In the last post (Trails west), we looked at ways to get from the East Coast to the West Coast prior to the modern age. Of course, the choices were by land (below) or sea. In terms of the latter, one could cut across Central America or take the long journey around the end of South America. We can show examples of each of these.
Now, the Natives were in all areas of the country prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Then, there were many mountain men and other explorers around and about. Lewis & Clark was the first organized party sent from the U.S. Spain had already ventured inward from the West Coast and from Mexico. Coronado ended up not far from Gardner Junction.
But, the Trails are, by right, the focus of many as they think of western travel. There were several ways to get to the KC area, but that was the launching point. And, not long after, there was a split at Gardner Junction which is just west of Gardner, KS. This map illustrates how the Trails went after the split.
It comes from the National Park Service site which provides three maps plus other graphics related to the subject. One of these deals with the advent of the railroad. With the transcontinental travel via rail being available, the traffic on the Trails ceased.
Remarks: Modified: 07/16/2016
04/02/2016 -- Map showing Gardner Junction and the split of the trails west of Gardner, KS
06/11/2016 -- We have 200th anniversaries coming up.
06/17/2016 -- More on trails
07/16/2016 -- Gardner's Beacon, Vol. VI, No. 1