We drove past the Meriwether Lewis historic site several times this summer as our camp was nearby. Each time thinking we would visit it on the next time we went into town. On our way back from Fall Hollow, I decided that there would be no more “next time”… we were going right then!
My husband and I were unfamiliar with the death of Lewis. We had no idea that he died in route to Washington, at the age of 35, and by his own hand. When I think of Lewis, I don’t think of a suicidal person… I think of the Lewis & Clark Expedition and great discoveries they found in the West. Even moreso, I find it hard to believe that he was buried in an unmarked grave, that remained unmarked for almost 40 years! How terrible! These are all things you will learn by visiting the Meriwether Lewis Site.
When you arrive to the site there is a small cabin where the Ranger Station is located. Inside you will find a great display and mini-musuem. We spent much of our time in the information center and enjoying the green-space outside.
All in all, this is a great spot to take in a picnic, read aloud to the kids, and hiking. There are plenty of shady areas to take refuge from the heat in the afternoon. Near the memorial, there is access to the Old Trace for walking, and the cemetery holds a beautiful greenspace. (It does seem as though we spend an awful lot of time in cemeteries doesn’t it?)
When hiking on the Old Trace, I felt like I was going nowhere so I didn’t enjoy that too much. I enjoy hikes more when I have a specific place I am heading towards – not just walking about – especially not with five kids!
If you are traveling along the trace, I recommend you stop by. If you are in a crunch for time, you can visit the grave-site and information center in as short as ten minutes. We spent approximately an hour on the grounds during our visit – but we were in no hurry.
Check out the sites below for more information on Meriwether Lewis:
- Meriwether Lewis- PBS
- Meriwether Lewis History
- Meriwether Lewis Arts & Crafts Show (October)
- Meriwether Lewis Dies Along the Natchez Trace