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Texas Trail   by Kelly Thompson

The Texas Heritage Trails Program started in 1968 as a way to promote heritage tourism in each region of the state. The program encompasses not only the trails but also the stories of families who lived and prospered there.

Texas Forest Trail Region

In addition to the beautiful, unexpected landscape of this area, groups will find charming antebellum towns like Jacksonville, alligators in Jasper, country music museums in cities like Carthage, the mystical Caddo Lake in Karnack, oil history museums in Kilgore and much more.In New London, visit the museum dedicated to 311 students and teachers who died in a school explosion which led to the mandate to add an odor to natural gas. The museum includes a telegram of sympathy from Adolf Hitler.

Texas Forts Trail Region

This region may be organized by (and named for) its eight pre- and post-Civil War forts (and one Spanish Presidio), but groups would be remiss to ignore the rest of this quirky region. In the town of Mineral Wells, for instance, they have what some call "crazy water,"mineral water believed to have healing powers when drunk or used in a bath.Because of this, by the early 1900s, the city became "the spa of the southwest,"attracting Hollywood celebrities and other rich and famous patrons. The idea for the world-recognized Hollywood sign is supposed to have originated in Mineral Wells, an imitation of the welcome sign the city has on the borders of the town.

Texas Hill Country Trail Region

This part of the state is growing rapidly,with San Antonio and Austin being two major centers of activity for both locals and visitors. San Antonio boasts the Alamo, the River Walk, Mission Trails and the Spanish Governor's Palace Market Square. Austin is the former capital of the Republic of Texas,where groups can visit the Governor's Mansion, the Lyndon Johnson Library and Museum and Lady Byrd Johnson Wildflower Center.

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