The Santa Fe Trail

The Santa Fe Trail originated from merchants who sought trade with Mexico starting in 1821. In the 1830s, mountain men and trappers traveling on the Santa Fe Trail blazed a new path west to the Rockies. This new route split from the Santa Fe Trail near the present day city of Gardner and became the Oregon-California Trail. Beginning in the mid-1840s, emigrants seeking better land, health and fortune out west later followed these established routes on their way to Oregon and California. Campgrounds on these trails in present-day Johnson County became well-known places for travelers to stop.