Hickory Nut Gorge
Cherokee have always walked here. Long ago, they developed routes from the mountains to Charlestown. They hunted bison and deer along travel corridors. They traded between villages.
Are you setting out on the trail? Before you go, have a look around. Did you know that you are standing on an ancient trailway right now? An intricate Cherokee trail system evolved throughout this country by contouring through the most accessible gaps, along waterways, and in the path of buffalo. Additionally, this place offered a very special feature. This mountain chain formed “the Great Blue Wall” of mostly impassable mountains. The Cherokee used this natural fortress to protect towns and villages to the west. Here was the gateway to their homelands.
Later, Cherokee trails provided a pathway for settlers and drovers to drive livestock from Tennessee to markets in South Carolina. The Hickory Nut Turnpike improved the road for wagons and the Flying Cloud Stagecoach, which offered lodging at the nearby Sherrill’s Inn. This was also a passageway for the Underground Railway linking people to freedom in the north.
Today, the same routes are paved for autos. We’re glad you’ve gotten out of your car to place your feet in the footsteps of Cherokee, settlers, drovers, loggers, and traders.
With all this travel, it is easy to forget what was when we look at what is. Cherokee remind us all – "We are still here." And all of us, as we walk this trail, join the heritage of this place.
We invite you to take a moment right now to acknowledge those who have walked this path before you and honor the protectors of homelands here and everywhere.
Beautiful stories tell more about life in this place long ago.
ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎾᏁᏙᎰ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎭᎸᎢᏳ ᏥᎨᎲ ᏓᏂᏅᎿᏍᎬ ᏅᏃ
ᏚᏅᏓᏒ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏣᎵᏍᏙᏂ ᏩᏍᏓ ᏯᎾᏏ ᏃᎴ ᎠᏫ ᏓᏂᏃᎵᏙᎲ
ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏚᏂᏅᏅ. ᏕᎦᏚᎲ ᏓᏁᏙᎲ ᏓᎾᏍᏕᏓᎵᏴᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬ
ᎤᏂᏅᎿᏅᎯᏍᎪ ᎮᏙᎭ? ᏏᏁᎬᎾ ᎯᎦᏖᏃᎵᏓ ᎯᎦᏔᎲᏍᎪ
ᎯᏙᎬ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏂᏅᎿᏅᎢ ᏃᎢ? ᏧᏴᏗ ᎧᎵᏬ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏂᏅᎿᏅ ᏚᏗᎦᎴᏴ
ᏂᎦᎾᎯᏒ ᎯᎠ ᏙᏱᏣᏗ ᏕᎦᏚᎲᎢ, ᏚᏙᏒᎲ ᏓᏍᏓᏩᏗᏒ
ᎠᎯᏗᎨ ᏗᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏴᎸᏛᎯ, ᎠᎹ ᏕᎨᏴᎢ, ᏃᎴ ᏯᎾᏏ ᎤᏂᏅᏅᎢ
ᎯᎠᏃ ᏍᏊ, ᎭᎾᎯ ᎠᎬᏎᎮ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᎤᏤᏟᏓ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏗᎧᏃᏗ
ᎯᎠ ᏚᏅᏓᏒ ᎤᏬᏒᏅ, “ᎤᏔᎾ ᏌᎪᏂᎨᎢ ᎠᏦᏴ” ᎠᎦᏗ ᏗᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᎲᎾ
ᎯᎠ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏙᏒᏅ ᎠᏦᏴ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏙᏗ ᏚᏂᏚᎲ ᏪᏕᎵᎬᏣ
ᎭᏂ ᎤᏂᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎨᎲ ᎠᏂᏴᎯᎲ ᏚᏁᏅᏒ
ᎣᏂᏴ, ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎱᏂᏅᏅ ᏓᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᏕᎲᏍᎩ ᏃᎴ ᏩᎦ ᏗᏁᏰᎵᏙ ᏧᏂᏁᎸᏍᏗ
ᏔᎾᏏ ᏓᏳᎾᎴᏅᏓ ᏓᏓᎾᏅ ᏐᎢ ᎦᏯᎴᏂ. ᏐᎯ ᎦᏅᏅ ᎪᏒᎯᏌᎬ ᎤᏂᏅᎾᏁᎸ
ᏓᏆᎴᎳ ᏃᎴ ᎤᎶᎩᎳ ᎦᏃᎯᎴᎦ ᏴᏫ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎳᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᏂᏒᏍᏗ ᎾᎥ
ᏎᎳᏱ ᏧᏂᏒᏍᏗᎯ. ᎯᎠᏃᏍᏊ ᏭᏂᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᏣᏅᏛ ᎦᏙ ᎭᏫᏂᏣ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏓᏆᎴᎳ
ᏧᎾᎵᎪᏙᏗ ᏴᏫ ᏙᎯ ᎠᏁᎯ ᏧᏴᏨᎢᏣ
ᎪᎢᎦ ᏧᏐᏱ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎬᏂᎨ ᏓᏰᏍᏓ ᏓᏆᎴᎳ ᏧᏓᏏᏓᏍᏗ
ᎣᏣᎵᎮᎵᎦ ᏣᏅᏄᎪᏨ ᏓᏆᎴᎳ ᏗᏣᎳᏏᏗ ᏚᎾᎳᏏᏅ
ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ, ᎠᎾᏕᎲᏍᎩ, ᏗᏂᏰᎴᎩ, ᎠᏂᏒᏆᎶᏍᎩ ᏃᎴ ᏗᎾᏓᏍᏕᏓᎵᏴᎡᏍᎩ
ᎯᎠᏂᎦ ᏤᏙᎵᏙ, ᎠᎯᏓ ᎠᏊᏩᎨᏫᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏅ
ᏯᏗᏓᎧᎾᏂ ᏃᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ
ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏕᎨᎦᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗᎪ-Ꮟ ᎣᏤᎭ ᎭᏂ
ᏂᎦᏗᎭ, ᎢᏓᎢᏒ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏅᏅ,
ᎢᏓᎵᏖᎳᏗᎦ ᏧᎾᏕᎴᏅᏓ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎲ ᎭᏂ ᎤᏙᏒᎲᎢ.
ᎢᏨᏘᏲᏎ ᏃᏊ ᏃᎢ ᏙᎯᏴᏓ ᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᏁᏅᏓ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏅᏅ.
ᎤᏓᎷᎸ ᏂᎯ ᏃᎴ ᏘᎸᏉᏓ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᏕᎨᏅᏒ ᎭᏂ ᏃᎴ ᏂᎬᎾᏛᎢ.
ᏧᏬᏚ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏓ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᎠᎦᏛ ᎤᎾᏕᏂᏙᎸ ᎭᎭᏂ ᎤᏙᏒᎲ ᎭᎳᎢᏴ ᏥᎨᏒ
ᎯᏍᏓᏩᏚᎦ URL ᎠᎦᏛ ᏣᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᏃᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏚᎾᏕᏲᏅ.
Cherokee Syllabary Translation
Photo Credit: Nathan Rivers Chesky www.nathanchesky.com
This project is sponsored in part by The McClure Fund