Before motorized travel became common people traveled from location to location using "trails" or "traces". Most of these trails were well established by the time Europeans immigrated to the colonies. The original 'travelers' on these trails were various types of nomadic animals as they moved from place to place in search of grazing lands and fresh water. Some areas had 'salt licks' that were also found along side trails blazed by wild animals. Native Americans were familiar with these trails and utilized them for thousands of years prior to settlement by Europeans. Natives to the area used these trails for travel from feeding ground, water and war paths. Because they were often well worn, easy to follow and led to grazing lands and fresh water, Europeans utilized them as well on foot, horseback and with wagons. They were an important addition to the missionary efforts of different religions as they sent missionaries into the wilderness. Many of these trails, or portions of them, were utilized in the construction of roads and highways in modern times.
One such trail is the Preston Trail, also called the Old Preston Road. The Preston was originally part of an ancient trail that meandered from north to south and extended from parts of Missouri and Ohio southward to Mexico passing through the middle of Texas. The Shawnee tribe utilized the trail for hundreds of years. By 1839 the area, then known as the Republic of Texas, had a well organized military and began constuction of roads, building military forts along the way to protect settlers from attacks by native Americans in the area. It was a well known travel route and used by settlers and others as they migrated to the western parts of the United States. By 1840 the Preston Trail had become known as the Preston Road extending north through Grayson and Collin counties to the small town of Preston, Texas (at present a Ghost town submerged under Lake Texoma).
Texas State Highway 289 follows closely along what was originally called the Preston Trail and the term: "Preston Trail" has been used in the names of several institutions such as the Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, Texas.
- Many of the US Migration Trails and Roads