Texas Heritage Trails Program Celebrates Brazos Trail Region's Return

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) officially announced reinstatement of the Texas Brazos Trail Region at the kick-off of its 50th anniversary celebration during the 2018 Real Places conference in Austin last week.

The Texas Brazos Trail Region comprises 18 central Texas counties: Bastrop, Bell, Bosque, Brazos, Burleson, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Grimes, Hamilton, Lee, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Madison, Milam, Robertson, and Williamson. The region includes historic towns such as Georgetown, Belton, Temple, Salado, Bryan-College-Station, Fairfield, Mexia, Clifton, Madisonville, Navasota, Bastrop, Elgin, Round Rock, Meridian, Clifton, and Waco—booming cultural tourism hotspot and home of the trail region’s new executive director, Andrea Barefield.

“I’m excited to formally bring back this deeply missed heritage travel region,” Barefield said. “The trail is full of rich history and I’m eager to tell those stories, partner with the communities, and find resources to promote heritage tourism throughout the Brazos Trail Region.”

Heritage travelers can visit specific communities in the Brazos Trail Region or travel the entire area to experience the charm and history of the more rural areas of the state. The region offers a variety of state parks, museums, state historic sites, lively downtowns, and even a presidential library. Locals and visitors can plan a trip using the THC’s web tools on texasbrazostrail.com.

The Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) is the THC’s award-winning heritage tourism initiative. An economic development measure, the THTP encourages communities, heritage regions, and the state to partner and promote Texas' historic and cultural resources. These local preservation efforts, combined with statewide marketing of heritage regions as tourism destinations help Texas communities promote tourism, revitalize local economies, and foster community leadership through historic preservation.

The Trail Regions are based on the original 10 scenic driving trails created in 1968 by Gov. John Connally and the Texas Highway Department (now the Texas Department of Transportation) for HemisFair. 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Trail Regions’ launch.