Trail of Tears riders visit the region on Wednesday

A group of about 20 bicyclists associated with the Cherokee Nation will ride through Benton and Washington counties, following the historic Trail of Tears, as part of the “Remember the Removal” ride.

The bicyclists will ride along Highway 71-Business from Rogers and then take Old Wire Road northeast of Springdale heading south. Times are tentative, but the riders can probably be found along this route between noon and 3 p.m.

The riders are following the northern route of the Trail of Tears from Georgia through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas, ending in Tahlequah, Okla.

The purpose of the ride is to revisit the history and commemorate the experience of the forced removal of Indian nations from their traditional homes across the south to the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. The many routes followed by the different Indian nations became known as the Trail of Tears. Two contingents of Cherokees came through the Fayetteville area during the winter of 1838-39 on their way to Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory.