CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The courthouse where the Scopes evolution trial took place will be the signature attraction of a religious heritage trail opening in April in southeast Tennessee, but promoters hope the diversity of sites will surprise visitors and upend stereotypes.

"Today, Protestant Christianity is the overwhelmingly predominant system of belief in southeast Tennessee," a brochure for the self-guided driving tour says. "That was not always so."

Linda Caldwell, who is director of the Tennessee Overhill Association and assisted the two-year project as a consultant, said the trail "blows apart the stereotypes, once you see the diversity of beliefs that flourished in this area."

The mountainous route traces a timeline from American Indians to Catholic explorers from Spain, traders from France, Jewish settlers, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians and a post-Civil War African Methodist Episcopal church.

"On the Glory Land Road" trail is set to open April 19 and also includes interpretive links to the Pentecostal movement and origins of the Church of God, which started as a meeting of Baptist dissenters in 1886.

The trail developed by the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association includes the courthouse at Dayton that was host to the 1925 religion-vs.-evolution Scopes trial, a schoolyard Holocaust museum developed by teenagers in the overwhelmingly Protestant town of Whitwell, a Mormon church dedicated in 1909 in the south Cumberlands and a historic black church near Athens.

There is a cemetery at the site of a mission established in 1816 to convert Cherokees to Christianity in Chattanooga.

"We think it is going to give us a chance to be marketed as an area for religious conferences because we have something no one else has," said Susan Goldblatt, director of the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association.

The trail's diversity differs from other religious tourist attractions that focus on specific groups, such as the Shaker Village in Kentucky or the Amish community in Lancaster, Pa.

Promoters also hope the trail will boost efforts to preserve some attractions, such as the historic Beth Salem Presbyterian Church, founded under a brush arbor by two black ministers in 1866, said Ann Boyd, whose great-great grandmother was a former slave and a member of the church near Athens. She said the church is currently open just once a year when families return for a picnic on the grounds.

David Roebuck, director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center at Lee University in Cleveland, also assisted as a consultant for the trail project and said it should "help us appreciate our heritage a great deal more and learn more and appreciate the heritage of our neighbors."

Lee University, operated by the Church of God, and the Church of God International Offices, also at Cleveland, are among sites on the trail.

The trail brochure refers to a settlement migration of Protestant Christians and says that by the 1830s, "led by that Scotch-Irish Presbyterian archetype Andrew Jackson, they drove the Cherokees from the land and overwhelmed everyone else," including Catholics.

Backcountry church records tell of a "struggle both to control the boisterous and alcohol-endowed population and to keep their membership safe from heresy and backsliding," according to the brochure.

"Many men in the backcountry drank, and drank heavily," the brochure says. "Young men liked to entertain themselves with gunplay and other aggressive behavior; fighting at dances and other social events was fairly common. Evidence of efforts to control this sort of behavior appears as admonishments to wayward members in the 'business meeting' of the churches."

Brent Cantrell, director of the Jubilee Community Arts Center at Knoxville, said the trail will show how religious dissent and conflict drove some early settlers from the region.

"More than anything else we are telling the story of the division and development of the Protestant landscape that we see now," said Cantrell, who assisted with research and wrote the trail brochure.

Settlers knew to "find out what religion they are and whether they are Democrats or Republicans before you say anything," he said.

"That is the history of Tennessee," Cantrell said.