Significant new developments in store for East Texas' El Camino - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Significant new developments in store for East Texas' El Camino Real trail

Swales mark wagon wheel depressions left by early explorers and settlers. They  can still be found today.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Swales mark wagon wheel depressions left by early explorers and settlers. They can still be found today. (Source: KTRE Staff)
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association is the only trail organization in the nation to own a portion of the trail it wants to protect. It’s in Sabine County.  (Source: KTRE Staff) El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association is the only trail organization in the nation to own a portion of the trail it wants to protect. It’s in Sabine County. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Signage could go up by the end of the year along El Camino Real de los Tejas here in East Texas.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Signage could go up by the end of the year along El Camino Real de los Tejas here in East Texas. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association continues to protect the famous East Texas byway. Its leaders and members are announcing some significant developments along the trail ... that could possibly happen as soon as this year.

Thousands of East Texans travel the El Camino Real on highways that connect regional cities and towns, but only a few are devoted enough to be a partner of the trail. 

"El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association is an advocacy group that seeks to protect the historic integrity of the trail,” says the voice over in a promotional trailer.

"We're the first national historic trail organization in the country that actually owns a piece of a national historic trail,” said Steven Gonzales, the executive director of the El Camino Real National Historic Trail Association. “And we've done archeological studies there that have demonstrated over three centuries of use along the road at that site, all the way from the late 1700s into the 1900s as a matter fact."

It's in Sabine County, just one of several places along the trail where wagon wheel depressions are still evident today. Federal, state and local authorities are working together to protect the site.

"So before long it will have a trail head with parking and interpretation and there will be a small half mile loop trail,” Gonzales said.

The National Park Service adds credibility to such projects and promotes the trail's historic significance across the U.S.

"For example here in Nacogdoches we're working closely with the county, with the city for signing the trail,” said Aaron Mahr, the superintendent of the NPS National Trails Office for the El Camino Real Region. “And also to identify sites along the route. And hopefully development of some applications that people can follow the trail and learn about the trail."

Membership to El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association is encouraged. The support leads to preservation of the trail that led to the founding of Texas.  

An excellent resource can be found here. Literature can also be picked up at convention and visitor bureaus or chambers of commerce located along the route. 

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