Establishing a New National Historic Trail

The Santa Fe National Historic trail was established in 1987, when it was added to the National Trails System in October of that year. Beginning in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail opened up commerce between Mexico and America. Trade continued from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico after the Mexican-American War ended in 1848. Today, the national historic trail extends 1,203 miles across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.

The National Park Service administers the Santa Fe National Historic Trail in partnership with other federal, state, and local agencies; non-profit organizations; and private landowners. Participating national historic trail sites display the official trail logo.

These sites can also become certified sites for the trail. For information on the benefits of being a certified site and becoming one of our partners, visit the certification webpage.


National Trails System

National historic trails are part of the National Trails System, which was established by the National Trails System Act of 1968. National historic trails commemorate historic routes and promote their preservation and development for public use. They recognize diverse facets of history such as prominent past routes of exploration, migration, trade, communication, and military action. National historic trails generally consist of remnant sites and trail segments, and thus are not necessarily contiguous. In addition, while they are administered by federal agencies, land ownership of the sites and segments may be in public or private hands.

Learn more about the National Trails System, including national historic, scenic, and recreation trails. View the National Trails System map.


Our Mission

To promote the preservation and development of national historic trails for public use, enjoyment, education, and inspiration.


Last updated: May 17, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504


(505) 988-6098

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