The Trails of Westward Expansion

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

I would like information about the Totem Trail, probably used by pioneers in the 1900's. Where did it start? Did it go south to north or east to west? Where did it end? And what was noteworthy about this trail, as well as the Chisholm Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Oregon Trail? The Oregon Trail passed through Heddinger, North Dakota, and that's all I know.

The Answer:

  • Chisholm Trail - a cattle trail leading North from San Antonio, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas; used for about twenty years after the Civil War. You can find more information here.
  • Oregon Trail - a passage used during the U.S. westward migrations, especially in the period from 1840 to 1860, starting in Missouri and ending in Oregon. About 2000 mi. (3200 km) long. You can find out more in our encyclopedia.
  • Mormon Trail - a 1,300-mile long route that more than 70,000 Mormons walked to escape religious persecution in 1846-47. The migration began in Illinois and ended at the Great Basin in Utah. For more information, you can go to PBS' web site.

We couldn't find any information online about the Totem Trail, but it sounds like a trail from the U.S. Northwest, possibly Alaska or Washington. You can start your research with the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

-The Fact Monster

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