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Hearings planned for Old Spanish Trail

Brief by Central Staff

History – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Old Spanish Trail, which connected Santa F to Los Angeles, became part of the National Historic Trails System in 2002, and now the National Park Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are developing a management plan for 2,700 miles of dispersed routes.

The trail’s main route cut across the southwest corner of Colorado in the Durango area. However, it also had a north branch which ascended the San Luis Valley to the Saguache area, where it swung west to cross Cochetopa Pass and continue to rejoin the main route at Green River, Utah.

Public meetings are scheduled along the route, and the U.S. Department of the Interior says that “Everyone with an interest in the trail and its history, possibilities for recreation and heritage preservation, or resources and opportunities along the route is encouraged to attend one or more of the scoping meetings.”

The result will be a management plan to “describe how the surviving elements of the Old Spanish Trail — the route, the landscape, and the historic places — will be developed to preserve trail resources, provide access to trail sites, and tell the full story of the trail and its role in American history.”

Hereabouts, one meeting will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1 at the Alamosa County Services Center, 8900 Independence Way, and another will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in Gunnison at the Fred R. Field Heritage Center, 275 South Spruce Street.

Comments may also be sent by email or postal mail through May 17. They can be sent to Sara Schlanger, New Mexico State Office, BLM, PO Box 27115, Santa Fe NM 87502,, or to Aaron Mahr, NPS, P.O. Box 728, Santa Fe NM 87504, There’s more information on the web at