The Oldest Highway in The U.S. Stretched 540 Miles Across Texas
This was news to me when I came across it today, and I had to share. Did you know the oldest highway in the U.S. was blazed in 1691 and stretched across The Lone Star State out of San Antonio, TX?
Called The Old San Antonio Road it's beginnings date back to the 1690s with much of it based on traditional Native American trails which was more a network of trails than a single road.
Spanish explorer Alonso de León, following various Indian and buffalo trails, crossed the Rio Grande on his way to East Texas to establish missions, effectively blazing the Old San Antonio Road. - Wikipedia
Today much of The Old San Antonio Road is on private ranches. To commemorate its history, in 1918 inscribed granite markers were installed along the highway, but unfortunately as of 2006 only nine of the 123 markers still stood. And, in fact, many had been moved from their original locations "as the route of the road was straightened by new highway construction."
According to TXDot: "Old San Antonio Road, or El Camino Real (The King's Highway) is the oldest highway in the United States. It was blazed in 1691 between the Spanish missions of Texas and Louisiana. In Texas, it was 1,000 wide and extended 539 miles from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande. At a width of 1,000 varas, it was wider than three football fields end to end."
In 2004 President Bush signed a bill that designated The El Camino Real de Los Tejas, of which the Old San Antonio Road is part, a National Historic Trail.