A major trade route from the Maumee watershed (Fort Wayne area) to Lake Michigan (Chicago area) was active for centuries. The Potawatomi and Miami Peoples used this route to transfer goods and visit villages throughout the region long before the explores and settlers arrived in the region. Other Woodland peoples also actively followed this trail.
A group of volunteers is working to memorialize the history and recognize the Indigenous People of the region by creating a trail marker system along the route. The initial focus is to mark the known locations of the trail in Elkhart County, Indiana. The longterm goal is to have the trail marked in other counties in northern Indiana. The route passes through private property, county properties and in some areas roads are on top of the original trail. Portions of U.S. 33 follow the trail. This trail is not one that can be walked today, but markers and kiosks in various locations will indicate the location of the trail.
Explore the collection of maps showing the existence of a trail used by indigenous peoples.
Historic Trade Routes
Find information about how the trails were used in the region
Learn about the Potawatomi and Miami people who lived in this area before Europeans arrived.
Potawatomi and Miami People Today
Find out more about contemporary Potawatomi and Miami people