Brief by Central Staff
History – March 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine
Historic Designation Study Starts on Old Spanish Trail
The National Park Service has started a study to determine whether the Old Spanish Trail should be designated a National Historic Trail.
The Old Spanish Trail dates to the early 19th century, and took several routes, including some through the San Luis Valley, to get from Santa Fé to Los Angeles. Other national historic trails include the Oregon, Pony Express, Mormon Pioneer, and Santa Fé trails.
Designation would mean federal funds for planning, development, and administration. National trails are managed in coöperation with local governments, non-profit organizations (like the Old Spanish Trail Association), and landowners along the way.
The Park Service explains that “these entities preserve significant sites within the trail corridor, develop opportunities for the public to retrace the historic route and to visit historic sites along the trail where they may learn about its history and significance, and provide for public recreational use based on historic interest and appreciation. The federal role is one of setting and maintaining standards, providing technical and limited financial assistance to partners, and helping to ensure consistent preservation, education, and public-use programs.”
If you want to get surveyed by the Park Service, write to Old Spanish Trail Study Team, National Park Service, PO Box 25287, Denver CO 80225-0287. And you can reach the Old Spanish Trail Association at P.O. Box 521, Monte Vista CO 81144.