Lewis and Clark Trail 

The Lewis and Clark Trail is a United States National Historic Trail commemorating the journey of the 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery expedition that explored the U.S.A.’s newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

Starting in Illinois, it follows the Missouri River to the headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, then over the Continental Divide.

From there it follows the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers to the Pacific Ocean near Fort Clatsop Oregon.

Later the expedition paved way for the wave of colonization known as the “Wild West”, and the parallel Oregon Trail.

Route of Lewis and Clark Trail 

Beginning at the Camp Dubois recreation in Illinois, it passes through portions of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long. Trail extend from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon.

Lewis and Clark Trail
                              Lewis and Clark Trail

It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It also include the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.

The Trail connects 16 states and many tribal lands. National Park Service administered these lands.

Lewis and Clark Trail Tour-way

In 1948 the National Park Service proposed a “Lewis and Clark Tour-way” along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Three Forks, Montana.

Later, Jay “Ding” Darling proposed the development of the expedition route as a recreational trail.

Following a 1966 report by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the National Trails System Act of 1968 listed the route for study as a possible National Scenic Trail.

Finally in 1978 the law was amended by the National Parks and Recreation Act to provide for a new category of trail, National Historic Trails, one of which was to be the Lewis and Clark trail.

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