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Official Website of Lookout Mountain Alabama

The Dekalb County Tourist Association welcomes you to Lookout Mountain Alabama


Suggested travels plans to Lookout Mountain 

Trail of Tears

Welcome to Lookout Mountain, Alabama, Fort Payne, Mentone, Sand Mountain and the..

 Annual John Benge Commemorative Motorcycle Ride

takes place the third Saturday in September.

john bengeTrail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride

Where:  Fort Payne, Alabama
When:  Third Saturday in September
Time:  Depart Fort Payne at **7 a.m.**

The Trail of Tears was a tragic era of the 1830's that brought about the forced removal of Indians from their native lands in the Southeastern United States. DeKalb County, Alabama was once home to the proud Cherokee Nation who were placed on this trail against their will and sent to new homes in Oklahoma Territory. One of the groups to depart from Fort Payne, the county seat once known as Will's Town Mission for Indian Chief Red Head Will, was conducted by Cherokee leader John Benge. He left present day Fort Payne with a contingent of 1,103 Cherokees for what would become an arduous 734-mile trip. They departed Fort Payne on what is present day Highway 35 to the top of Sand Mountain, across Sand Mountain on present day Highway 75 to Albertville, to present day Highway 431 to Gunters Landing, now Guntersville. There they joined with others by crossing the river and facing hardships and sickness along the way. It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 who walked the trail perished before making it to Oklahoma.

"Fort Payne" was 1 of 5 stockades built in Alabama and was the only internment camp in the state. Its construction was under the command of Captain John Payne, who the Federal Government sent to lead the local garrison of soldiers. At its completion it was named Fort Payne in honor of its commander. The camp served as a holding place and an infirmary for Indians from this area as well as others from neighboring Georgia and Tennessee.

A historical marker commemorating the Benge Route now stands in front of the DeKalb Tourism building on Alabama Highway 35 in Fort Payne. The John Benge Ride is in remembrance of those who walked this trail and brings awareness to this tragedy.

We welcome you to join the ride in commemoration of DeKalb County's Cherokee Indian Heritage and all Indian Nations who were forced to walk on the Infamous Trail of Tears.

The ride is strictly voluntary and you Ride At Your Own Risk. No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed.

For Information about the John Benge Commemorative Motorcycle Ride visit



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ęCopyright 2015 DeKalb County Tourist Association
1503 Glen Blvd. SW Fort Payne, AL 35968

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