Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines
|Photo Property of the Author|
Tracks of a stage line in the Comanche Grasslands- Colorado
Lately, I've been thinking about the trails that traversed the country from East to West. We know about the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, but what about some of the other 'trails' that we sometimes forget? Below are just a few that I know off.
I've always been fascinated by the Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the 1820-40s. The stories of the Fur Trading Forts, especially in Colorado, are a source of constant research for me. There is a trail named "The Trappers' Trail", that ran from Bent's Fort up the Arkansas River to Fort Pueblo (Pueblo, CO.) then it followed Fountain Creek through the where the town of Colorado Springs is, where it joined Monument Creek. This continued north to Cherry Creek, then to Wyoming to Fort Laramie.
|Arkansas River in Canon City, CO|
Growing up in Illinois, I've known the story of the Morman Trail for years. It ran from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City. The major portion of the trail led from Illinois, through Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming to Utah. The trail was used during the years 1846-47. I learned after moving to Colorado that a portion of those of the faith coming from Mississippi and additional Southern States came up through Pueblo and wintered at Fort Pueblo in 1846.
The Smokey Hill River Trail was used as a route to the goldfields in Colorado after gold was located in the Cherry Creek area. The route followed the Smokey Hill River, which begins in Eastern Colorado, from Atchison, Kansas through Eastern Colorado. This trail later was used by the Butterfield Overland stage line. By 1870, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad was completed the trail was no longer used.
There are many other trails that are left to explore. What are the trails that hold your interest?
Until next time.