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United States  >  Migration  >  Trails and Roads

Chronological List of Major Historic Trails and Roads Used in the Settlement of the United States
Name Date Opened Usual Origin Usual Destination
Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Chihuahua Trail) 1598 Mexico City, Mexico Santa Fe, New Mexico
King's Highway (Boston Post Road) 1650/1735 Boston, Massachusetts Charleston, South Carolina
Albany Post Road 1669 New York City, New York Albany, New York
Camino Real de California 1683 San Bruno, Mexico Sonoma, California
Camino Real de los Tejas (Old San Antonio Road) 1690s Guerrero, Mexico Natchitoches, Louisiana
Fall Line Road 1735 Fredericksburg, Virginia Augusta, Georgia
Great Wagon (or Great Valley) Road 1750s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Augusta, Georgia
Upper Road 1750s Fredericksburg, Virginia Greenville, South Carolina
Braddock's Road 1755 Fort Cumberland, Maryland Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Forbes Road 1759 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wilderness Road 1775 Block House, Virginia Boonesborough/Louisville, Kentucky
Zane's Trace 1796 Wheeling, (West) Virginia Maysville, Kentucky
Natchez Trace 1801/1809 Natchez, Mississippi Nashville, Tennessee (later Maysville, Kentucky)
Federal Horse Path  1805 Milledgeville, Georgia Mobile, Alabama
National Road (Cumberland Road) 1818/1839 Cumberland, Maryland (later Baltimore) Vandalia, Illinois (later St. Louis, Missouri)
Santa Fe Trail 1821 Independence, Missouri Santa Fe, New Mexico
Old Spanish Trail 1830 Santa Fe, New Mexico Los Angeles, California
Oregon Trail 1841 Independence, Missouri Oregon City, Oregon
California Trail 1841 Independence, Missouri Sacramento, California
Mormon Trail 1846/1847 Nauvoo, Illinois Salt Lake City, Utah
Butterfield Overland Mail 1857 Memphis, Tennessee, or St. Louis, Missouri San Francisco, California
Bozeman Trail 1863 Fort Laramie, Wyoming Virginia City, Montana

There were several major migration trails across the United States, and many shorter state or regional paths of migration. Some of the better-known trails our ancestors may have followed are:


 

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