From the Promoter:
The Yahola Trace is a 22 or 43-mile gravel road ride that begins and ends in LeRoy KS, with stops at several scenic, historic, and cultural points of interest. This non-competitive social ride is part of the Pedal SEK series of cycling events in Southeast Kansas, an initiative of the South East Kansas Cyclistpromos (SEKC) group.
This route is named in honor of Opothle Yahola, a leader of the Upper Creek Indian Nation, who in 1861 led his people on a forced march from their homelands, fleeing the Confederacy, towards free-state Kansas, where President Abraham Lincoln had offered asylum. Their flight to freedom, harried by attacks from Confederate soldiers, was long and difficult, becoming known as “The Trail of Blood on Ice”. They sought shelter at Fort Row in Wilson County, and Fort Belmont in Woodson County, but between the desperate journey, brutal winter, and lack of supplies, over 2000 people died, before the remainder were once again evacuated to Coffey County, where the tribe camped along the Neosho River from LeRoy to Neosho Falls. By the following spring, the tribe had recovered sufficiently to send 1000 warriors, in the 1st Indian Home Guard Regiment of the Union Army, to the defence of nearby Humboldt. There is now a memorial to Opothle Yahola in LeRoy’s city park.