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Guide to 'Yellowstone Trail' now available

Yellowstone Trail Wisconsin has released the first edition of the free driving guide to this historic auto route. The Yellowstone Trail went through Hudson on its way from "Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound."

The free 44-page guide can be picked up at the Economic Development Corp. office or the historical society or convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic development offices and some businesses on the trail. The guide is also on the Web at

Driving the Yellowstone Trail guide includes detailed maps, a mile-by-mile description of things to see that are on or very near the old trail through Wisconsin from Kenosha to Hudson, and many historic notes.

A group of history buffs and tourism professionals wants the Yellowstone Trail to become known and enjoyed again. The group, Yellowstone Trail Wisconsin, has been working to promote the marking of the route and to prepare this driving guide.

When automobiles were just becoming common, the very first auto tourists came through this area on the Yellowstone Trail. This historic route was created by small-town business people and civic leaders to promote good roads and to attract visitors to local businesses.

Until the Yellowstone Trail was established in 1912, there were no road maps and few signs to mark the way. Trail associations marked their routes with colors. The Yellowstone Trail Association chose yellow background and a black arrow to identify their transcontinental route.

This named route lasted until the Depression came in 1930, and then it faded from memory as federal and state money became available for roads. Long distance routes gained numbers and marking signs, and road maps became available.

Most of the route the Yellowstone Trail followed in Wisconsin is still used, and usually, but not always, it is paved with asphalt and concrete replacing the original dirt, mud and dust.

Local groups and individuals in several Wisconsin cities have recently put up large yellow and black signs to mark the trail. Other communities along the trail are invited to join that effort. Questions and stories may be sent to