2019 El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Highlights

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association (ELCAT)


Programs — ELCAT created a traveling museum exhibit titled, “El Camino Real de los Tejas: Its History, People, and Places.”

Partnerships — ELCAT worked with local leaders in Zapata County toward the first international perspective on the Camino. ELCAT worked with classes and interns from Texas State University and The University of Texas at Austin and at San Antonio, engaging with local communities, trail mapping, and creating informational outreach materials.   

Interpretation — NPS contracted with 106 groups for interpretive waysides and two orientation panels at four trail sites to enhance visitor wayfinding in Texas.


Historic Places — ELCAT reached out to State and local leaders to nominate three trail properties within the Rancheria Grande to the National Register of Historic Places, bringing together private landowners, county officials, ELCAT, and the NPS for the activity. The official sites are Comal Springs at New Braunfels; wagon swale at Mission Tejas State Park, Grapeland; and Onion Creek Crossing at McKinney Falls State Park, Austin.

Planning — ELCAT, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Historical Commission met to discuss enhancements to the existing process for all organizations to work together more efficiently on sign planning and trail marking. 

Documentation — ELCAT worked with the City of Austin to document the historic and archaeological resources in Onion Creek Metropolitan Park to determine its connection to the trail. Archaeological projects documented historic resources and their connection to the trail, including studies at the Perez Rancho and Ruiz Rancho in San Antonio, which are Spanish Colonial era ranches tied to the Spanish Mission system. ELCAT participated in mapping efforts, such as those at McKinney Falls State Park that documented road remnants and other historic structures within the park, and the mapping of trail signage in 10 counties and parishes along the trail.    


Membership ELCAT established its first two chapters: Rancheria Grande Chapter in Milam County, TX and Camino de Flores Chapter in Floresville/Wilson County, TX. 

Funding — ELCAT used PNTS intern grant funding to hire Elaine Sullivan, who worked part-time on administrative activities and created a traveling exhibit. The trail administration’s proposal to NPS Southwest Border Resource Protection Program for historical research about indigenous Tribes in southwest Texas has been funded and is being led by Professor Armando Alonzo.