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National Forest Develops Interactive Map For Buffalo Trace
Updated February 9, 2017 6:48 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Hoosier National Forest (NF) has developed an interactive story map featuring the historic buffalo trace as it crosses southern Indiana. The on-line map includes historic sites along the trace.

The new on-line buffalo trace map can be accessed from the front page of the Hoosier NF website at www.fs.usda.gov/main/hoosier/home.

"The map can be used by either people sitting at home wanting to learn more about the buffalo trace, or travelers who want to see historical sites connected to this historical route," said District Ranger Chris Zimmer. He explains the map features sites along the route in every county the buffalo trace goes through.

The sites include 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. Zimmer points out that many of the sites are on private land and people should respect boundaries and not trespass.

Other map sites are historic structures which were built when the buffalo trace was in use and whose walls may have witnessed early settlers and soldiers traveling on the Trace. Websites for those sites which are open to the public, are linked on the map to give more information to travelers.

"Our staff learned a lot putting this together," said Zimmer. "Many county historians and tourism offices shared information to help build this story map, so we have a great collaborative effort." He added, "A story map of this type is a first for the Forest Service in the eastern region, so we broke new ground for our agency putting this together."
Zimmer said the interactive map is just one of many products created by the volunteer group who worked on the Buffalo Trace project. "We wanted as many ways as possible to connect people to this important part of history," said Zimmer.

He mentioned the educational boxes given to schools along the trace, surveying and mapping the trace on the ground, and development of a buffalo trace website as a few of the other successful projects accomplished by the group.

For more information on the interactive map or any other questions on the buffalo trace contact the Hoosier NF at (812) 275-5987.



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