The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail was established in 1987. At that time, it did not include the state of Georgia nor parts of North Carolina. A bill was passed in 2009 that included a revision to the act concerning the Trail of Tears. It was the Omnibus Public Land Management Act H.R. 146. This act added Georgia and North Carolina to the trail and is administered by the National Park Service with the cooperation of federal, state, and local agencies; the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; special interest groups; and private landowners.
Under the provisions of the National Trails System Act, trail sites and segments on non-federal land become part of the national historic trail only if the owner asks that their property be certified by the National Park Service.
Certification is accomplished by a simple written agreement between the owner/manager and the National Trails System Office - Santa Fe in which both agree to cooperate to protect trail resources and to make the trail site or segment available for some degree of public use. Certification agreements are completely voluntary. Certified sites may display the official Trail of Tears National Historic Trail logo and are eligible for financial assistance and technical assistance from the National Park Service for resource management and protection, visitor use development, and interpretation.
To date nine sites have been certified in Georgia