Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Roadside Heritage

Fort Stockton
Fort Stockton


Our roadside heritage covers a lot of territory-both in mileage and subject matter. Perhaps our best examples are the many roadside historical markers placed along almost every roadway in Texas. While our history books cover the broad strokes, these markers often fill in the details and provide travelers who stop and read the text with a surprisingly visceral experience-the event described on the marker usually took place just beyond the spot where you may be standing.

But markers aren't the only evidence of roadside heritage along our byways. See if you can spot a few-like the first bluebonnets of the season; "descanos," the handmade altars honoring the deceased; longhorns lumbering along barbed wire fences; or roadrunners hunting the right-of-way. And Texans love roadside art whether it's taquerias festooned with holiday twinkle lights in July or yard dŽcor made from glass bottles and carved tree stumps. Route 66 - the mother road - began a legacy of neon cowboy giants that have fostered newer icons like Paisano Pete at Fort Stockton or the 67-foot tall Sam Houston in Huntsville, while for some, nothing more than the ubiquitous windmill is needed to make our wanderings complete. Our roadside heritage is rich and deep, making it a great reason to hit the road. (And don't forget to do your part in keeping it litter-free!)

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