The foot trails and rough cart roads of early nineteenth-century Florida reflected the needs for communication and trade which were changed significantly as the territory was organized and development began under American administration. Nevertheless, there was a tendency for continued local use of these old routes long after the original functions had been lost. Not only was it easier to improve or modify an existing trace than to cut an entirely new one through the Florida forests, but the early routes were relatively felicitous, following the drainage divides, skirting the extensive swampland tracts, and avoiding more difficult river crossings. Numerous stretches of the historical routes remain in use today, nearly two centuries later, ranging from faintly marked forest paths and jeep trails to city streets and super highways. Such route segments constitute landscape features which may be described as “relict,” for they represent elements of the past now serving different purposes. Further, when the various segments are viewed collectively, they often reveal much, if not all, of the former routes of which they are detached portions. Thus, many of the old trails and historic roads have been “imprinted” on the Florida landscape, although this phenomenon may not be immediately obvious.
Vanderhill, Burke G.
"The Alachua-St. Marys Road,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 66:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol66/iss1/5