The Buffalo Road Trail along the Blackfoot River was used for centuries by Columbia Plateau Indians to access buffalo hunting grounds east of the Continental Divide. Ancient campsites, peeled trees, rock cairns, and unique stone features are the “landscape signatures” that denote the trail’s location today. Captain Meriwether Lewis, Jesuit missionary Nicolas Point, and General John Gibbon all traveled this “well worn” Indian road. Archaeological studies, oral histories, and ethnographic and historical information about the extensive use of this trail show its importance to pre-contact, protohistoric, and historic people. This presentation focuses on the many people who used the ancient trail over the last thousand years and the landscape signatures they left behind.
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