Discover US 219: The Seneca Trail
In the early Americas Native American societies developed a vast network of trails and pathways that connected societies from New York into Canada all the way into the Southeast and Southwest, into Mesoamerica. Archaeologists have found evidence of trade goods traveling between the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast, and large trading centers such as Cahokia (near modern St. Louis) facilitated long-distance trade between various regions in North America. Trails were also used as warpaths and many other uses. The Seneca Trail roughly follows the route of U.S. 219 through West Virginia from Silver Lake on the Maryland border to Princeton on the state’s southern border with Virginia. Today, U.S. 219 stretches more than 500 miles from Buffalo, NY to Princeton, WV. In the early 1900s, with the creation of state and national road networks, modern Route 219 was pieced together by connecting several pre-existing roads. First the section that runs through Maryland, known as Garrett Highway, was established as part of the state road system and then in 1926 this was connected to a section through Pennsylvania that extended to the state’s boundary with New York. This was the original extent of U.S. 219. In the 1930s, the route was extended north and south to its current length. When 219 was extended through West Virginia it followed closely the route of the earlier Seneca Trail.