The scenic trail and walkway opened to the public in 2018, and is National Treasure.
The El Camino Real De los Tejas, or Highway 21 as we call it winds it's way through East Texas just as it did more than four centuries ago. The scenic route through Sabine County will take you to the original "Wagon Swales" which are centuries old wagon tracks discovered adjacent to the current route. The Lobanillo Swales are now located in a scenic park that opened this time last year, with a walkway near Geneva, Texas. Stop and take the tour, it is definitely a one of a kind adventure. The parking space, and trail is located on the Highway 21 West route on the San Augustine/Sabine County outskirts.
The El Camino Real or King’s Highway is one of the oldest continuously traveled trails in the United States. Before being designated in 1691 as the King’s Highway or Royal Road by the Kings Council in Spain, the trail was being used by Native Americans and numerous early explorers.
Sale on the Trail during the first weekend is May is the perfect time to stop off and visit the scenic trail site. Sale on the Trail isn't an ordinary flee market, the scenic 175 mile route also outlines the historic El Camino Real los de Tejas or King's Highway. Most of us know the road as the scenic Highway 21, but for the Republic of Texas it was the gateway into what would become the State of Texas.
The trail itself is a national landmark, as settlers moved south across the Sabine River Basin. Last spring marked the opening of the scenic
El Camino Real de los Tejas, or "The royal road of the Tejas," was a major overland route through Texas that was originally established in the late 1600s to connect the Spanish missions among the Hasinai ("Tejas") and other tribes in east Texas to the government centers in Mexico. This system of roads received widespread usage in the 1700s and early 1800s, and shaped Texas history.
Some of the previous stories leading up to the opening of the scenic walkway are attached. The one below is about the documentary filmed in 2017 about the historic route, and is now being called one of the most pristine historic trails in the nation.
Original Post June 8, 2017
Local Historian and current President of the Sabine County Historical Commission, Weldon McDaniel explained to National Parks and Wildlife Video Producer Allen Fisher, that researchers and archaeologist have dated pottery along with many other items found during excavation to the late 1500s, and early 1600s. And for Native Americans along the Sabine River those dates go back much earlier.
Filmmakers and writers, along with a surveying team from the National Park Service toured not only the local Lobanillo Swales, along the El Camino Real de los Tejas but several other locations including the historic Sabine County Courthouse, and the Gaines-Oliphint House.
All of which became points of interest as the newly designated National Trail winds its way through Sabine County. The trial carries visitors through 300 years of Louisiana and Texas frontier settlements and development along the Spanish colonial "royal road", which originally extended to Mexico City, Mexico.
The footage in Sabine County will be part of a documentary about history and archeological sites south along modern-day Highway 21. "It takes a couple of twist along the way.
The footage in Sabine County will be part of a PBS Documentary featuring the landmarks along the historic El Camino Real los de Tejas is initially scheduled to air on networks in October 2017.
Early Americans emigrating south into the Republic of Texas were not the first to make their way through the hills of East Texas, green-covered red dirt mounds and thick pine forest to the Promised Land. Many stayed and called Sabine County, along with the other 11 East Texas counties home.
The historic "Swales" as referred to by the US Parks Service, or wagon tracks here in the south, lay along the historic El Camino los De Tejas. In Sabine County the wagon tracks could clearly be seen as GPS experts.
"The Swales were clearly visible and are some of the most preserved in the United States," Historian Weldon McDaniel said.
At the site of the Lobanillo Swales National Forest Service marked off an area to be developed into a parking lot overlooking the site.