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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU’s National Parks talk explores El Camino Real and Santa Fe Trail

For nearly 300 years, the 1,600-mile road between Mexico City and Santa Fe was a vital link between the Spanish colonial empire and its far-flung province of New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail was a critical trade route east to Independence, Missouri. Efforts to map and photograph both are the subject of the next talk of New Mexico State University’s series celebrating the National Park Service centennial.

Head and shoulders of a man
Steven Moffson will talk about efforts to identify and map surviving parts of El Camino Real and Santa Fe Trail on Sept. 29 at NMSU.(Courtesy Photo)

Steven Moffson, the State and National Register Coordinator for the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, will give a talk titled “Retracing the Pathways of Colonialization and Trade along El Camino Real and the Santa Fe Trail” from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 at O’Donnell Hall, Room 111.

“Since 2011, the National Park Service and the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division have partnered in an effort to identify surviving sections of El Camino Real and the Santa Fe Trail, which crisscross public and private lands, rivers, and arid landscapes,” said Moffson. “This ongoing effort has resulted some of the most complete mapping and photo documentation of the trails as well as seventeen listings in the National Register of Historic Places.”

Among the “NMSU Celebrates the National Parks” events, the College of Arts and Sciences is hosting classes and public lectures on campus along with sponsoring a blog series to raise awareness about America’s national parks. Moffson’s lecture is the third in the series this fall.

History professor Jon Hunner has been blogging as he travels across the country visiting various national parks. Each week while on sabbatical this summer and fall, Hunner is writing short histories of the parks he visits. Read more about his travels at drivenbyhistory.blogspot.com. When he returns, Hunner plans to compile his blog posts into a book.

Find more information about upcoming speakers for “NMSU Celebrates the National Parks,” at
https://history.nmsu.edu/events/nps/ For questions, contact NMSU’s Director of the Public History Program Peter Kopp at pkopp@nmsu.edu.