Lobanillo Swales in Sabine County is newest hiking trail on El C - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lobanillo Swales in Sabine County is newest hiking trail on El Camino Real

Lobanillo Swales is the newest hiking trail on El Camino Real de los Tejas in Sabine County. (Source: KTRE Staff) Lobanillo Swales is the newest hiking trail on El Camino Real de los Tejas in Sabine County. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The quarter mile loop trail is under construction now, but will be completed in time for an April 16 dedication. (Source: KTRE Staff) The quarter mile loop trail is under construction now, but will be completed in time for an April 16 dedication. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Steven Gonzales, executive director of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trial Association, stands in one of seven swales (depressions) created over centuries by travelers. (Source: KTRE Staff) Steven Gonzales, executive director of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trial Association, stands in one of seven swales (depressions) created over centuries by travelers. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Highway 21 covered much of the original swales along El Camino Real, so preserving the archaeological location is a significant to the National Trails System. (Source: KTRE Staff) Highway 21 covered much of the original swales along El Camino Real, so preserving the archaeological location is a significant to the National Trails System. (Source: KTRE Staff)
SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Travelers along State Highway 21 near the Sabine-San Augustine county line will soon have a unique opportunity.
 
You can take the exact same path used by explorer Alonso de Leon, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and other people important to the birth of Texas.

East Texas News has the details on the newest hiking trail on the El Camino Real.

"We're here today at the Lobanillo Swales in Deep East Texas,” said Steven Gonzalez, the executive director of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail.

It's a trail property in Sabine County. The El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail Association now owns it. Executive director Steven Gonzales is working closely with the national park service to develop it for visitor use. 

"This U-shape depression behind me was literally carved into the landscape by hundreds of years of travel by ox carts, wagons, people just walking on foot across Camino Real over centuries of time,” Gonzalez said.

A quarter mile loop trail is under construction. 

Modern machinery is used, but the effort is made to protect the spot where archeologists discovered artifacts ranging from the late 1700s to the early 1900s.

"We worked on the Camino Real in a couple of different places,” said Ryan Spates, a trail builder. At Mission Tejas and Caddo Mounds, so this is just kinda a continuation for us."

Interpretive panels will point out seven swales formed by continuous use over centuries. 

It gives a person an inner feeling, so to speak when you know you're walking the trail that had been walked hundreds of years ago. Centuries ago.

 “If someone is a true Texas history fan or a history fan in general, this is a place where you can see and experience history in a very real way,” Gonzalez said.

A dedication on April 16 will mark the 50th-anniversary celebration of the national trails system. 

Currently, the archeological site is closed to visitors due to its sensitive archeological state.  

The location will be revealed when guests register online to attend a free dedication scheduled for April 16. For registration and more historic trail information, click this link.

Highway signage will clearly mark the spot for the Lobanillo Swales on Highway 21 in Sabine County.    

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