Though it originated from a need to keep the peace between the area's feuding tribes in 1817, the fort would be abandoned in 1824 and repurposed 14 years later for the Federal policy that relocated Native Americans to new territory. That policy would later become known as the Trail of Tears.
Fort Smith's Trail of Tears Overlook is located on the grounds of the Fort Smith National Historic Site and rests above the convergence of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers. As you walk to the overlook, interpretive panels tell the story of The Five Civilized Tribes who were removed to Indian Territory. Along the way, look for a marker that indicates the border between the original gateway to the west (Fort Smith) and Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma).
Free parking is available at the location.