Frequently Asked Questions
Where is El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail? The trail extends 2,580 miles across Texas and into northwest Louisiana, while the historic trail extends all the way to Mexico City.
Where can I obtain the official map and guide brochure? Trail brochures may be obtained from a number of locations. Many museums and visitor centers along the trail distribute our free brochures. The Places To Go page provides a sample of some of the sites along the trail that may carry our publications. See our publications page to download brochures directly, or email us to request one.
How do I visit or follow El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail? El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail is not a clearly marked hiking trail. Instead it is a corridor that passes through communities as well as wild areas and through different states and land ownership. We encourage you to go to the Places To Go web pages to discover the many sites you can visit. Your travels on the trail are rich with cultural history: museums, historic sites, missions, presidios, and original trail segments. Sites are listed in Texas and Louisiana.
ACCESS: Visitors can follow parts of the original trail on public lands and approximate other parts by driving the roads that travel near the historical route. However, many parts of the original trail are privately owned, have been destroyed by development, are under plow, or cross American Indian tribal reserves. There is no public trail access across private property and reserves. Before entering those lands, you must locate the owners and ask their permission.
Where can I get my Passport stamped? Go to the Passport for Your National Parks pages on this website for stamp locations.
Do you have educational materials for teachers? Visit the Education web page for 4th and 7th grade lesson plans. We would be happy to mail you our official map and guide brochure for your classroom. Send an email with your contact information, mailing address, and the quantity of guides you need for your class.
What is El Camino Real de los Tejas? Vast open skies. Swollen streams and great rivers. Lush rolling hills and deep forests. Dark swamps and hot deserts. This varied and expansive landscape was home to American Indians for hundreds of years. The land offered no apparent riches, but Spain was intent on protecting its territory from France. Spaniards claimed this land and named it Tejas for the Caddo word meaning friend. Missionaries and soldiers traveled timeworn routes, built missions and presidios (military posts), and opened a camino real (royal road), a vital artery across the heart of the land. El Camino Real de los Tejas brought change—exploration, trade, migration, settlement, war, independence, and statehood. It fostered cultural interactions and created a distinctive mosaic of language and lifeways.
What year was El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail established? Congress established the trail in 2004.
Who owns El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail? The trail is administered by the National Park Service (National Trails Intermountain Region), but the actual route on the ground is owned or managed by public, private, nonprofit, state, county, and local landowners. National Trails Intermountain Region works with these landowners to identify the historic trail resources, provide site planning and design, map the trail, and develop educational opportunities. National Trails Intermountain Region does not own any land on the trail.
What is a national historic trail? Much like a national park, a national historic trail is created by an act of Congress. National historic trails are congressionally designated official routes that reflect the research, review, and recommendation of many trail experts. National historic trails commemorate historic trade, migration, and other routes important to American culture.
How can I learn more about El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail and take part in organized activities along the trail? The nonprofit organization that helps research, tour, sign, interpret, and protect El Camino Real de los Tejas is El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. Visit their website at http://www.elcaminorealdelostejas.org