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Old style Highway markings
Lincoln Highway
USA Dixie Highway marker.jpg
Dixie Highway

The system of auto trails was an informal network of marked routes that existed in the United States and Canada in the early part of the 20th century. Marked with colored bands on telephone poles, the trails were intended to help travellers in the early days of the automobile.

Auto trails were usually marked and sometimes maintained by organizations of private individuals. Some, such as the Lincoln Highway and the Lincoln Highway Association, were well-known and well-organized, while others were the work of fly-by-night promoters, to the point that anyone with enough paint and the will to do so could set up a trail; trails were not usually linked to road improvements, though counties and states often prioritized road improvements because they were on trails.

In the mid-to-late 1920s, the auto trails were essentially replaced in the United States with the system of numbered U.S. Highways. Similar numbering schemes had begun to be implemented in the Canadian provinces as well.


List of auto trails

Name North or east end South or west end U.S. Highways (approximate, based on 1926 plan and later additions) Notes
Albert Pike Highway Hot Springs, AR Colorado Springs, CO US 270, US 64, US 183, US 154, US 50, US 85
Arrowhead Trail Salt Lake City, UT Los Angeles, CA US 91
Atlantic Highway Calais, ME Miami, FL US 1, US 25, US 17, US 1
Atlantic-Pacific Highway New York, NY Los Angeles, CA US 1, US 211, US 15, US 33, US 60, US 52, US 460, US 50, US 54, US 70, US 60
Atlantic Yellowstone Pacific Highway Chicago, IL Sioux Falls, SD US 20, US 218, US 18
Bankhead Highway Washington, DC San Diego, CA US 1, US 15, US 70, US 170, US 29, US 78, US 70, US 67, US 80
Bee Line Highway
Ben Hur Highway St. Louis, MO Fort Dodge, IA
Black and Yellow Trail Chicago, IL Yellowstone National Park US 41, US 16, US 14, US 16, US 20
Blackhawk Highway Dixon, IL Beloit, WI
California-Banff Bee Line
Capital Route Omaha, NE Austin, TX
Chicago, Kansas City and Gulf Highway Chicago, IL Galveston, TX
Colorado to Gulf Highway Denver, CO Galveston, TX and Brownsville, TX US 85, US 385, US 370, US 81, US 181
Columbia River Highway Pendleton, OR Portland, OR US 30
Cooley Highway
Cornhusker Highway Sioux City, IA Oklahoma City, OK
Custer Battlefield Highway Omaha, NE Glacier National Park US 75, US 16, US 116, US 87E, US 87
Dallas-Canadian-Denver Highway Boulder, CO Galveston, TX US 85, US 50, US 83, US 70, US 77
Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway Detroit, MI Denver, CO US 12, US 32, US 38
Dixie Highway Chicago, IL and Sault Ste. Marie, MI Miami, FL IL 1,US 136,US 31,IN 37,US 150,US 31W
Dixie Bee Line Chicago, IL Nashville, TN US 41, US 241
Dixie Overland Highway Savannah, GA San Diego, CA US 80, US 84, US 380, US 366, US 80
Evergreen National Highway Victoria, BC El Paso, TX US 99, US 10, US 97, US 410, US 95, US 30, US 30N, US 91, US 95, US 66
Egyptian Trail Chicago, IL Cairo, IL
Florida Short Route
George Washington National Highway Savannah, GA Seattle, WA
Geysers-to-Glaciers Highway Glacier National Park Yellowstone National Park
Glacier to Gulf Motorway Calgary, AB Tampico, Mexico
Glacier Trail Seattle, WA Jacksonville, FL
Grant Highway Chicago, IL Portland, OR
Great White Way Davenport, IA Council Bluffs, IA
International Peace Highway Quebec, QC and Rouses Point, NY Laredo, TX and Mexico City, Mexico
Jackson Highway Chicago, IL New Orleans, LA US 152, US 52, US 31, US 168, US 68, US 31, US 43, US 45, US 11
Jefferson Highway Winnipeg, MB New Orleans, LA US 59, US 2, US 71, US 10N, US 10, US 65, US 69, US 71/US 73E, US 73, US 75, US 69, US 67, US 271, US 80, US 171, US 71, US 61
Jefferson Davis National Highway Washington, DC San Francisco, CA US 1, US 278, US 29, US 80, US 43, US 90, US 96, US 277, US 90
John Anderson Highway
King of Trails Winnipeg, MB Galveston, TX and Brownsville, TX US 75/US 81, US 75/US 77, US 75, US 73, US 73E, US 50, US 73W, US 75, US 77, US 81, US 181, US 96
Kings Transcontinental Highway Ottawa Toronto
Lackawanna Trail Binghamton, NY Delaware, NJ
Lakes to Gulf Highway Duluth, MN Galveston, TX
Lakes-to-Sea Highway Atlantic City, NJ Erie, PA US 30, US 120, US 22, US 322, US 19
Lee Highway New York, NY San Francisco, CA US 1, US 211, US 11, US 72, US 70, US 366, US 80, US 180, US 80, US 101
Lewis and Clark Highway Missoula, MT Lewiston, ID
Liberty Highway
Lincoln Highway New York, NY San Francisco, CA US 1, US 30, US 40, US 93, US 50, US 99, US 48
Logan-Lee Highway Rock Island, IL Paducah, KY
Lone Star Route Chicago, IL Lake Charles, LA (earlier Brownsville, TX) US 66, US 67, US 63, US 165
Lone Star Trail St. Augustine, FL Los Angeles, CA US 1, US 90, US 84, US 67, US 290, US 80
Magnolia Route
Meridian Highway Winnipeg, MB Mexico City, Mexico US 81
Mississippi River Scenic Highway Winnipeg, MB and Port Arthur, ON Fort Myers, FL and Port Arthur, TX US 75, US 2, US 71, US 10N, US 10, US 61, US 55, US 61, US 90; US 49E, US 49, US 98, US 90, US 19, US 41
Mississippi Valley Highway Ely, MN Gulfport, MS (earlier New Orleans, LA) US 53, US 61, US 55, US 161, US 67, US 51, US 45, US 11, US 49 Earlier known as the Burlington Way
National Old Trails Road Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD Los Angeles, CA US 240/US 40, US 40, US 50N, US 50, US 350, US 85, US 70, US 66
National Park-to-Park Highway Loop connecting National Parks US 99, US 48, US 40, US 99E, US 99, US 10, US 195, US 95, US 2, US 87, US 87W, US 20, US 185, US 85, US 50, US 285, US 450, US 550, US 64, US 666, US 66
National Parks Highway Boston, MA and New York, NY Seattle, WA Also known as the Northwest Trail
National Roosevelt Midland Trail Washington, DC and Newport News, VA (earlier Oyster Bay, NY) Los Angeles, CA US 60, US 150, US 50, US 40, US 40N, US 40, US 40S, US 50, US 6
National White Way
New Santa Fe Trail
Old Oregon Trail Independence, MO Seaside, OR and Olympia, WA US 40, US 30, US 26, US 20, US 87E, US 30N, US 30
Old Spanish Trail St. Augustine, FL San Diego, CA US 1, US 90, US 80
Ozark Trails Kansas City, MO, Hannibal, MO, St. Louis, MO, and Memphis, TN Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NM, and El Paso, TX
Pacific Highway Vancouver, BC San Diego, CA US 99, US 40, US 101
Pershing Way Winnipeg, MB New Orleans, LA
Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway New York, NY Los Angeles, CA (earlier San Francisco, CA) US 22, US 250, US 36, US 136, US 36, US 40N, US 40S, US 50, US 91 Also known as the Pershing Transport Route
Puget Sound-to-Gulf Highway
Red Ball Route
River-to-River Road Davenport, IA Council Bluffs, IA
Southern National Highway
Southwest Trail Chicago, IL El Paso, TX US 32, US 65, US 50S, US 81, US 160, US 281, US 60, US 366
Susquehanna Trail Buffalo, NY Washington, DC US 20, US 15, US 111/US 240
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway Portland, ME Portland, OR US 302, US 2, US 11, US 104, US 23, US 2, US 95, US 195, US 295, US 410, US 30
Three C Highway Cleveland, OH Cincinnati, OH US 42
Victory Highway New York, NY San Francisco, CA US 1, US 40, US 40S, US 83, US 40N, US 40
White River Trail Springfield, MO Ponca City, OK
White-way 7 Highway Chicago, IL Omaha, NE US 32 In Iowa, created from segments of the River to River Road from Davenport to Redfield, and the Great White Way from Dexter to Council Bluffs.
William Penn Highway US 22
Yellowstone Highway Denver, CO Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Trail Plymouth, MA Seattle, WA US 20, US 30, US 41, US 110, US 10, US 212, US 12, US 10, US 195, US 295, US 410, US 97, US 10

See also


External links



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