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]

Name North or east end South or west end U.S. Highways (approximate, based on 1926 plan and later additions) Notes
Albert Pike Highway Hot Springs, Arkansas Colorado Springs, Colorado US 270, US 64, US 183, US 154, US 50, US 85
Arrowhead Trail Salt Lake City, Utah Los Angeles, California US 91
Atlantic Highway Calais, Maine Miami, Florida US 1, US 25, US 17, US 1
Atlantic-Pacific Highway New York, New York Los Angeles, California US 1, US 211, US 15, US 33, US 60, US 52, US 460, US 50, US 54, US 70, US 60
Atlantic Yellowstone Pacific Highway Chicago, Illinois Sioux Falls, South Dakota US 20, US 218, US 18
Baltimore Pike Baltimore, Maryland Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bankhead Highway Washington, D.C. San Diego, California US 1, US 15, US 70, US 170, US 29, US 78, US 70, US 67, US 80
Bee Line Highway Chicago, Illinois New Orleans, Louisiana
Ben Hur Highway St. Louis, Missouri Fort Dodge, Iowa
Black and Yellow Trail Chicago, Illinois Yellowstone National Park US 41, US 16, US 14, US 16, US 20
Blackhawk Highway Dixon, Illinois Beloit, Wisconsin
California-Banff Bee Line
Cannon Ball Route Chicago, Illinois Hannibal, Missouri
Capital Route Omaha, Nebraska Austin, Texas
Chicago, Kansas City and Gulf Highway Chicago, Illinois Galveston, Texas
Colorado to Gulf Highway Denver, Colorado Galveston, Texas and Brownsville, Texas US 85, US 385, US 370, US 81, US 181
Columbia River Highway Pendleton, Oregon Portland, Oregon US 30
Cooley Highway Grand Rapids, Minnesota Sisseton, South Dakota
Cornhusker Highway Sioux City, Iowa Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Custer Battlefield Highway Omaha, Nebraska Glacier National Park US 75, US 16, US 116, US 87E, US 87
Dallas-Canadian-Denver Highway Boulder, Colorado Galveston, Texas US 85, US 50, US 83, US 70, US 77
Daniel Webster Highway
Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway Detroit, Michigan Denver, Colorado US 12, US 32, US 38
Dixie Highway Chicago, Illinois and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Miami, Florida Illinois 1, US 136, US 31, Indiana 37, US 150, US 31W
Dixie Bee Line Chicago, Illinois Nashville, Tennessee US 41, US 241
Dixie Overland Highway Savannah, Georgia San Diego, California US 80, US 84, US 380, US 366, US 80
Evergreen National Highway Victoria, British Columbia El Paso, Texas US 99, US 10, US 97, US 410, US 95, US 30, US 30N, US 91, US 95, US 66
Egyptian Trail Chicago, Illinois Cairo, Illinois
Florida Short Route
George Washington National Highway Savannah, Georgia Seattle, Washington
Geysers-to-Glaciers Highway Glacier National Park Yellowstone National Park US 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 Motorway Calgary, Alberta Tampico, Mexico
Glacier Trail Seattle, Washington Jacksonville, Florida
Grant Highway Chicago, Illinois Portland, Oregon
Great White Way Davenport, Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa
International Peace Highway Quebec, Quebec and Rouses Point, New York Laredo, Texas and Mexico City, Mexico
Jackson Highway Chicago, Illinois New Orleans, Louisiana US 152, US 52, US 31, US 168, US 68, US 31, US 43, US 45, US 11
Jefferson Highway Winnipeg, Manitoba New Orleans, Louisiana US 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 Highway Washington, D.C. San Diego, California US 1, US 278, US 29, US 80, US 43, US 90, US 96, US 277, US 90
King of Trails Winnipeg, Manitoba Galveston, Texas and Brownsville, Texas US 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 Highway Ottawa Toronto
Lackawanna Trail Binghamton, New York Delaware, New Jersey US 11,[2] US 611[3]
Lakes to Gulf Highway Duluth, Minnesota Galveston, Texas
Lakes-to-Sea Highway Atlantic City, New Jersey Erie, Pennsylvania US 30, US 120, US 22, US 322, US 19
Lee Highway New York, New York San Francisco, California US 1, US 211, US 11, US 72, US 70, US 366, US 80, US 180, US 80, US 101
Lewis and Clark Highway Missoula, Montana Lewiston, Idaho
Liberty Highway New York, New York Cleveland, Ohio New Jersey 4, New Jersey 17, New York 17, New York 430, New York 394, US 20[4]
Lincoln Highway New York, New York San Francisco, California US 1, US 30, US 40, US 93, US 50, US 99, US 48
Logan-Lee Highway Rock Island, Illinois Paducah, Kentucky
Lone Star Route Chicago, Illinois Lake Charles, Louisiana (earlier Brownsville, Texas) US 66, US 67, US 63, US 165
Lone Star Trail St. Augustine, Florida Los Angeles, California US 1, US 90, US 84, US 67, US 290, US 80
Magnolia Route
Meridian Highway Winnipeg, Manitoba Mexico City, Mexico US 81
Mississippi River Scenic Highway Winnipeg, Manitoba and Port Arthur, Ontario Fort Myers, Florida and Port Arthur, Texas US 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 Highway Ely, Minnesota Gulfport, Mississippi (earlier New Orleans, Louisiana) US 53, US 61, US 55, US 161, US 67, US 51, US 45, US 11, US 49 Earlier known as the Burlington Way
National Old Trails Road Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland Los Angeles, California US 240/US 40, US 40, US 50N, US 50, US 350, US 85, US 70, US 66
National Park-to-Park Highway Loop connecting National Parks US 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 Highway Boston, Massachusetts and New York, New York Seattle, Washington Also known as the Northwest Trail
National Roosevelt Midland Trail Washington, D.C. and Newport News, Virginia (earlier Oyster Bay, New York) Los Angeles, California US 60, US 150, US 50, US 40, US 40N, US 40, US 40S, US 50, US 6
National White Way
New Santa Fe Trail Kansas City, Mo. Los Angeles US 50, US 350, US 85, US 66
Old Oregon Trail Independence, Missouri Seaside, Oregon and Olympia, Washington US 40, US 30, US 26, US 20, US 87E, US 30N, US 30
Old Spanish Trail St. Augustine, Florida San Diego, California US 1, US 90, US 80
Ozark Trails Kansas City, Missouri, Hannibal, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee Denver, Colorado, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas
Pacific Highway Vancouver, British Columbia San Diego, California US 99, US 40, US 101
Pershing Way Winnipeg, Manitoba New Orleans, Louisiana
Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway New York, New York Los Angeles, California (earlier San Francisco, California) US 22, US 250, US 36, US 136, US 36, US 40N, US 40S, US 50, US 91 Also known as the Pershing Transport Route
Puget Sound-to-Gulf Highway
Red Ball Route
River-to-River Road Davenport, Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa
Southern National Highway
Southwest Trail Chicago, Illinois El Paso, Texas US 32, US 65, US 50S, US 81, US 160, US 281, US 60, US 366
Susquehanna Trail Buffalo, New York Washington, D.C. US 20, US 15, US 111/US 240
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway Portland, Maine Portland, Oregon US 302, US 2, US 11, US 104, US 23, US 2, US 95, US 195, US 295, US 410, US 30
Three C Highway Cleveland, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio US 42
Victory Highway New York, New York San Francisco, California US 1, US 40, US 40S, US 83, US 40N, US 40
White River Trail Springfield, Missouri Ponca City, Oklahoma
White-way 7 Highway Chicago, Illinois Omaha, Nebraska US 32 In 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 Highway US 22
Yellowstone Highway Denver, Colorado Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Trail Plymouth, Massachusetts Seattle, Washington US 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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