As Spain's frontier expanded, links were maintained between the northernmost settlements and Mexico City. As the vast area developed, a network of roads, or caminos reales, grew between major settlements, presidios, and missions. Originally blazed along game trails for military use, over time these roads provided a path for civilian settlers, trade and supply trains and, late in the colonial period, a postal service.
Today, the routes of these trails are being sought and mapped. Remnants are being designated as El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historical Trail.
Did You Know?
that the Spanish cornered the market on cochineal, a bug that produces a vivid red color, early in the Spanish colonial period? British officer coats, with which every American school child is familar, were dyed using cochineal.