Society

Driving Milam's King's Highway

History trail on the road to becoming ‘El Camino Reality’

Up until now the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail in Milam County has been mostly talk.

The “Royal Road,” also called The King’s Highway, will become reality. Signs denoting a 50-mile plus driving tour of Milam’s part of the two-century-old thoroughfare will go up soon.

The Reporter drove the tour last week. See Editor Mike Brown’s column, page 4A for a full report.

The tour links with US 79 at FM 486 in Thorndale and FM 2095 in Gause.

It includes a couple of “spurs,” all of historic FM 908 is on the tour and a side trip off FM 2027 down County Road 264 past Sugarloaf Mountain ends at the Faubion footbridge over the Little River and a view back to Suglarloaf.

In between the tour swings by the Apache Pass historic crossing of the San Gabriel River and the sites of all three 18th Century Spanish missions.


Motorists who follow the full 50-mile-plus trail through Milam County will see varied scenery from a ‘little house on the (blackland) prairie’ near Thorndale to a big house in the middle of the gorgeous Valhalla Farms horse facility on FM 487. Motorists who follow the full 50-mile-plus trail through Milam County will see varied scenery from a ‘little house on the (blackland) prairie’ near Thorndale to a big house in the middle of the gorgeous Valhalla Farms horse facility on FM 487. The historical marker for one of those missions, San Ildefonso, was moved in preparation for the driving tour.

In 1936 the marker was placed north of the river on County Road 428. Historians have noted for decades that’s the wrong location since all three missions were south of the river.

The marker had been moved to the correct location on CR 429, just south of FM 908.

In between, the tour swings through rich blackland farm country, shaded gravel country lanes and into the east Milam hills which provide “mountainous’ vistas even county natives may not know about. Signs will direct travelers to the trail’s points of interest.



Late afternoon sun casts shadow of the Sheckles Bridge onto San Gabriel River as the trail tour swings north on CR 429. Late afternoon sun casts shadow of the Sheckles Bridge onto San Gabriel River as the trail tour swings north on CR 429.


Above, tour (in blue) includes all of FMs 908, 1600 and 2095, parts of FM 486, CR 429 and CR 264. At right, Milam Mountain Majesty? Yes, this photo was taken in Milam County, off FM 2095, all of which is on the trail tour. Above, tour (in blue) includes all of FMs 908, 1600 and 2095, parts of FM 486, CR 429 and CR 264. At right, Milam Mountain Majesty? Yes, this photo was taken in Milam County, off FM 2095, all of which is on the trail tour.

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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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