SAN ANTONIO – Before cars and highways, people followed El Camino Real de los Tejas to travel between Mexico, Texas and Louisiana.
That trail played a key part in making San Antonio the city it is today.
The trail system was developed by the Spaniards in the 1600s to travel through unpopulated areas where they could be threatened by their enemies. In 2004 it became a national historic trail.
The trail system starts around Laredo and near Eagle Pass, goes up through San Antonio and into eastern Texas into Louisiana.
The Camino Reales would become very important to San Antonio and its economic development as the area became an important military and trade center, a political hub and a destination for religious matters.
“All the roads come here and they emanate out to Nacogdoches, Goliad, San Saba to the north,” TexasTejano.com historian Rudi Rodriguez said.
The importance of this trail system is why El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association was created to help preserve and mark it.
You can see those markers around town and at the Medina River Greenway on the south side.
“Our heritage and our history are rooted in this road,” Rodriguez said.