On many Indiana maps there’s a line cutting across southern Indiana labeled the “Old Buffalo Trace” or the “Vincennes Trace.” The trace is a travelway, a road bed as well engineered and more durable than any road built today. The route was created by American bison
A screen shot of the homepage of the Buffalo Trace Interactive Map
The Hoosier National Forest has developed an interactive story map featuring the historic Buffalo Trace route as it crosses southern Indiana.
Countless thousands of these huge beasts once migrated along the route. And as the Bison went history followed, creating a network of sites highlighted in this on-line map. Included among these sites are Historic Native American villages, forts, and trading posts which have long disappeared from the landscape, as well as river crossings where the buffalo forded rivers.
Some sites such as the Falls of the Ohio State Park are open to the public and actually interpret the buffalo trace story. Others are just points on a map where you may or may not see remnants of past uses on the landscape. Many of the sites are on private land and people should respect boundaries and not trespass.
This interactive map is just one of many products created by the volunteer group who worked on the Buffalo Trace project, including educational boxes given to schools along the trace, surveying and mapping the trace on the ground, and development of a buffalo trace website.