again, the kids enjoyed the games and challenges of spear and tomahawk throwing, and archery. It was a beautiful day enjoyed by all.

The Richardson Tribe

Adventure Journal
Entry Date: October 2008
We are very lucky to live so close to New Echota, and we should visit more often. This is our first time to visit during Frontier Day, and we're really glad we did. All the buildings were open with fires roaring in the fireplaces.

There were a number of demonstrations of old-timey arts, crafts, music, weaponry, candle making, leather working, flint knapping, bows and arrows, blow darts, Indian jewelry making, shape note singing, story telling, Dutch oven cooking, and more! All this in one of the most significant historic sites for the Cherokee, and the south in general.

It is fascinating to learn how these people had their own sovereign nation, right here in the Southeast, with three branches of government (just like the U.S.), a Supreme Court, etc etc. This is the site of the Treaty of New Echota, the treaty that resulted in the assassination of the tribal leaders that signed it (including the Great Great Grandfather of Jim Boudinot, seen here) The treaty surrendered all remaining Cherokee land to the state of Georgia and the complete removal of the Cherokee people. New Echota is the origin of the Cherokee  Trail of Tears.
The Richardson Tribe

More Destinations:
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Berry College
Big Kahunas
Biltmore House
Blairsville, Georgia
Callaway Gardens
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cave Spring
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Chattanooga Zoo
Chehaw Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Chieftains Museum
Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
Cloudland Canyon
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Cohutta Wilderness
Cumberland Island
Dauset Trails
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Dunnaway Gap
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
Helen Georgia
Hillcrest Orchards
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Allatoona
Lake Sidney Lanier
Lake Winnepesaukah
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
McIntosh Reserve
McKinney Campground
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Rome GA
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Silver Springs
Stone Mountain Park
Tanglewood Farm
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Townsend KOA
Townsend Tennessee
Twinbrook Resort
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures

Watch for events:
Special Events Coming Soon!


Rating (1-10)


Official website


Georgia's State Parks website is very well done. As usual, more pictures would be great!

Places to camp near New Echota and Calhoun, Georgia


Fort Mountain State Park, Red Top Mountain State Park, McKinney Campground, Doll Mountain Campground, KOA of Calhoun, Salacoa Creek Park



There are a couple of short trails, but most of your walking will be through the large field that once housed the village homes and shops.

Visitor Center/museum


The museum is small but informative. The people working there are very nice and helpful. If you suspect or know of any Cherokee Ancestors, they can probably help you considerably

Geocaching 9 There is a Geocache near here that is very interesting. It's in an old Cherokee cemetery that hosts the tomb of Pathkiller, the principle chief (in title only) of the Cherokee from 1811 to 1827. I should point out that Pathkiller also has a grave in Alabama. I'm not sure which is the right one.

Local Attractions


Rome, Tellus Museum, Booth Western Art Museum, Fort Mountain State Park, Red Top Mountain State Park, McKinney Campground, Doll Mountain Campground, Lake Allatoona, Carters Lake, and much more.

*Note: We rate only the amenities we have personally reviewed.

No financial consideration or favor has been received for listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way affiliated with this facility or any other facility we review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the reviews to be unbiased.

October 2011

October 2009

October 2008