The Trail of Tears is a historical event that occurred from 1838 to 1839, whereas the Cherokee Trail was a route established in 1849 that began in Oklahoma and ended in California. Some members of the Cherokee Trail expedition were Cherokee.
The Trail of Tears refers to a part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, when Cherokee Indians were forced to give up their lands east of the Mississippi River and relocate to what is now Oklahoma. The Trail of Tears derives its name from the devastation the Cherokee faced during the journey; over 4,000 of the 15,000 who went on the journey died.
The Cherokee Trail was used until the 1890s by gold seekers, emigrants and cattle drivers. Parts of the trail are visible, walkable or drivable in Colorado.