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?
The mill at San Jose was in use and grinding wheat by 1794. The mill is believed to be the oldest in Texas. In 2001 President Bush came to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and dedicated the mill, which is in use today.