Auto trail

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Old style highway markings

The system of auto trails was an informal network of marked routes that existed in the United States and Canada in the early part of the 20th century. Marked with colored bands on telephone poles, the trails were intended to help travellers in the early days of the automobile.

Auto trails were usually marked and sometimes maintained by organizations of private individuals. Some, such as the Lincoln Highway, maintained by the Lincoln Highway Association, were well-known and well-organized, while others were the work of fly-by-night promoters, to the point that anyone with enough paint and the will to do so could set up a trail; trails were not usually linked to road improvements, though counties and states often prioritized road improvements because they were on trails.

In the mid-to-late 1920s, the auto trails were essentially replaced in the United States with the system of numbered U.S. Highways. Similar numbering schemes had begun to be implemented in the Canadian provinces as well.

List of auto trails[edit]

NameNorth or east endSouth or west endU.S. Highways (approximate, based on 1926 plan and later additions)Notes
Albert Pike HighwayHot Springs, ArkansasColorado Springs, ColoradoUS 270, US 64, US 183, US 154, US 50, US 85
Arrowhead TrailSalt Lake City, UtahLos Angeles, CaliforniaUS 91
Atlantic HighwayCalais, MaineMiami, FloridaUS 1, US 25, US 17, US 1
Atlantic-Pacific HighwayNew York, New YorkLos Angeles, CaliforniaUS 1, US 211, US 15, US 33, US 60, US 52, US 460, US 50, US 54, US 70, US 60
Atlantic Yellowstone Pacific HighwayChicago, IllinoisSioux Falls, South DakotaUS 20, US 218, US 18
Baltimore PikeBaltimore, MarylandPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Bankhead HighwayWashington, D.C.San Diego, CaliforniaUS 1, US 15, US 70, US 170, US 29, US 78, US 70, US 67, US 80
Bee Line HighwayChicago, IllinoisNew Orleans, Louisiana
Ben Hur HighwaySt. Louis, MissouriFort Dodge, Iowa
Black and Yellow TrailChicago, IllinoisYellowstone National ParkUS 41, US 16, US 14, US 16, US 20
Blackhawk HighwayDixon, IllinoisBeloit, Wisconsin
California-Banff Bee Line
Cannon Ball RouteChicago, IllinoisHannibal, Missouri
Capital RouteOmaha, NebraskaAustin, Texas
Chicago, Kansas City and Gulf HighwayChicago, IllinoisGalveston, Texas
Colorado to Gulf HighwayDenver, ColoradoGalveston, Texas and Brownsville, TexasUS 85, US 385, US 370, US 81, US 181
Columbia River HighwayPendleton, OregonPortland, OregonUS 30
Cooley HighwayGrand Rapids, MinnesotaSisseton, South Dakota
Cornhusker HighwaySioux City, IowaOklahoma City, Oklahoma
Custer Battlefield HighwayOmaha, NebraskaGlacier National ParkUS 75, US 16, US 116, US 87E, US 87
Dallas-Canadian-Denver HighwayBoulder, ColoradoGalveston, TexasUS 85, US 50, US 83, US 70, US 77
Daniel Webster Highway
Detroit-Lincoln-Denver HighwayDetroit, MichiganDenver, ColoradoUS 12, US 32, US 38
Dixie HighwayChicago, Illinois and Sault Ste. Marie, MichiganMiami, FloridaIllinois 1, US 136, US 31, Indiana 37, US 150, US 31W
Dixie Bee LineChicago, IllinoisNashville, TennesseeUS 41, US 241
Dixie Overland HighwaySavannah, GeorgiaSan Diego, CaliforniaUS 80, US 84, US 380, US 366, US 80
Evergreen National HighwayVictoria, British ColumbiaEl Paso, TexasUS 99, US 10, US 97, US 410, US 95, US 30, US 30N, US 91, US 95, US 66
Egyptian TrailChicago, IllinoisCairo, Illinois
Florida Short Route
George Washington National HighwaySavannah, GeorgiaSeattle, Washington
Geysers-to-Glaciers HighwayGlacier National ParkYellowstone National ParkUS 89 W from West Yellowstone to Shelby, Montana; US 2 from Shelby to Cut Bank, Montana; and MT 213 from Cut Bank to the Canadian border[1]
Glacier to Gulf MotorwayCalgary, AlbertaTampico, Mexico
Glacier TrailSeattle, WashingtonJacksonville, Florida
Grant HighwayChicago, IllinoisPortland, Oregon
Great White WayDavenport, IowaCouncil Bluffs, Iowa
International Peace HighwayQuebec, Quebec and Rouses Point, New YorkLaredo, Texas and Mexico City, Mexico
Jackson HighwayChicago, IllinoisNew Orleans, LouisianaUS 152, US 52, US 31, US 168, US 68, US 31, US 43, US 45, US 11
Jefferson HighwayWinnipeg, ManitobaNew Orleans, LouisianaUS 59, US 2, US 71, US 10N, US 10, US 65, US 69, US 71/US 73E, US 73, US 75, US 69, US 67, US 271, US 80, US 171, US 71, US 61
Jefferson Davis National HighwayWashington, D.C.San Diego, CaliforniaUS 1, US 278, US 29, US 80, US 43, US 90, US 96, US 277, US 90
King of TrailsWinnipeg, ManitobaGalveston, Texas and Brownsville, TexasUS 75/US 81, US 75/US 77, US 75, US 73, US 73E, US 50, US 73W, US 75, US 77, US 81, US 181, US 96
Kings Transcontinental HighwayOttawaToronto
Lackawanna TrailBinghamton, New YorkDelaware, New JerseyUS 11,[2] US 611[3]
Lakes to Gulf HighwayDuluth, MinnesotaGalveston, Texas
Lakes-to-Sea HighwayAtlantic City, New JerseyErie, PennsylvaniaUS 30, US 120, US 22, US 322, US 19
Lee HighwayNew York, New YorkSan Francisco, CaliforniaUS 1, US 211, US 11, US 72, US 70, US 366, US 80, US 180, US 80, US 101
Lewis and Clark HighwayMissoula, MontanaLewiston, Idaho
Liberty HighwayNew York, New YorkCleveland, OhioNew Jersey 4, New Jersey 17, New York 17, New York 430, New York 394, US 20[4]
Lincoln HighwayNew York, New YorkSan Francisco, CaliforniaUS 1, US 30, US 40, US 93, US 50, US 99, US 48
Logan-Lee HighwayRock Island, IllinoisPaducah, Kentucky
Lone Star RouteChicago, IllinoisLake Charles, Louisiana (earlier Brownsville, Texas)US 66, US 67, US 63, US 165
Lone Star TrailSt. Augustine, FloridaLos Angeles, CaliforniaUS 1, US 90, US 84, US 67, US 290, US 80
Magnolia Route
Meridian HighwayWinnipeg, ManitobaMexico City, MexicoUS 81
Mississippi River Scenic HighwayWinnipeg, Manitoba and Port Arthur, OntarioFort Myers, Florida and Port Arthur, TexasUS 75, US 2, US 71, US 10N, US 10, US 61, US 55, US 61, US 90; US 49E, US 49, US 98, US 90, US 19, US 41
Mississippi Valley HighwayEly, MinnesotaGulfport, Mississippi (earlier New Orleans, Louisiana)US 53, US 61, US 55, US 161, US 67, US 51, US 45, US 11, US 49Earlier known as the Burlington Way
National Old Trails RoadWashington, D.C. and Baltimore, MarylandLos Angeles, CaliforniaUS 240/US 40, US 40, US 50N, US 50, US 350, US 85, US 70, US 66
National Park-to-Park HighwayLoop connecting National ParksUS 99, US 48, US 40, US 99E, US 99, US 10, US 195, US 95, US 2, US 87, US 87W, US 20, US 185, US 85, US 50, US 285, US 450, US 550, US 64, US 666, US 66
National Parks HighwayBoston, Massachusetts and New York, New YorkSeattle, WashingtonAlso known as the Northwest Trail
National Roosevelt Midland TrailWashington, D.C. and Newport News, Virginia (earlier Oyster Bay, New York)Los Angeles, CaliforniaUS 60, US 150, US 50, US 40, US 40N, US 40, US 40S, US 50, US 6
National White Way
New Santa Fe TrailKansas City, Mo.Los AngelesUS 50, US 350, US 85, US 66
Old Oregon TrailIndependence, MissouriSeaside, Oregon and Olympia, WashingtonUS 40, US 30, US 26, US 20, US 87E, US 30N, US 30
Old Spanish TrailSt. Augustine, FloridaSan Diego, CaliforniaUS 1, US 90, US 80
Ozark TrailsKansas City, Missouri, Hannibal, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, TennesseeDenver, Colorado, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas
Pacific HighwayVancouver, British ColumbiaSan Diego, CaliforniaUS 99, US 40, US 101
Pershing WayWinnipeg, ManitobaNew Orleans, Louisiana
Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean HighwayNew York, New YorkLos Angeles, California (earlier San Francisco, California)US 22, US 250, US 36, US 136, US 36, US 40N, US 40S, US 50, US 91Also known as the Pershing Transport Route
Puget Sound-to-Gulf Highway
Red Ball Route
River-to-River RoadDavenport, IowaCouncil Bluffs, Iowa
Southern National Highway
Southwest TrailChicago, IllinoisEl Paso, TexasUS 32, US 65, US 50S, US 81, US 160, US 281, US 60, US 366
Susquehanna TrailBuffalo, New YorkWashington, D.C.US 20, US 15, US 111/US 240
Theodore Roosevelt International HighwayPortland, MainePortland, OregonUS 302, US 2, US 11, US 104, US 23, US 2, US 95, US 195, US 295, US 410, US 30
Three C HighwayCleveland, OhioCincinnati, OhioUS 42
Victory HighwayNew York, New YorkSan Francisco, CaliforniaUS 1, US 40, US 40S, US 83, US 40N, US 40
White River TrailSpringfield, MissouriPonca City, Oklahoma
White-way 7 HighwayChicago, IllinoisOmaha, NebraskaUS 32In Iowa, created from segments of the River to River Road from Davenport to Redfield, and the Great White Way from Dexter to Council Bluffs.
William Penn HighwayUS 22
Yellowstone HighwayDenver, ColoradoYellowstone National Park
Yellowstone TrailPlymouth, MassachusettsSeattle, WashingtonUS 20, US 30, US 41, US 110, US 10, US 212, US 12, US 10, US 195, US 295, US 410, US 97, US 10

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baranowski, Shelley and Furlough, Ellen. Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2001, p. 168-169; National Park Service. Rules and Regulations. Yellowstone National Park, 1920. Season June 20 to September 15. U.S. Department of the Interior. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1920, p. 21-23, accessed 2013-01-23.
  2. ^ Kitsko, Jeffrey. "US 11". Pennsylvania Highways. Self-published. Retrieved January 16, 2013. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Kitsko, Jeffrey. "US 611 (Decommissioned)". Pennsylvania Highways. Self-published. Retrieved January 16, 2013. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ Johnston, R. J. (April 4, 1918). "The Liberty Highway: Touring and Driveaway Route Between Cleveland and New York". Motor Age 33 (14): 72–75. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 

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