Links to Ancient Footpaths

The original trails to the West were the established Indian routes. I am inspired by Emmett Conway, the "Olde Forester," to add these links to Ancient Footpaths onto my site of Overland Trails West. Ancient footpaths became his obsession when he learned that they could be found and the wisdom of their locations recognized.

  • Ancient Indian Routes Indian Paths and Ancient Footpaths around the world have proven to be the easiest routes to walk from place to place for very long distances - hundreds and thousands of miles.

  • Buffalo Wallow On Pancake Trail The Buffalo Wallow on the Overly Road, Pike County Ohio, is important because it is believed that this road is an anicient Salt Trail called the "Pancake Trail."

  • The Bullskin Road The first State Road in Ohio, 1807, the Xenia State Road was the official recognition by the new State of Ohio of the old Shawnee Indian Road from British Fort Detroit to Bullskin Landing on the Ohio River, through the major Shawnee center, Old Chillicothe (Oldtown, at Xenia). It was long called the Old Xenia Road. It was down this road in 1778, that Daniel Boone ran the gauntlet at Old Chillicothe, and didn't stop running - clear to the Ohio River, outrunning the pursuing Shawnees.

  • The Carolina Road From Big Lick, on the Roanoke River in the Valley of Virginia, the early settlers moved south into the Carolinas. They went out through the Roanoke River Gap and down the face of the Blue Ridge Mountains. U.S. 220 is approximately the route used - through Boone's Mills and Rocky Mount to Martinsville and into the Carolina Colony

  • The Delaware Indian Road Early deeds identify this as "the Indian Road from Muncytown to Ft. Hamilton" in Indiana

  • Early American Roads and Trails Following the Revolutionary War, citizens of the new nation began to forge westward.

  • Forbes Road In 1758, an expedition was formed under Brigadier John Forbes, with Colonel George Washington in assistance, to create a road from Philadelphia on the Old Wagon Road going west. Its main use by the Frontier Settler was to reach Fort Pitt and the Ohio River, where they could build flatboats for migration down the Ohio to the Western Frontier.

  • Historic Highways and Byways of Long Island, NY The story of roads on Long Island begins with Indian footpaths that were only two or three feet wide, often following animal trails that led to water. The first settlers followed the footpaths and some became roads.

  • Historic American Highways A wonderful timeline showing significant incidents in the development of highway transportation in colonial America and the United States from 1539 to 1841. Includes a map of Indian Thoroughfares of Ohio.

  • Searching for the Great Hopewell Road The Ohio Hopewell people were Native Americans whose culture flourished in the central Ohio Valley about 2000 years ago.

  • Hopewell Culture National Historic Park

  • On the Great Hopewell Road Until recently, systems of sacred pathways replicating a sprirtual landscape were unknown in eastern North America, such as those built by the Anasazi. In the nineteenth-century observers recorded short stretches of parallel earthen walls leading to and from the large geometric enclosures of the Hopewell, a people who thrived in the valleys of what is now southern Ohio from ca. 100 B.C. to ca. A.D. 400.

  • Indian Paths And Migration Routes Through Pennslyvania. Information about a number of trails, and a map

  • Indian Trail Crossing of the Beaver River Here was the crossing of the Beaver River by an old Indian Trail that ran along the north bank of the Ohio River from the "Forks of the Ohio" at Pittsburgh to the Indiana country. During the occupation of Fort Duquesne by the French Army, this path was known as "French-Way."

  • Indian Trails in the Town of Caroline, NY A fouth grade history project. Includes a picture of a bent tree which was used to point travelers along the trail.

  • Indian Trails to Fort Duquesne Before the white man invaded this forest enshrouded wilderness these winding Indian paths were the only trails through the tree-covered valleys and over the rugged mountains. Then when the traders followed the Delaware, Shawnee and Iroquois to the waters of the Ohio these narrow pathways through the forests became the Traders' Trails over which they carried their merchandise to the Indian villages on the Ohio, Allegheny, Beaver and even to the Muskingum and Scioto valleys, where they bartered their goods for the furs and peltries of the Indian hunters.

  • The Iroquois Warrriors' Trail In operation from 1804 to 1845; now the Ithaca to Owego Turnpike

  • The Kanawha Trace Following the Kanawha Trace from North Carolina into Ohio. The Kanawha Trace is very important to the settlement of Southern Ohio. Many emigrants from Southern Virginia and North Carolina, followed it as they came to Ohio Country.

  • Migration Routes of The Brethren Following the Ancient Indian Paths into Ohio

  • Migration Routes from Pennslyvania to Virginia A posting of folks whose ancestors came from Germany in the mid-1700s, arrived in Pennsylvania, stayed a while then went to Pendleton County, Virginia giving reasons, etc.

  • Migration Patterns From Virginia

  • Mississippi Territory: Travels in 1811 The journey to Mississippi Territory was made over poorly marked footpaths through Indian occupied territory during the winter months. River crossings were especially troublesome.

  • The Neches Saline Road in East Texas This ancient indian trail is from the Nacogdoches area to the Neches Salines. Before recorded history animals and aboriginals had made a path to the salt licks near the river.

  • Old Roads In North Arkansas Most of the early roads had their beginnings in Indian trails. When the white settlers came, they found the Indian trails the best routes of travel, and they made them into wagon road by cutting out underbrush and removing the logs.

  • Old Wagon Road Southbound traffic along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road was numbered in tens of thousands. It was the most heavily traveled road in all America and must have had more vehicles jolting along its rough and tortuous way than all the other main roads put together.

  • The Old Natchez Road One of the oldest roadways in the world, saw its beginnings as a trail cut through the wilderness by herds of buffalo and other animals.

  • Pioneer Migration Routes Through Ohio Discusses the major early nineteenth-century migration routes into Ohio

  • Pre-Historic Trails in the Upper Cumberland River Basin Discusses many of the ancient footpaths, including The Warriors' Path, The Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail, The Capuchin Trail, and Daniel Boone's "Wilderness Road", all of which were followed by early pioneers.

  • Raccoon Creek Valley, Ohio Indian Paths crossed Raccoon Creek Valley. The "Hunting Path" went through just above Moonville from Athens and the east and on over the ridge to cross Raccoon near Coalmont Hollow. Old timers called it "The Old Buffler Trace." It still shows as a deep groove in the ground from all the ancient traffic.

  • The Road to Marietta "The Marietta Road" is a good example of the characteristics of ancient paths: low gaps in hills, ridges in the right direction, terraces and fordings. It was an important trail for the Native Americans and the migrating bison.

  • The Scioto Trail An Indian trail that followed the Scioto River from northern Ohio to the Kentucky hunting grounds. The trail was later used by settlers who came upriver from Portsmouth to the first capital of Ohio--Chillicothe.

  • The Signal Tree The Signal Tree has steady strength, grace and reliable guidance. It is not possible to stand near this magnificent old being without feeling something profoundly inexpressible.

  • Signal Tree in Cuyahoga River valley, OH Most experts believe this 300 year old oak was manipulated into this shape when it was small, by Indians who were known to do this to mark their trails.

  • Smoke Signals: The First "T-Mail" To "LOG ON" not so many years ago meant just that. Your sending station was a high place visible to another high place. The sender would lay "logs on" a fire laid in a confined and controlled place. Proximity to a major traffic route for observation and communication was essential -- T-Mail (trail) Prearranged signals spelled out the messages.

  • The Stone Bridge The Topeka and Ottawa State Road:

  • StoneWheels And Dawn Stars Rising Stones, stars, the directions, time -- these can speak to us out of an otherwise mostly silent past. Sometimes their language is intuitive, spiritual, meanings or awe will be felt by the sensitive, but can't really be communicated. But when scientists get interested, the cosmos speaks, and they can hear it through mathematics. What may have been lost in the mists of time can be found again.

  • The Trading Path A transportation corridor defined by river crossings connected to one another by trails. In colonial times it linked the James River colonial settlements to the Catawba and Cherokee towns in the Carolinas and Georgia. It served Indian commerce prior to European colonization, and it served as one of the principle avenues for European penetration of the Piedmont of the Southeastern United States.

  • The Trail of the Sac and Fox The trails leading south from the Kansas River Valley all fell into the "Oregon" or "California" road, and along that the Indians traveled to the trading village of Carthage, a few miles northeast of the present village of Berryton. From there, several trails set of toward the Sac and Fox lands.

  • Trail Signal Trees Native Americans made them Trail Signal Trees by bending a sapling and holding it by some means until the first curve was fixed by growth. Apical dominance (a forester's term) or natural trend to grow upright would straighten the upper part.

  • The Unicoi Road Following the route of an ancient Indian trading path, the Unicoi Road began at the highest point of navigation on the Savannah River and ran through the Cherokee Nation to reach white settlements near Maryville, Tennessee. The earliest known account of travel along the ancient Indian trail which preceded the road comes from the journal of Col. George Chicken, who crossed Unicoi Gap in 1715

  • The Zane Trace: Ohio's First Road To The Western Country Written in 1807 by Fortesque M. Cuming. The Zane Trace had already been open nine years and many settlers had migrated to the western country via this route.

  • Zane's Trace Created as a crude wagon road, Zane's Trace first amounted to a path cut through the giant trees of the wilderness, following an existing Indian path.

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