Old Trails Region


The Region.

Whether you are in the area for a weekend getaway or a day trip with the family, the Old Trails Region has something to offer everyone.  From historic sites to fresh produce, the area is rich in culture and personality.


The Old Trails Region covers over 100 miles of businesses, farmland, events, and entertainment through the heart of Missouri.


The Old Trails Region strives to enhance the economic, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, scenic and educational value of the region.


The Old Trails region was developed based on two established scenic byways in Lafayette County and the extension of this corridor to the east and west, along the Missouri River Valley, anchored by Fort Osage on the west and Boonville on the east. In addition, the boundaries of the region were mapped by geologists at the University of Missouri as having commonality of soil type, topography and geological origin. businesses, farmland, events, and entertainment through the heart of Missouri.


A short drive from anywhere, our Region is an eclectic mix of old, new, urban, rural, traditional, and contemporary. We invite you to explore the area and blaze your own Trail. You'll find new adventures at every turn!

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Region History.

The counties on both sides of the Missouri River in West Central Missouri form the Old Trails Region; an area rich in history, cultural heritage and agricultural bounty. Yesterday, Native Americans, explorers, Santa Fe traders and Civil War armies forged and followed trails through this region.


Old Trails Region offers both standing evidence and clues about the history and heritage of Central Missouri's challenges as a gateway to Westward expansion.


The Missouri River weaves its way through Old Trails Region, playing a vital role in providing river trade, agriculture, and settlement. Early trade centers including Lexington and Brunswick became bustling river ports, creating small cities literally overnight. The great wealth earned from these river ports and large plantations help explain the large, antebellum houses that still stand throughout parts of the Old Trails Region.


Missouri traders from the town of Franklin, like William Becknell, helped pioneer the Santa Fe Trail, dramatically expanding on the earlier efforts of small-time French and Spanish traders from the area. Originating in Franklin, the Santa Fe Trail continued through Arrow Rock and Fort Osage, then on to Independence, which became a major outfitting center for Santa Fe trading caravans.


Many Westward settlers homesteaded in the Old Trails Region, creating large farms and reaping bountiful harvests of fruit, vegetables, and hemp from the area's fertile soil. Some of these homesteads have been handed down through generations and are designated today as Century Farms.


Our Region also found itself in the midst of Civil War skirmishes and battles in the divided state of Missouri. Cities of Boonville, Glasgow, Lexington, Liberty, and Marshall all witnessed the divide between North and South. Bushwhackers such as William Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson, and Jesse James all roamed the Old Trails Region.


Regardless of your knowledge of history, Old Trails Region offers wonderful opportunities to explore and learn more! State Historical Sites, local museums, markers, and parks are scattered along the Trails, waiting to provide more insight into the rich past that helped shape the Region. Let's Go!

Old Trails Regional Partnership • Lexington, MO 64067 • 660-232-1836

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