Oregon-California Trails Association
The Oregon-California Trails Association is an interdisciplinary organization based at Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

, Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. OCTA is dedicated to the preservation and protection of overland emigrant trails and the emigrant experience.

OCTA Chapters work closely with National Trails System
National Trails System
The National Trails System was created by the National Trails System Act The Act created a series of National trails "to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation." Specifically,...

 partners to help interpret and sustain the quality of outdoor recreation experiences along these trail corridors. For example, OCTA's guide to Mapping Emigrant Trails (MET Manual) http://www.nationaltrailspartnership.org/view_story.asp?story_id=47&issue_id=9 became the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

's benchmark protocol for GPS-assisted topographical mapping along other historic and scenic trails.

Three major historical trails crossed America's western territories as wagon train routes to Santa Fe, Oregon, and California.

The Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1822 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880...

 began in 1821 as a 900 miles (1,448.4 km) foreign trade route to New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. It was unique in American History due to its overland commerce routes rather than seafaring transportation.

The 2000 miles (3,218.7 km) Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

 became more heavily traveled in 1843 by settlers wanting to establish new homes in the northwest.

Other pioneers forked off on the equally long and grueling California Trail
California Trail
The California Trail was an emigrant trail of about across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California...

to seek their fortunes in the gold fields.

External links

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