Trail Dedication Recalls Texas Travels 300 Years Ago


Steve Freeman

On April 16, from 10 a.m. until noon, El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association (ELCAT), Sabine County, and the National Park Service (NPS) will host the dedication of the Lobanillo Swales and a 50th anniversary celebration of the National Trails System Act.

MORE:  Explore the Treasures Along El Camino Real

The free event will feature remarks from elected officials and agency representatives from the NPS and Texas Historical Commission, hiking of the newly developed mile loop trail at the site, fundraising for ELCAT, and socializing with finger foods and refreshments.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The National Trails System is comprised of trails that have been deemed as nationally significant by the US Congress, and in the case of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, it is because it is the road that led to the founding of Texas. The dedication at Lobanillo is the kickoff celebration of the anniversary along El Camino Real.

The Lobanillo Swales are the largest concentration of physical remnants of the road that have been found anywhere in the United States. Composed of seven swales, measuring up to 18 feet deep and 12 feet wide, archaeological surveys of the site have discovered over three centuries of artifacts, ranging from the Spanish Colonial period in the late 1700s to the American period in the early 1900s.

Owned by ELCAT, the Lobanillo Swales are located in the pine forest of Sabine County, Texas. Added to the National Trails System by the U.S. Congress on October 18, 2004, El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail commemorates nationally significant historic routes extending from the United States - Mexico border at the Rio Grande to the eastern boundary of the Spanish province of Texas in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.  The period of historic significance for the trail is 1680 to 1845.

Event registration  and  information:

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